A night of pride at our DofE Awards event
The College has celebrated our students’ Duke of Edinburgh’s Award success in style, with an awards evening in front of a packed audience of proud families and friends.
The DofE Celebration Night brought together students who have achieved their awards during the past two years, and we were delighted to welcome back some of our past students who attended to receive their certificates.
Introducing the evening’s events, our DofE Manager Mr Chapman said: “It’s really nice to be able to be here for our awards night - third time lucky! - and to have 180 participants. We have grown massively in numbers, and I could not have done that without our DofE team. Taking DofE forward has been a real school effort.” Mr Chapman also thanked Mr Harris - “an unsung hero, my right-hand man for 10 years” - for his help.
In an evening full of highlights, there was a special cheer for Cassie, who achieved the Full Gold Award. Cassie will go on to receive her award from a member of the Royal Family at St James’s Palace in London. The College is extremely proud of Cassie, who is an inspiration to all our other students taking part in the DofE Awards.
Earlier, the evening had begun with Bronze Leader Mr Campion presenting the Bronze Awards. He told the students: “Your achievements have been monumental - keep going please! Keep adventuring!”
Bronze Award achievers Simeon and Ruby came onto the stage to tell the audience about their DofE experiences, and they revealed their favourite memories: “Playing music in the dark” - Ruby; “looking up at the amazing, clear, starry skies” - Simeon; and “making friends” - both.
Leader of the Silver Award, Miss Turner, said her students had shown “amazing commitment” during the disruption caused by the pandemic: “Covid was a very challenging time, it was a mountain to climb, pardon the pun - but they were inspired to do it. Well done - you’ve been an absolute delight,” she added.
Silver Award winners Amelia and Lucy told the audience they had learnt resilience and teamwork and they particularly enjoyed the opportunity to bond with friends.
Gold Award Leader Miss Emery said she had seen a “huge difference” in her Gold students, who had visibly grown in confidence and been very supportive in helping each other: “They have also shown sheer determination in completing their awards.”
Talking through their DofE memories, Cassie and Charlie both spoke about the leadership skills they had learnt and the independence they had developed: “It was challenging, but life-changing and rewarding.”
Presenting Cassie with a certificate from the College ahead of her trip to London to collect her award, Mr Chapman said her achievement had shown “a huge amount of commitment”.
During the evening, the award presentations were interspersed with highlights videos - and what fabulous highlights they were! There were also tales of burnt food, tent mishaps, encounters with cows, cold nights trying to get to sleep in tents, midges, and even the day when a DofE student saved a bee’s life! And of course, there were stories of soggy feet and aching limbs - lots of them! But what really shone through was the friendship and camaraderie, and the sense of achievement and pride.
College Principal Miss Frier said: “I know that many of you have made memories and friends - you can feel that here tonight, it’s palpable. I hope that many of you will now go on to the next level. You should all feel very proud.”
At the end of the evening, there was a special mention for Mr Chapman, whose passion for the role has helped to build our DofE participation so much in recent years. Miss Frier said: “He has absolutely grown this programme from six students and look at us now - we’ve filled this room.”
OTHER AWARDS PRESENTED BY SDCC:
Best Bronze Team: Aaron, Liam, Harri, Sam, Lucas, Henry
Best Silver Team: Morgane, Jack, Leon, Madeline, Lucy, Callum
Best Gold Team: Ewan, Oliver, Charlie, Raphael, Sebastien, Harvey-James
Special recognition awards:
Pathfinder - Best Navigator: Oliver
Star Baker - Best Cook: Ophelia
Commitment to DofE - Going the Distance: Cassie
Superheroes - Saving the Day: Lola & Mazvita
Above and Beyond - Helping Others: Geri
Mr Motivator - Inspiring the Group: Finley
Jedi Award - for Most Interesting Skill: Lucy