On Wednesday 22 May, ten Upper Sixth students and three recent OEs attended a Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold Award presentation in the gardens of Buckingham Palace in recognition of their exceptional achievements in completing this prestigious award.
The event was hosted by HRH the Earl of Wessex, HRH the Countess of Wessex, and HRH Prince Michael of Kent, supported by a number of guest presenters. Students were invited from all over the country, a number of whom were from schools and youth organisations in Surrey. It was a privilege to have 13 Epsomians at this event, accompanied by their proud parents, the Headmaster and Head of DofE, Mr Dan Reeve.
The weather was glorious and the group was able to tour the Palace gardens before meeting the Earl of Wessex, who applauded the students’ efforts and the support offered to them by parents and DofE leaders. Guest presenter Crista Cullen (triple GB Olympic Hockey player and Olympic Gold medallist in 2016), then spoke to the group about challenges, failure and success, and the value that DofE Gold holds for their futures, before presenting the students’ certificates.
Epsom College’s DofE programme has been reformed over the last three years, with an extensive Gold programme now firmly embedded into the Sixth Form.
120 pupils have signed up for the challenge over the last three years, and of the 70 who are eligible to complete it at this stage, 45 have already done so, with many more set to complete over the coming weeks. These numbers rank Epsom College as a leading DofE Centre for uptake and completion of Gold DofE in the UK. The College is proud of the positive attitude that students have shown towards the DofE and the Gold award in particular.
The Gold DofE award remains one of the most highly-valued qualifications available to students, made that much more prestigious due to the commitment and determination that it demands. Applications to join the programme are accepted from Lower Sixth pupils each September and it is expected that a significant number of the current Fifth Form will be keen to apply, either as a direct entrant at Gold level, or as one of the 50 pupils that completed their Silver DofE earlier this year. The College very much looks forward to many more students receiving the opportunity to attend similar presentation events in the future.
Mr Dan Reeve