Students complete Duke of Edinburgh Awards despite lockdown

Students with their DofE awards at Springwood High School Picture: Ian Burt

Students with their DofE awards at Springwood High School Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Archant

Teenagers cooked dinners for their family, helped out in the garden and even worked out with TV body coach Joe Wicks for their Duke of Edinburgh Awards.

Springwood High School in King’s Lynn celebrated the achievements of its latest group to receive their awards at a special presentation ceremony.

Seventeen students received their Bronze Achievement Awards, three Silver Achievement Awards and a group of 27 is currently working on the Gold Award which they hope to complete in March.

This year has also seen all 200 Year 9 pupils at the school registering to take part in the scheme’s bronze standard. They will all be learning first aid each week as part of their skill set for the award.

It is hoped the students working on the gold level will be able to take part in expeditions away from home - an element which had to be cancelled for this year.

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“Although the first lockdown caused a lot of difficulties, students at Springwood managed to keep up with their activities for the award,” said Pauline Petch, teacher and Duke of Edinburgh Awards scheme manager at the West Norfolk Academies Trust.

“Students were allowed to change activity and do their sections at home so we had lots of innovative ideas, from cycling routes locally and Joe Wicks workouts for physical, cooking a meal for the family once a week or learning a new subject online. They could even help out with an hour of gardening.”

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Finley Meehan, 14, said being part of the Duke of Edinburgh Awards had given him motivation and helped him make new discoveries and experiences.

He has been learning to play the double bass, helping to run a children’s music workshop and keeping fit with swimming and workouts as part of his award.

“I found the volunteering section very rewarding as it was something I hadn’t done before and I could experience both the fun of it and the satisfaction of helping others to learn about something that I am passionate about,” he said.

“Over lockdown things were obviously very different and I couldn’t complete my DofE in the same way. It was great to keep in contact with my friends who were also doing DofE to discuss our ideas and keep our morale high. I’m also really looking forward to being able to complete the expedition when that is allowed.”

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