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Students create exceptional Duke of Edinburgh Award mural

Two creative Beaconsfield High School students have been praised for a beautifully executed art project they recently completed at Fulmer Infant School, as part of their Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award activities.

Sisters Rajni and Amrit painted a mural depicting the Hungry Caterpillar and wildlife animals in the playground of the school, keeping their project hidden from the students for three months while they worked on it after school and at weekends. The Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award requires participants to complete 1 hour per week of volunteering over 3 or 6 months and, with the help of the girls’ aunt who works at the school, they decided to use this time to give back to their local community.

Rachel Smith, Headteacher, comments: I am so proud of Rajni and Amrit for their delightful artwork and embracing creativity and giving back with such gusto. Both students are thoroughly enjoying the challenge of the Duke of Edinburgh scheme and are thrilled with their big accomplishment. I’m not surprised they have ambitions for the Silver and Gold Awards.”

Rajni and Amrit are just two of around 500 students – almost half the school’s student population – participating in the Duke of Edinburgh scheme, making Beaconsfield High School one of the most successful centres in Buckinghamshire.

Mrs Smith continues: “The Duke of Edinburgh scheme aligns perfectly with the school’s Getting Life Ready programme, and so I’m not surprised that so many students embrace it. Only last December we celebrated the latest awards, with Mayor Anita Cranmer presenting 84 Bronze, 34 Silver and 14 Gold awards to Year 11, 12 and 13 students.

“We also celebrated as Kate Aldersley, South of England Duke of Edinburgh Operations Manager, awarded a Gold brooch to alumna Hattie Manners who – during her Sixth Form at the school – won a coveted place on the Duke of Edinburgh Future Leaders training course. I’m delighted to say that Hattie is now an accredited Duke of Edinburgh Assessor and will be invited to Buckingham Palace this year with our other Gold Award recipients to receive certificates from members of the Royal Family. None of the school’s Duke of Edinburgh Award activities would be possible without our wonderful staff giving their time to regularly support the programme and allow so many students to access all of its benefits and trips.”

The school’s Getting Life Programme teaches students the core skills for surviving and thriving in the real world, including teamwork, commitment, resilience, risk taking and creativity. The programme is at the heart of the school’s daily operations, subtly interwoven into lessons, extra-curricular, assemblies and as part of its House competition. It is a key strategy in achieving the school’s goal of nurturing happy, high achieving young adults.