Good news Friday: Duke of Edinburgh success at Bolton School

The Telegraph, 01/05/15, weekly good news round-up featuring HMC member schools Bolton and Bedales.

2. Duke of Edinburgh success at Bolton School

Bolton School has been named the largest independent school provider of pupils achieving the Duke of Edinburgh Award in the north-west of England. It is also in the top 10 schools in the whole of the north.

The school received the accolade from Paul Griffiths, regional manager of the Duke of Edinburgh award, at a Duke of Edinburgh awards ceremony. He calculated that the 214 pupils who received their awards had contributed 4,000 hours of voluntary work to the local community.

He said of the Duke of Edinburgh award: “It develops problem-solving faculties and it extends pupils beyond the classroom and imbues in them the desire to never give in. Anyone who can work their way through the awards from Bronze to Gold can do anything.”

Sue Hincks, head of the girls’ division, told the audience: “The Duke of Edinburgh Award chimes with the same values that we uphold at Bolton School. A love of the outdoors, a willingness to learn new skills and the importance of giving something back to the community.”

6. Lambing season at Bedales School

Pupils from Bedales School, Hampshire, are getting stuck in during lambing season.

The Bedales’ flock of 16 ewes has recently started lambing, and students have been helping Andrew Martin, head of outdoor work, look after the newborns.

While all pupils are able to get involved with looking after the sheep, some can choose to involve it in their studies. The school became the first in the UK in 2006 to offer its own qualification in outdoor work as an alternative to GCSEs.

Two year 10 pupils have chosen sheep management as their special project as part of their outdoor work course.

One of the year 10 pupils, Eloise Evans, said: “Lambing has been my favourite part of the project as we’re given quite a lot of responsibility in caring for the newborn lambs; making sure the ewes have enough milk and that they are developing a strong bond. We’ve been getting up early to help prepare the pens and feed, and I’ve learnt a lot of new skills such as tagging, tailing and castrating.”

Andrew Martin, head of outdoor work, added: “The breeding programme offers students a first-hand experience of working with animals over a sustained period. Working with sheep, especially, is a great way to develop communication and teamwork skills, and allows students to fully appreciate the life cycle of animals from farm to fork.”

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