Gippsland Grammar celebrates The Duke Of Edinburgh Award
The news of the passing of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh has saddened the Gippsland Grammar Community, which has been an active participant in The Duke of Edinburgh’s namesake program, The Duke of Edinburgh Award, for many years.
The ‘Duke of Ed’, as it’s more commonly known, is an international award available to all 14-24 year old and compromises of three levels, each progressively more challenging; the Bronze Award is for those over 14 years old, the Silver Award is for those over 15 years and the Gold is for those over 16 years old. Participants are required to complete four sections at each level: Voluntary Service, Skill, Physical Recreation and Adventurous Journey. Gold level, participants also complete a Gold Residential Project.
Gippsland Grammar has 65 active participants in the Duke of Ed program in 2021, including a record number of Bronze participants. Most students join at Year 9 and each year the entire Year 9 cohort takes part in a bushwalk to Lake Tali Karng as part of the School’s specialised Year 9 program, which will count towards the Duke of Ed requirements for those students taking part in the Duke of Ed.
Gippsland Grammar’s co-head of Outdoor Education Cass Booth said one of the benefits of the program was it allowed participants to demonstrate ongoing commitment to a goal.
“Gippsland Grammar has been enthusiastically involved in the Duke of Ed program for many decades,” Ms Booth said. “One of the strengths of the program is that participants are required to do at least an hour of activity towards the program each week, so it’s not something they can necessarily achieve in a short sharp burst. And future employers really like seeing a Duke of Ed participation on a resume because they know that student has the ability to commit to something over a significant period of time.”
Last year Gippsland Grammar celebrated its first student in more than 10 years receiving their Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award. Year 12 student and Gold Award recipient Hannah Ng said participating in the Duke of Ed was both a challenging and rewarding experience.
“It is exciting to have achieved the Gold level of the award, having previously completed Silver and Bronze,” Hannah said. “I am thankful to Ms Booth and Gippsland Grammar for giving us the opportunity and supporting us throughout the award. I would highly recommend getting involved in the Duke of Edinburgh Award.”
Three more current students are also currently working towards their Gold Award and two current students are working towards their Silver Award. Ms Booth said the currently high participation rate in the Award reflected the vast benefit the program offered students.
“It’s not an award that only targets sporty students,” Ms Booth said. “All skill sets and passions can be accommodated and while many students can incorporate extra-curricular activities they’re already doing towards achieving their Award, the service aspect is a great section that often forces the students to step outside their comfort zones. Many of our students do things like play music at local nursing homes (pictured below), help at the local toy library or clean up at the RSPCA.”
Last year, Gippsland Grammar also had two students participate in the Duke of Ed’s ‘Victoria’s Young Award Leader’ program. Year 12 student Molly Howard said the Young Award Leader program helped her share with her fellow Gippsland Grammar students about the benefits of the Duke of Ed.
“During Term 2 (last year) I completed an online course to become a Youth Assistant Leader (YAL),” Molly said. “Throughout the two training sessions – which were on Zoom (due to COVID-19), the YAL co-ordinators split the participants from all over the state into breakout rooms where we discussed innovative ways to advertise the program (at our schools), and introduce it to people who were unsure of what it entailed, or how to go about signing up.
“To achieve my YAL certificate, I created a list of commonly asked questions about the program and put them on the VOS page. Furthermore, Hannah Fairweather and I created a video of our ‘Duke of Ed’ memories, which, as shown by the smiles in every picture, represent the fun we have participating in the program. We also presented the idea to one day install ‘Duke of Edinburgh Student Captains’ at Gippsland Grammar.”
To date, more than 130 countries and more than 8 million young people have participated in The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award program. More than 775,000 young people have participated in the Award in Australia in the past 58 years, with on average 40,000 very diverse participants annually working towards achieving an Award.
Gippsland Grammar background:
Gippsland Grammar is one of Australia’s leading co-educational Anglican schools, with a tradition of excellence in education extending almost 100 years. Located in the heart of Gippsland, the School has more than 1100 students across three campuses including St Anne’s junior campus and the Garnsey senior campus, both at Sale, and the Bairnsdale junior campus in East Gippsland. Enrolments at both junior campuses begin with a 3s and 4s kindergarten program at their respective Early Learning Centres (ELC) and Garnsey caters for students from Years 7-12. Gippsland Grammar is also the only boarding school east of Melbourne’s suburban fringe and is a home-away-from-home for students from far East Gippsland, South Gippsland, Victoria’s High Country and the Latrobe Valley as well as for a cohort of international students.
Gippsland Grammar’s 2020 VCE results:
Gippsland Grammar’s class of 2020 was among some of Victoria’s highest achieving Year 12 students. An amazing 23 per cent of the School’s Year 12 students achieved an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) above 90, which places them in the top 10 per cent of students in the State. And 55 per cent of students achieved an ATAR above 80, placing them in the top 20 per cent while 13 students secured apprenticeships and traineeships this year through the School’s VCAL program. Click here to read more about our 2020 VCE results.
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