The Royal Hospital School Celebrates Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Success!

Posted: 29th September 2023

oyal Hospital School (RHS) in Holbrook, Ipswich, is celebrating the amazing achievements of its pupils in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards Scheme which saw 143 pupils taking part across the school in their Gold, Silver and Bronze Award activities.

During the summer holidays, a total of 14 Gold candidates completed the residential section of their awards which involved being away from home for five days, teambuilding, working and living with people they had never met before. The exciting and varied activities included mountain biking, rock climbing, canoeing, kayaking, tall ship sailing, cookery courses and university summer schools.

Students also took part in their Silver Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, of the 44 pupils, 11 undertook their sailing expedition, while 33 pupils successfully completed their assessment in the White Peak. For the sailing expedition, pupils used the school’s Cornish Shrimpers to explore the local rivers Orwell and Stour over three days, spending both nights aboard the boats and cooking their own meals. Pupils were responsible for gathering information concerning the tides and the weather before deciding on the best expedition route, completing and executing their passage plan each day.

Finally, a total of 85 pupils from Year 9 completed their Bronze assessment expeditions at Rendlesham Forest. Over the 2-day period the pupils had to navigate their chosen route independent of any adult assistance. All teams successfully completed the 20 DofE conditions of expedition.


RHS pupils from Silver Assessment Team 2, commented: “The Silver expedition has shown us we can walk much further than we thought! We had lots of challenges like cows, stinging nettles, getting lost, rain and steep hills with heavy rucksacks! We have learnt so much about working as a team, communicating better and helping each other. There was a real sense of achievement.”

Amber Gowers, a Yr11 RHS pupil added: “The Silver Award is a big but great challenge to complete – it really tested myself at points. However, I would recommend it to anyone willing to test their strength whilst having some fun!” 

The Royal Hospital School has a thriving Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme; the School is one of the few to be awarded the status of an Independent Operating Authority. All Year 9 pupils are encouraged to pursue the Bronze Award and some 400 pupils are registered on the Scheme, with many of them completing the Gold Award. Expeditions for Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards take place locally and in Scotland (Rannoch Moor) or Northumberland (Cheviot Hills). There is also the option to complete the expedition on water in the School’s Cornish Shrimpers or on horse-back.

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