A Bournemouth academy is encouraging more of its students to go for gold as a record number take part in the Duke of Edinburgh Awards.
Avonbourne College has entered more girls than ever into this prestigious challenge, which encourages young people aged 14-24 to ‘be the best they can be’.
And for the first time Year 9 students have been able to enter the awards so in total Avonbourne has 81 girls going for their bronze, silver and gold awards.
Principal, Jason Holbrook, said: “We pride ourselves in being one of the main hubs locally for the Duke of Edinburgh awards.
“The awards encourage young people to be the best they can and that very much mirrors our ethos here at Avonbourne.
“This is just one of many extra-curricular activities we encourage our students to participate in as we are so much more than an exam factory.
“We are passionate about helping our young women to reach their full potential and discover the talents that are unique to them and schemes such as this help to do just that.”
More than 50 Avonbourne girls have just completed a two-day expedition in the Purbecks to round-off their bronze award.
To achieve their bronze award the youngsters aged 13 and 14 had to complete a range of voluntary work, physical and skills activities over three to six months before embarking on the final two-day outdoor mission.
A further 13 students aged 15 and 16 are finishing their silver and 12 girls now at Avonbourne Sixth Form are going for gold.
The gold challenge has seen the teenagers spend a whole year on voluntary, physical and skills activities.
And in July they will complete their gold by undertaking a four-day expedition in the Lake District.
Sixth former, Katie Butcher, has achieved both her bronze and silver awards while studying at Avonbourne and is set for gold in the summer.
She said: “We’ve had so much support from Avonbourne and our Duke of Edinburgh leaders every step of the way.
“I’ve learnt so many new skills and to have this on my CV is proving to be great for university and job applications.
“This has been a fantastic experience and I found once you’ve embarked on the Duke of Edinburgh awards you just want to keep going and achieve higher.”
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