Duke of Edinburgh Award excellence in Royal Wootton Bassett

By Barrie Hudson - 12 July 2023

  • On the way to gold

    On the way to gold

Royal Wootton Bassett Academy (RWBA) says it has had an amazing academic year with students' Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) award efforts.

The scheme has hit record breaking numbers with close to 170 students enrolling.

An academy spokesperson said: "The school has achieved some of the highest enrolment numbers across all of Wiltshire’s schools. 

"The school has a total of 110 Year 9 pupils for their Bronze Award, 40 Year 10s partaking in the Silver Award and 18 Year 12s enrolled for the gold award. DofE involves a lot of local and school community work along with the expeditions, followed by an incredibly special invitation to Buckingham Palace."

The bronze expedition involves knowledge and skills in navigation, tent building, first aid and teamwork in preparation for their qualifying expeditions, completed successfully in Burbage and Savernake Forest. 

Year 10s have battled through the wet and windy weather on their practice expedition but the sun shone in the New Forest to enable them to gain their silver award. 

Year 12s summited the Sugar Loaf Mountain in the Bannau Brycheiniog, followed by a tough four days and three nights of wild camping on Dartmoor for their final expedition to gain their Gold Award.

The awards scheme, the school says, is not just expeditions at but also a chance to celebrate the students’ achievements. There is also an annual celebration evening, when the school awards the students with their badges and certificates for the previous year’s bronze and silver awards. 

The spokesperson added: "Several ex-RWBA students received their Gold Award in a prestigious ceremony from Buckingham Palace, a very well-deserved accumulation of their Duke of Edinburgh Award journey. 

"They all had a fabulous time celebrating with their parents and friends. They had the chance to hear from famous DofE Award holders, sporting legends and international adventurers, and pick up career advice from actors, presenters, authors and entrepreneurs, at stages throughout the Royal Garden."

Award scheme manager Emma Barnard-Williams said: “It is great to see such a massive interest in DofE, with almost 178 students enrolled for this academic year. 

"One the greatest benefits of the award is the amount volunteer work that is carried out in the local and school community. This year over 2,350 volunteer hours have been carried out by our students. 

"The events are supported by staff who give up their time and we are extremely grateful. 

"The expeditions are always great fun for all, it’s lovely to see the children excited for outdoor learning, away from their screens and the campfires are a particular favourite for students.”

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