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Pupils from Catmose College and Harrington School celebrate achieving their Duke of Edinburgh

On Wednesday, February 5, we celebrated the success of more than 80 pupils and students from Catmose College and Harington School achieving their Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, writes Elisabeth Newel.

The awards take up to 12 months to achieve which requires dedication and commitment.

Pupils and students select and set their own objectives, goals and aims across five different areas; volunteering, physical, skills, expedition and a residential section for the Gold award.

The programmes are at three progressive levels, bronze, silver and gold and are aimed at inspiring, guiding and supporting young people in their self-development.

These awards have challenged our pupils and students and allowed them to discover the wider world around them whilst providing them with invaluable skills and experiences to improve employment prospects.

They have taken part in activities that have built their confidence, resilience, independence and character.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is a fantastic programme giving pupils and students the opportunity to make a difference to other people’s lives.

Through their volunteering pupils and students have given back an incredible 2,301 hours to our local community.

This rewarding experience allowed pupils and students the chance to get involved with the wider community, volunteering in charity shops or local community organisations, working and spending time with the elderly and mentoring or coaching younger people in schools and clubs.

Throughout their DofE journey pupils and students have gained important skills such as communication, team work, self-motivation, commitment, resilience, leadership and a positive attitude to work, which is as crucial to their future success, academic achievement, and preparing them for life outside of the academic environment.

The expedition section promotes physical activity, positive mental health and focus.

Spending time outdoors encourages pupils and students to become more aware of environmental issues and how they can make a difference.

It is important to recognise the achievements that each pupil and student has made, congratulations and well done to everyone who achieved their award.

We do hope that our Gold award holders have an enjoyable day at their awards ceremony which will be held at either Buckingham Palace or St James’s Palace later this year.

A huge thank you to all of our DofE staff for their invaluable help with delivering each of the awards.

Staff have found it rewarding helping our pupils and students overcome barriers and working outside of the classroom has also allowed them to build better working relationships with them.

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