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Raising resilient girls

As the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) Manager at Redmaids’ High School, I am constantly delighted and amazed by the endeavours and achievements of our girls. We are the largest all-female DofE centre in the South West and this year alone will see almost 100 Redmaids’ High School students start their Bronze Award. This creates a real sense of participation and develops great resilience in the girls – many of whom go on to achieve their Silver and Gold Award.

But it’s not all mud, blisters and back packs. I was delighted to attend a lunch with HRH The Earl of Wessex, a Gold Award holder himself. Real Tennis was The Earl’s physical activity for his Gold Award, which he achieved over 30 years ago. In line with this, he is visiting different Real Tennis Clubs around the world as part of a campaign to generate support for The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award. Through a combination of DofE engagements, Real Tennis events and fundraising activities, His Royal Highness will enable a new generation of young people to start their DofE journey in the UK and abroad.

The Earl was interested to hear about the activities our students get involved in and how we operate the DofE in our school. He wants to ensure that more young people have access to the programme and recounted his own, positive experiences of walking around the wilds of Scotland with his DofE group, spending time around the campfire and generally talking and sharing stories. He feels very strongly that this generation should also have these experiences, away from the distractions of WiFi and mobile phones.

We couldn’t agree more! As a school which is licensed to run the DofE, we are just embarking on our 2018 expedition season – although many of our pupils have been busy volunteering and developing key skills such as navigation and map-reading for some time now.

This is an exciting time for our DofE participants and I look forward to working closely with the girls as they achieve this prestigious Award.

As the HRH The Earl of Wessex reminded us, “the blisters vanish but the amazing memories last a lifetime.”

Report by Julie Owens-Powell, DofE Manager at Redmaids’ High School

Date Posted: 27 February 2018

Articles for: Extra-Curricular

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Redmaids' High 
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