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Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Expedition

Posted: 17th May 2024

Bronze DofE Expedition boys

On Tuesday, 14 May, all 79 pupils from Year 10 at St Lawrence College embarked on their eagerly anticipated Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) Bronze expedition to East Kent. This adventure marked a significant milestone in their educational journey, as St Lawrence College integrates the Combined Cadet Force (CCF) and DofE programmes into the curriculum, ensuring all students participate in CCF in Year 9 and complete their Bronze DofE award in Year 10. The expedition required the pupils to walk up to 20km per day for two days carrying all the equipment they would need including food, water, tents and sleeping systems. The year was split into groups with some groups carrying out their training on day one and then completing their expeditions on days two and three of their package. This process was copied by the next set of groups in a cascade system. 

Co-ordinated by Mr Nick Hill, Head of CCF, the expedition spanned three days and included two overnight stays at the picturesque Fallow Fields campsite in Eastry. Pupils demonstrated their teamwork and resilience by pitching their own tents and camping amidst the beautiful Selson Farm orchards. The students navigated the challenging but rewarding hikes themselves with checkpoints manned by St Lawrence College staff members Mr Hayden Judd, Mr Craig Brown, Mr Tim Jameson, Mr David Scoins, Ms Lucy Clewes-Garner, Mr John Lane, Mr Ollie Jones, Ms Katie Tomes, Mrs Claire Jones, and Mrs Michele Semlyen. Their efforts ensured the safety and success of the expedition. Overnight, Mr Hill received additional support from Mr Geraint Jones, Mr Dan Cross, and Mr Theo Lawless-Hughes. Thank you to all the staff for volunteering their time, and ensuring a safe and memorable experience for all of our students.

Mr Hill commented, “Congratulations to all the pupils on successfully completing their Bronze DofE expedition. Their determination, teamwork, and positive attitude were truly commendable. This experience has equipped them with valuable skills and memories that will last a lifetime.”

The Duke of Edinburgh Award is a prestigious programme that offers immense benefits to its participants. Each year, hundreds of thousands of young people embark on this journey, gaining skills, confidence, and a competitive edge for future college, university, or job applications. Beyond academic achievements, the DofE Award helps students develop crucial ‘soft skills’ such as communication, commitment, leadership, and teamwork.

Participants also experience personal growth, contributing to their community, improving their fitness, making new friends, and gaining memories that endure. The programme fosters character traits like confidence and resilience, significantly enhancing mental health and wellbeing, and preparing students to face and overcome personal challenges.

The DofE programme consists of three levels: Bronze, Silver, and Gold. Each level varies in terms of the duration, challenge, and minimum starting age. For the Bronze Award, students typically complete the programme in at least six months. The requirements include a volunteering section, a physical section, a skills section and the expedition. Additionally, participants must spend an extra three months on one of the sections (Volunteering, Physical, or Skills), decided at the programme’s outset. This structure ensures a comprehensive and enriching experience, guiding students toward setting and achieving personal goals.

St Lawrence College is committed to integrating the DofE Award into its curriculum and is dedicated to providing students with opportunities to develop beyond the classroom. As these Year 10 pupils celebrate their achievements, they look forward to future challenges and successes, inspired by the lessons and experiences gained through their DofE journey. Following completion of the Bronze DofE Award St Lawrence students have the option to simultaneously pursue CCF and DofE, and will often work toward their Silver or Gold DofE Awards by the time they finish the Sixth Form.