This year has seen huge numbers of students participating in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. Coombe has been running the scheme for over 10 years; however, this year saw 84 year 10 students embarking on their bronze level, 50 year 11 and sixth form students taking on their silver challenges, and an impressive 21 students either starting or completing their gold level award.
Whilst most of the sections (skill, volunteering and physical recreation) have been organised independently by the students, the expedition is always where both the staff and the students have the most fun, and this year has been no exception. From the wilds of Snowdonia to the relative calm of Epsom Downs, students have demonstrated excellent leadership and team working skills by navigating their way independently along a pre-decided route, lasting up to eight hours a day. Alongside this, they have demonstrated some of their ‘Bear Grylls’ abilities by cooking, camping and surviving in relative wilderness, overnight on each expedition.
This year’s intake also faced a further challenge; that of the E DofE programme, which is an online version of the old style logbooks. Despite the complexities of this new programme, all of the cohort are currently in the process of uploading their photos and evidence for each section of the award, in time for the deadline of the end of September. Those who manage to complete this final challenge, will be invited to a celebration and presentation evening in November, through the Kingston operating authority. Those who complete their gold awards will even be invited to a further celebration at Buckingham Palace.
We have already recruited next year’s participants for the silver award and we look to have further success next summer.
Congratulations to all those students who have finished their award this year.
Mrs Pellett and Ms Aldemir.