Students develop exceptional character
Headteacher Vince Groak reports on the success of the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme at Hessle Academy:
“Students develop exceptional character - this statement is at the top of all of our school vision documents and, of course, it is very difficult not only to deliver, but also to measure. And yet, in a world full of change and worry, an individual’s character is arguably of far more value to young people than any bagful of qualifications that we might help them to secure.
Which is why the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme is such an important arm of what we do at Hessle Academy. This was reintroduced to our school in 2018, but it has been under the leadership of Art teacher, Kate Moore, since 2019 that this has really blossomed. Before, and throughout Covid, Kate (and Michelle Edwards) have been quietly building up this program and carefully making minor adjustments to it to ensure it can still be delivered regardless of the pandemic. And now it is a genuine strength of our school, providing unique opportunities for some of our more vulnerable students and giving them a real opportunity to shine.
On a weekend in mid-March, it was time for the practice expedition for the Bronze Award cohort. 48 students in Years 9 and 10 walked for around six hours each day (a total of around 28 kms) around our area as well as practising their campcraft skills. As you would expect, there were many tired and blistered feet by the end of the Sunday hike, but all were deeply satisfied with what they had achieved. This would not be possible without the voluntary support of so many of our staff.
In early April, many of these colleagues will be doing it again, this time to support our Year 11and 12 students who are camping out for their Silver Award. It is remarkable that so many of our staff are prepared to give their precious weekend time to support our students and we are very grateful to them.''