11 February, 2021
More than 300 students at George Salter Academy have started their Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) Award, despite the constraints brought by Covid-19.
Despite the loss of the highly successful extracurricular sessions the school runs, the academy has ensured that there is an increased availability of IT connectivity to family homes, by investing in laptops for children without them, so that students can still access a range of educational opportunities. One of the most sought after activities being the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme, with more than 100 students in Years 9, 12 and 13 still being able to enrol and embark on the award programme.
Successful bids to the Duke of Edinburgh Resilience Fund have meant that 40% of the enrolments are free and the academy has used its own funds to ensure all those who wish to take part in DofE from the targeted year groups can also do so without having to pay.
Additionally, through a carefully managed programme of online meetings, students are given individual advice so they can start three of the four sections of their award whilst still not physically attending school. Volunteering, physical recreation and the skill sections are all being completed at home using virtual opportunities at a time when students might otherwise have nothing outside of school hours to occupy them.
Adrian Price, principal said: “At a time when students’ wellbeing is a major concern, the chance for a large proportion of our students in these three year groups to be involved in such a life-affirming award as the Duke of Edinburgh is a major bonus.”
The aim is to get all students through the Bronze Award by the end of the academic year, with the expedition being done under new controlled measures once the academy re-opens. This will continue the academy’s drive towards providing the Duke of Edinburgh opportunity for all, which is part of an OAT-wide plan.