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Duke of Edinburgh Awards Celebration

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Pupils, parents and teachers from the Girls’ and Boys’ Divisions of Bolton School gathered to celebrate this year’s crop of Silver and Gold Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) Awards. 

Head of Foundation Mr Britton congratulated students on achieving their awards during what has been an extraordinary time. He thanked parents for their help in delivering and picking up pupils in remote locations on a daily basis during their Covid-affected expeditions and praised the girls and boys for being imaginative in completing their service, physical and skills sections of the awards. 

Four students reflected on their achievements: Silver awardees Ellis Matthews and Iman Javid and Gold awardees James Hopkinson and Celia Logan. All spoke about learning the importance of giving time and assistance to others and said that they would highly recommend the Award to fellow pupils. They told of building up their perseverance and resilience capabilities; the challenging but rewarding expedition; of gaining new - and perfecting old - skills such as cooking, gardening, water polo coaching and playing the violin; volunteering and working for local and national charities; and gaining new knowledge about a diverse range of subjects. 

The Silver Awards were then handed out by former pupil and Pyranha Kayaks’ Marketing Manager Matthew Wilkinson (Class of 2007) and the Gold Awards by Head of Girls’ Division, Mrs Kyle, the recipients of which would receive their actual certificates at a venue in London in the near future. Mr Britton pointed out that so many pupils achieve the Bronze Awards across both Divisions that these are handed out in assemblies. In the Girls’ Division this year, a record 26 students completed Gold in time for the presentation evening. 

Old Boy Mathew congratulated all those receiving awards and recalled how he too had achieved the Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards. Mathew told how he had embraced outdoor pursuits whilst at the School, undertaking a wide range of interesting trips in the early noughties, including skiing in the Swiss Alps and 3 weeks of sea kayaking in Vancouver. He told how Bolton School had inspired his interest in the great outdoors and particularly his love of paddle-sports and recounted further excursions to Slovenia, Nepal and Menorca where he found himself out of his comfort zone as he tried to circumnavigate the island. Mathew said outdoor adventure will allow you to find people of a similar mentality to yourself, enable you to build your leadership and tenacity skills and to develop lifelong interests. 

Mr Britton offered a Vote of Thanks and commended the teachers who coordinated the DofE student activities –  Mr Jones, both Mr Bradleys and Miss Dean in Boys’ Division and Ms Marrs and Miss Lindle in Girls’ Division.

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