Six former pupils of King Edward’s Witley (four of whom are from Surrey) were recently invited to Buckingham Palace to receive their Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards from HRH the Earl and Countess of Wessex.
The six alumni, accompanied by Mr John Attwater, Headmaster at King Edward’s, left the School in 2016 and are all currently at university but returned to attend the presentation which celebrated their success in the prestigious award scheme.
Conor Harmsworth and Matthew Reed from Godalming, Emma Willett from Elstead and Josef Peter Moore from Milford were joined by fellow pupils Mohammed Unais Qasmi and Claudia Bakare, all six of whom began their Duke of Edinburgh’s journey in Year 9 when they enrolled for the Bronze Award. King Edward’s runs a very active Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards programme and is a D of E Licensing Authority in its own right. All Year 9 pupils participate in the Bronze Awards and approximately half of these pupils progress to take the Silver Award with a half of those continuing to the highest accolade - the Gold Award - before they leave to pursue their further education.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards, which marked its Diamond anniversary last year (60 years), is the world’s leading youth achievement award, providing millions of 14-24-year-olds with the opportunity to be the very best they can be by pushing personal boundaries, gaining new skills and enhancing their CVs and university applications.
Commenting on the success of the six alumni, Headmaster John Attwater said, “The Duke of Edinburgh’s scheme is recognised all over the world achieving the Gold Award is a very significant milestone, as the ceremony today testified. Because they are required to demonstrate a significant level of commitment, undertaking a range of volunteering, sports, skills and expedition related challenges, pupils who are successful have provided clear evidence of their personal motivation, independence, determination and drive, traits which are increasingly being sought out by universities and future employers.”