Normally the Spring and Summer term for Year 10 means expedition time, something that has had to be forsaken but hopefully revisited before they leave school. COVID-19 has also hindered the usual opportunities to volunteer and complete other sections of the award through sporting participation and developing leadership skills. However, rather than let the national lockdown dampen their spirits, our students sought out new opportunities to complete their section in a different way. Students took it upon themselves to help out in their household with chores and home-schooling younger siblings, they supported others in their local community by shopping and walking dogs for those self-isolating. Completing the physical and skill sections in lockdown also helped them stay busy, regularly getting fresh air and taking up new hobbies which promoted relaxation and mindfulness.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award reflected on this and adapted its requirements so that the students could still progress with their award. Students that completed all sections of their award (minus the expedition) during lockdown, within the current situation, will receive a special Certificate of Achievement that will be unique to this year group. This certificate allows progressions on to the Silver and Gold DofE Awards.
Across Year 10, the students have logged 1,651 hours of volunteering, 1,937 hours spent developing new skills, 2,379 hours enduring physical activities, which resulted in 211 participants completing a section of the course. That’s around 6,000 hours of lockdown time used on their DofE award and on bettering themselves as young adults. We look forward to many more, now Year 11s, receiving their Certificate of Achievement in the next few weeks.
We are very proud of the dedication, ambition and resilience that the students have shown during this time – a time when lots of us struggled to maintain routine, hope and energy. These students are role models and champions for future DofE students following in their footsteps.
Mrs Davison, Head of PE