Sixth Form Students Gold Duke Of Edinburgh Residentials

Are you a bit of an adrenaline junkie who fancies jumping off a cliff 15 metres into the sea? Or do you like to make a difference supporting a charity or project that improves people’s lives? Well that’s what some of our Sixth Form students have been doing this summer as they enjoyed some very different experiences participating in the next stage of their Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award – the Residential.

The Gold Residential, an extra element of the Gold Award, develops students’ skills. For starters they have to organise it themselves and then they are expected to undertake it with new people, it’s all about building confidence and independence.

Ben Hayden and James Fletcher opted for an activities week at the Arete Centre in Carnarvon. They participated in rock climbing, coasteering (including that 15m sea jump!), gorge scrambling and sea kayaking, testing their nerve against the spectacular backdrop of the Snowdonia National Park.

James said, “I would recommend the Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award to everyone, I have done things that I had never experienced before, challenged and stretched myself and had so much fun.”

Ben continued, “There was something for everyone on the residential, you had to plan you own activities, it was our choice, and there were lots of different activities on offer, so you really did test yourself.”

Laura Baskerville fulfilled her residential requirement by taking part in the NCS initiative (National Citizen Service is a government funded development programme for 15–17 year olds). She worked on a project for MENCAP, a charity for people with learning disabilities.

Laura said, “I made lots of new friends. We worked together and pitched for money to organise a sports day for the local branch of MENCAP, it was about raising awareness and doing something that made a difference. Once we had the money we then organised the event. I know it improved my confidence.”

At Princethorpe College academic studies and results certainly matter, but we like our pupils to participate in all sorts of co-curricular activities as we believe they are essential to a successful all round education.

Over 160 pupils and Sixth Formers signed up to undertake one of the Duke of Edinburgh Awards last year. Working towards Bronze, Silver and Gold they participated in a kaleidoscope of vibrant experiences as they completed their skill, knowledge, physical and expedition sections. They met new people, made a difference, challenged themselves, gained new skills and confidence and generally had a lot of fun.

Head of Outdoor Education, Will Bower said, “We have a hugely successful Duke of Edinburgh programme here at Princethorpe. The 14 Gold students are making excellent progress. I think we will definitely have a few visits to the palace next year. The initiative develops so many different skills essential for life. I would really encourage all of our pupils to participate; you will get so much out of it.”