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Remembering HRH The Duke of Edinburgh

In remembrance of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, we caught up with our Head of Outdoor Education, Mr Ian Martin, to hear about the benefit the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme has had on him.

Ask any pupils from St David’s College about the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (affectionally known as ‘DofE’) and you’re sure to get an animated, yet proud, story of triumph over adversity. Almost every student in Year 9 or above, who has passed through the Lion’s Gate will have taken part in some form of Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Expedition.


And perhaps more importantly, they’ve all got a story to tell from their experiences. Laden down under an unwieldy rucksack, map in hand, and blister pads at the ready, anyone who has taken on the challenge can relate with each other over this common ground.


While the expedition arguably provides the best ‘stories’, the other sections of the Award – the volunteering of time, learning of new skills, and participation in physical exercise, all play their part in creating the unique experience which leads to lifelong rewards. The combination of these four elements are what make up the lasting legacy of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and are something that St David’s College are very proud to be part of.


Setting out along an overgrown footpath somewhere in the depths of Northamptonshire in the early ‘90’s, I had no idea that the route would lead me to one day managing the whole Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Centre at St David’s, but I did return from that Bronze Expedition with the feeling that I could achieve things that I was willing to work hard for. It’s the same feeling that all of our DofE pupils, and over six million other people, over the last sixty-five years have felt, which is why it’s such a core element to the St David’s College Outdoor Education curriculum and so well regarded around the world.

As a teenager, I worked my way up to the Gold Award, which led to the honour of attending (and being able to invite my parents!) to a garden party at Buckingham Palace, where Prince Phillip personally chatted with us before we were presented with our Certificates and Pin Badges. Having met him again a few years ago he still had the same wit, charm, and interest to hear what everyone had been doing and encouraged our students to ‘keep interested’ in things. It’s a loss to hear of his passing, but a huge legacy to have left and one that St David’s College will strive to keep alive"


Ian Martin

Head of Outdoor Education

Throughout the week, St David's College has flown the flag on the battlements at half-mast as a mark of respect for HRH the Duke of Edinburgh. All of the St David's College Community will be encouraged to mark the late Duke's funeral by taking part in the minute's silence that will be taking place at 3pm, the same time as the funeral is scheduled to start, or by taking a moment to mark his passing when they can.







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