For several years now St Leonard’s pupils have been active participants in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award at St Leonard’s has several overlapping aims and objectives. The highlight of our provision is a remote area expedition in the Scottish Highlands which normally takes place at the end of Year 12 for the Silver level, and the end of Year 13 for the Gold. This expedition is a real challenge in an unfamiliar environment and is designed to test out the skills of navigation, teamwork and self-sufficiency which are our primary concern. These are all skills and experiences which we hope will help equip students with the interest and where-with-all to undertake their own ventures in future life. Success is not just in the completion of the task but in being to reflect later that, for example, ‘I have now found a new enjoyment in walking the countryside and experiencing the beautiful surroundings and wildlife’.
The Award also enables to students to gain more formal recognition of their achievements in a wide range of cultural, sporting and social action activities which may otherwise pass almost unnoticed in an educational world dominated by exam result criteria. St Leonard’s students have proud records of the highest levels of achievements in so many areas and this enables them to be more publicly recognised. Not only that, but students who are highly accomplished and committed in one area, are challenged to broaden their range of experience through the demand to undertake activities under all three headings.
The value of all of this is further highlighted by the many past pupils who keep in touch with the school in order to complete Gold Awards. These links often last until well after these students have completed their university degrees and are looking to enhance their prospects in the jobs market. Such extended personal, family and community links are integral to our mission and identity.