Delight at Duke’s Award

Some of the pupils from Garstang Community Academy taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme, pictured with Julie Parkinson (centre back) the award scheme's Unit Leader at the school.
Some of the pupils from Garstang Community Academy taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme, pictured with Julie Parkinson (centre back) the award scheme's Unit Leader at the school.

It’s recruitment time at Garstang Community Academy this week - for those in search of a truly demanding challenge.

Year Nine students will be given the opportunity to enrol in the Duke Of Edinburgh Award scheme.

As our photos show the scheme has proved enduringly popular at the Academy, thanks to the joint enthusiasm of both staff and students.

Currently some 100 students at the school are enrolled and in the past three years some 200 youngsters have taken part in scheme related activities.

The Duke of Edinburgh Award unit leader Julie Parkinson said: “It’s quite wide ranging things they have to do. The current Year 10 enjoyed a practise expedition to Silverdale before walking from Coniston to Ambleside and stopping in the Langdales.”

The team was particularly grateful for the help and support of Mike Rushton from local business Tamarack Outdoors who helped with the expedition.

Julie, who also works as a special needs teaching assistant at the school, said the camping was an outstanding experience enabling students to develop team working skills and support each other through the demanding expedition: “They get a tremendous sense of achievement because it’s hard- they’ve got a lot of stuff to carry, some have never been camping before. They get a great sense of comradeship... They are a much stronger person after it.”

Staff members Mr Bill Wiseman and Mr Nigel Sargent are also key contributors to the scheme’s success said Julie, who for ten years ran the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme for Wyre Youth and Community service.

To qualify for the award students must successfully complete four sections - a camping expedition, physical (sport), voluntary and skill sections.

Julie said: “Every employer and College of Further Education looks favourably on students who achieve the bronze award.”

She added that even those who may not go as far as getting the award gain from their involvement.