This year saw forty-six students enrol on the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme and fifty-five awards being gained. Twenty passed the Bronze Award and a record number of twenty-eight participants achieved a Silver Award. Seven students gained the prestigious Gold Award.
The quality of a Unit is partly measured on conversion rate (awards gained in a year as a percentage of the year’s participation places). Queen Elizabeth II High School achieved a conversion rate of 120% against a national average of 40%. The success is down to the ethos and support of the School, the dedication of voluntary award leaders and their team, and the hard work put in by the young people.
Mrs Sleight, Unit leader, said ‘gaining a Duke of Edinburgh’s Award takes a lot of time and commitment. The many activities undertaken teach participants to challenge themselves. They help create well rounded, confident young people. The job market is extremely competitive so as well as qualifications, the Award experiences and real life skills learnt along the way can all tell a potential employer a lot about a candidate. Anything that can set you apart from the next applicant will be very beneficial.’
Sophia Tackett, Unit leader, said ‘the young people have contributed hundreds of hours of voluntary work. They have worked in charity shops, at the MSPCA, the Wildlife Park and local libraries. They have helped with charity fundraising, with Cubs, Brownies and various church and youth clubs. They have been active as sports coaches helping with Manx Youth Games, Riding for the Disabled and Swimming for the Disabled. The amount of voluntary work has varied between three and twelve months depending on the level of Award undertaken.’
To gain an award the participants had to also take part in a sport and show commitment and improvement over a period of time. Ballroom dancing, kayaking, archery, race walking, cycling, swimming, badminton, squash, mountain biking, horse riding and taekwondo were some of the sports undertaken. Likewise, for the skill section, participants had to develop new interests. Skills undertaken included bell ringing, drama, playing musical instruments, farming, learning Japanese, dog training, life saving, photography, umpiring and horse care.
Expeditions were undertaken by foot and kayak and took place on the Isle of Man, in Greenland and in the Yorkshire Dales.
The following students gained awards:-
Gold – Zoe Anderson, Natasha McKenzie, Ashley Howard, Hannah Scarlett, Tami-Rose Hesketh, Alexandra Hardman, Robbie Daniels
Silver – Tom Skillicorn, Christopher Killey, Sarah Thursfield, Kirsty Pierce, Katie Watson, Lucas Croydon, Rebecca Beavis, Moira Pain, Alyssa Whittam, Emma Lloyd-Williams, Daniel Gibson, Alex Eaton, Holly Williamson, Colin Bankes-Jones, Millie Barrow, Beth Vickers, Luke Smith, Thomas Doyle, Tom Anderson, Katia Tastagh, Harry Snape, Kieran Rowley, Erin McNulty, Jason Crease, Bridget Bale, Liam Costain, Aareez Khan, Adam McAuley
Bronze – Cameron Skidmore, Louie Parmer, Thomas Whiteway, Katie Hill, Sahana Balakrishnan, Ben Cotton, Conor Kilgallon, Rachel Moore, Kirree Radcliffe, Breeshey Bond, Peter Daniels, Voirrey Bethune, Ben Newsham, Lauren Renshaw, Paige Skillicorn, Calum Johnson, Beth Kinley, Amber George, George Willoughby