4th June 2020
21 students have spent the last two years while at St Brendan's, working towards the exciting Gold Duke of Edinburgh programme. Two of the students have now fully completed the award and await their presentation award ceremony at St James’ Palace.
Daisy says ‘I had completed both Bronze and Silver at my previous senior school, however my experience of Gold with St Brendan’s was probably both the most enjoyable and the most challenging.’
The Gold Duke of Edinburgh award is split into 5 sections and students can choose their activity for each. Daisy volunteered with College chaplaincy for her volunteering section, undertook gym sessions for her physical section and developed her singing skills for her skills section. The Gold Award also expects students to spend 5 nights away from home with people they do not know so Daisy attended Soul Survivor cultural festival and camped with others. For the expedition section, all St Brendan’s DofE students attended a practice and qualifying expedition in the beautiful Brecon Beacons.
Daisy says ‘The expedition needs you to be in a team of at least 4 people. I did not know all members of my team beforehand and this was nerve-racking at the start, but we quickly became friends and had a great laugh along the way!
I found the mental challenge that comes with Gold much tougher than the physical side, but the empathy I learnt whilst on the practice and real expeditions was amazing and will benefit me for the rest of my life. The college uses an external company to organise the expeditions which is a great idea as the people running it are very knowledgeable and friendly and gave us lots of responsibility so that we could make our own decisions and feel really proud of what we had achieved afterwards!
The DofE expedition is a real chance to enjoy the natural world around you, not worry about the big things in life but rather walk and laugh with the wind in your hair! I truly believe everyone should partake in this challenge – it is not easy but it is so rewarding, especially once you have completed it and get to receive your award from royalty!'
Siobhan, another student who has completed the award whilst at College, volunteered at Bristol Zoo, improved her Tae Kwon Do skills and undertook drumming lessons. She said the following about the expedition:
'Having completed the Gold Expedition I feel incredibly proud of myself, especially knowing that in the future I can look back at the experience during tough times and remember how I managed to persevere through it.'
If you are a current student or a student joining us in September and you would like further information about undertaking Duke of Edinburgh at St Brendan’s Sixth Form College then please contact:
Ali Ashman: Alison.firstname.lastname@example.org
Also take a look at the DofE website