Duke of Edinburgh
Duke of Edinburgh's Award at the Math 2009 - 2010
The Math School's Duke of Edinburgh's Award programme has turned full circle this year. Last November, I met up with our first Gold cohort at St James' Palace to witness them receive their Awards from HRH The Duke of Wessex and the TV adventurer Charlie Boorman. Prince Edward put me on the spot with some casual questions in front of 200 silent witnesses and our ex-students (they all left in 2009) became eerily and uncharacteristically silent when asked by HRH if anyone had been abroad. "Er, yes, they have. Haven't you?" I urged, after a few too many moments' silence. Well, they did chat in the end, and then they and their mums and dads beamed.
I was very proud to see this cohort pick up their Awards. They were the first to sign up with me in 2005 when they were in year 9 and this represented the end of an impressive journey. They really are all grown up and a credit to us. This is such an important achievement for them to complete within their school days. It's very rare too, especially in a state school. A recent survey of major UK employers placed the Award as the single most impressive achievement that they would look for in a school leaver. But all that CV stuff aside, it just shows that they are adventurous people. I don't simply mean adventurous in the obvious boots and hairy knees way (sorry girls). I mean that they are prepared to take a risk, to give time to an excellent cause even if they don't know where it might end. They recognise that it is about the journey, not just the destination. It's about what they find out about themselves along the way.