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Three hundred pupils celebrate Duke of Edinburgh Award success

The annual Duke of Edinburgh Award Presentation Evening celebrated the hard work of more than 320 pupils who took part at Bronze, Silver and Gold levels this year.

A packed audience made up of parents, pupils, teachers and volunteers enjoyed an evening of speeches before the presentation of certificates by our special guest, Great Britain rower Graeme Thomas.

Mr Thomas, originally from Lancashire, is a former rugby union player who switched to rowing at the age of 20 and has already helped the men’s quadruple scull set new medal milestones at the World Championships.

During his speech, Mr Thomas taught pupils the importance of not allowing challenging situations to stop success, drawing on his experience of reaching the 2016 Rio Olympic Games before being sent home due to illness.

Lower Sixth student Ben McDougall presented a video he shot and edited of his group’s Silver Canoeing expedition, which captured the fun, team work and journey the team took in Yorkshire.

At the end of the certificate presentations, Laura Turner, the school’s Duke of Edinburgh Co-ordinator, thanked volunteers new and old for their support which enables expeditions to run effectively.

During her speech, she also commended the resilience and commitment of pupils that have taken on the award at all levels.

Thanks go to David Kent, the parent of former pupils, who compered the evening and spoke about the continuing positive impact of the scheme for his own children.