​​​​​​​Pupils Rise to the Duke of Edinburgh Challenge

​ As the Duke of Edinburgh award celebrates its 61st year, students at Castleford Academy have been celebrating their own achievements and successes with the award scheme. Currently over 40 pupils are participating in the award which is open to Year 9 for the Bronze level and Year 10 for Silver level. The past 12 months has seen a large growth in the number of pupils taking part in the challenging yet very rewarding scheme. Pupils have to complete the 4 sections that make up the award.


Learning a new skill allows participants to try something new and further develop their own talents. This year has seen pupils having musical instrument lessons, improving design and make skills in the Product Design club and improving their singing & drama or dance in after school clubs. Libby who is completing her Bronze award choose to research the history of women's football. " I have always enjoyed football and was interested to learn more about the development of women's football so when looking at the long list of skills available I decided to do a research project."

With fitness being key to a healthy lifestyle all participants must complete 6 months of physical, this has seen pupils doing rugby, football, swimming, dance, gymnastics and gym work for at least 1 hour a week to pass this section.


Castleford Academy promotes community spirit and I have been so impressed with the volunteering students have done as part of the award. The award has seen pupils give 1 hour every week to either support their favourite subject, read and mentor younger pupils, coach younger rugby classes and teach dance skills in after school clubs.  Mr Gardham Duke of Edinburgh Manager said " I have been very proud of the time and enthusiasm that students have put into co​mpleting their voluntary section. Jake and Nathan of year 11 have spent 6 months getting up early every Sunday to help the work of The Wonky Donkey animal sanctuary in Knottingley. I visited the company and the manager Jenny expressed how grateful she was for the work and support the pupils had given in helping her maintain the charity and look after the Donkeys."

The highlight for all D of E participants is the expeditions that took place over the summer. Bronze pupils complete 2 days of walking being completing independent with Silver having to do 3 days. This challenging yet memorable section provides so many skills including; teamwork, communication, problem solving, determination, fitness, cooking, navigating and sense of humour. Ellis said " I really enjoyed my Bronze D of E, especially the expedition, so I was really keen to go and challenge myself at Silver. The award has helped me develop my cooking and camping skills as well as making new friends. I would recommend anyone who wants to challenge themselves to sign up for the award and speak with Mr Gardham or Miss Baxby"


Current participants in year 10 and year 11 are finishing off their sections and will be awarded their certificates in the coming weeks. This will also see the Bronze award being launched for current year 9s and the Silver award for the current year 10s.​