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Published on November 8th, 2021 | by The Town Crier

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Beacon Academy students succeed with The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award

Beacon Academy students have been celebrating their achievements in The Duke of Edinburgh’s Bronze and Silver Awards.

Students in Years 10 and 11 were presented with their Bronze Award certificates and badges by Award Manager, Mr Hoddinott. To achieve their Award, students have spent an hour each week over six months taking part in volunteering, completing a physical activity, alongside learning a new skill.

This cohort of Bronze Award participants who started their Award in October 2020 have been representing Beacon Academy in their local communities, volunteering in sectors such as social care, sport, education and many have even adapted to the circumstances over the last two years by offering virtual tutoring to peers and younger students from home. Students have also been learning a variety of new skills alongside taking part in a variety of physical activities, improving both their physical and mental wellbeing.

Beacon Academy DofE Manager, Mr Rob Hoddinott, said, “I am immensely proud of what our students have achieved over the past year. Despite there being less opportunities to take part in volunteering, physical and skills activities due to the different restrictions, our students have overcome this challenge and adapted their programs to continue their Awards both at home and in their local areas. This is our second cohort of students to receive their Awards, and I am looking forward to watching many more achieve theirs over the coming few months.”

The Academy’s first cohort of Silver Duke of Edinburgh’s Award participants successfully completed a weekend of training and practice expedition on the South Downs in the final weekend of August and went on to successfully complete their qualifying expedition in the New Forest in September.

Mr Rob Hoddinott, said, “We had nineteen students across Years 11 and 13 taking part, walking nearly 60km across the South Downs, whilst carrying all their own kit and food. The training and practice weekend started with a day and night of expedition training and then went straight into a three-day, two-night practice expedition. For their qualifying expedition, the students worked in teams to navigate their way to Ferny Crofts Scout Activity Centre campsite and then on to Lepe Country Park the next day. Our students worked incredibly hard over both weekends and I am incredibly proud of all of them.”

Now in their third year as a licensed organisation of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, Beacon Academy now has over 260 students across Years 9 to 11 participating in the Bronze and Silver Awards, with Gold enrolment beginning soon for Year 12.

Alongside the students’ achievements, Beacon Academy staff have been upskilling themselves over the past three years, made possible thanks to funding received from the DofE’s Diamond Jubilee Fund. Beacon Academy now have staff qualified in Lowland Leadership, Expedition Supervision and Assessment, and Outdoor First Aid, with more staff attending training over the coming months to support the school’s growing DofE programme.

To find out more, please visit www.beacon-academy.org


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