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Going for Gold – The Mount Excels at Duke Of Edinburgh Awards Again!


Recently four intrepid Mount Old Scholars – who only left school last year – were invited to Buckingham Palace to collect their Gold awards from Prince Edward and enjoy a sumptuous, celebratory garden party.

The Mount offers the opportunity for everyone to enter the Duke of Edinburgh Awards Scheme from Year 10 upwards, and we have a keen set of girls who accept the challenge each year.

Gold winners Caroline W, Izzy L, Ruby M and Eleanor S collected their precious awards at Buckingham Palace Garden on the May 13, in delightful sunshine.

The afternoon involved tea and cake, listening to inspirational public figures and the opportunity to meet Prince Edward.

Caroline & Izzy agreed:

“We absolutely loved celebrating together in the lovely gardens of Buckingham Palace. We became friends whilst doing one the DofE expeditions so it was such a special day for us. It was great to see everyone dressed so smartly and so many families excited about their day and surroundings. The atmosphere was joyous and uplifting. It was also a huge privilege to listen to speeches and talks including the one by His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh. Thank you DofE for giving us skills and memories to cherish and to The Mount School for encouraging and guiding us all the way.”

Eleanor said: “We had a lovely day at the palace. It was so nice to meet up with friends from school in beautiful weather. We met the Duke of Edinburgh, walked the grounds and enjoyed tea and cake. It was an incredibly special day.”

Years 10 and 11, have had a challenging year completing their Bronze and Silver awards, respectively, in The Yorkshire Dales and Moors and various destinations closer to York. They may well be future candidates to collect Golds from the palace!

Year 10s most recent Bronze award expedition was based in Nidderdale with the weather quite different on both days: the Saturday was cloudy and damp but Sunday saw glorious sunshine! All groups impressed the assessors with their teamwork and resilience. Some adopted the ‘spirit’ of the award really well and fully ‘unplugged’ themselves, leaving phones at home!

Miranda, Isla & Izzy said:

“Dancing to keep up our spirits when temporarily getting lost, lots and lots of karaoke and cooking rather messy meals were some of the highlights of the fun we had on DofE with our friends.”

Year 11s undertook their Silver award this year and developed resilience and teamwork with challenges including survival skills, first aid and using a compass, alongside difficult terrain and conditions for some of their expeditions.

Miss Bywater, who leads on DofE in school, said:

“Duke of Edinburgh allows pupils to build themselves as a person. The hikes are demanding, with heavy rucksacks, but the girls work hard together to overcome any challenges and are left with fond memories and stronger friendships. It’s great that pupils can select sports and hobbies they love and show progression and submit for DofE. Volunteering in the local community benefits us all. And while it demonstrates commitment and strength of character for university applications, the best bit is having a wonderful time in our beautiful countryside with friends. I really can’t recommend DofE enough to current Year 9s for next year.”

Principal, Mr David Griffiths, said:

“Huge congratulations to our recent Gold award winners. We always encourage our pupils to get out of their comfort zones and try new things. The teamwork and resilience demonstrated by all our Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme pupils whether at Bronze, Silver or Gold level will stand them in good stead for bright futures with excellent habits around commitment and diligence.

The Mount offers further annual opportunities to gain fresh experiences and test resilience, for example our upcoming five-week expedition to East Greenland this July, where a team of girls will face challenges they will remember forever, and perhaps cement lifelong friendships. As we always say, as a proud Quaker school, ‘Live Adventurously’.

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