2 December, 2020
Students at City of Norwich School (CNS) and Broadland High Ormiston Academy, celebrated their fantastic Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) awards thanks to a virtual ceremony on the 18 November. Despite not being able to all meet face-to-face, the 79 students across both schools received a range of awards, for Bronze and Silver levels, including ‘Certificates of Achievement’ or the Full Award.
While still operating in Covid-secure bubbles, the academies were keen to highlight the hard work and dedication shown by the students in obtaining their awards, and they were joined by Ali Rigby, the DofE’s Operations Officer for Norfolk. Student names were read out during the virtual meeting, before they were then presented with their physical award by a designated member of staff in each academy. This ensured that every student was fully recognised for their achievements and given the spotlight!
The students were also joined virtually by OAT CEO Nick Hudson and National Director of Teaching and Training, Tuesday Humby, who applauded the diligence shown by students and staff across both schools. Especially in this extremely challenging year, the students showed a real determination to ensure they achieved their goals. Annabelle Patterson, a CNS Student, said:
Today was a great way to celebrate and recognise students who have participated in the DofE programme and I am proud to be a part of it!
Her thoughts were echoed by Aron Whiles, OAT Regional Director for the East and lead in DofE. He agreed that the awards ceremony was:
An opportunity to come together and celebrate students’ achievements, hard work and commitment, and I am delighted that so many OAT East academies are participating the programme.
He also noted the importance of enrichment activities like this to OAT as a Trust:
OAT has always been committed to the development of the whole individual and one that places a high value on our enrichment programmes, it is really important that we recognise and celebrate the achievements of our students in their extra-curricular endeavours.
Broadland and CNS’s DofE programme is part of OAT’s broader #iwill project, which promotes social action and positive extracurricular activity in the community. Despite Covid restrictions, many OAT schools have continued this important work while adhering to the necessary safety guidelines. Jo Philpott, Headteacher of CNS, commented that she was “very proud” of those who took part in the programme and that:
Providing students with positive, active outlets and opportunities is a key part of our work here at CNS, and I look forward to seeing more and more students take on the challenge in the months and years to come.
In 2018, Ormiston Academies Trust (OAT) secured £2 million of funding from the #iwill fund and national charity Ormiston Trust. Across our network of over 30,000 pupils, the OAT network of schools will use the funding to support the aims of the pioneering #iwill campaign in making meaningful social action a regular part of life for young people, allowing them to develop key new social, emotional and life skills learning (SELS).
With this funding many of our academies have progressed their students through The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. Students are able to gain essential skills, experience, confidence and resilience to successfully navigate adult life.