St Columba’s College in St Albans paid tribute to His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh before students and staff commenced a Bronze DofE expedition on the day of the Duke’s funeral, 17th April.
In agreement with DofE Hertfordshire, it was decided that the expedition should continue to honour HRH The Duke of Edinburgh. The school held a minute silence and College Chaplain, Brother Nelson Dionne, delivered a blessing before students started their two-day expedition.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme has been transformative for lots of students at St Columba’s College. The school’s DofE Coordinator, Patrick Burns, said:
‘The scheme has inspired our students to challenge themselves, develop key life skills and form new friendships. Once students complete an award, it creates a great sense of achievement and boosts their self-confidence, inspiring them to take the next step in their lives.’
St Columba’s College is currently ranked as the top independent school in terms of DofE completion rates in Hertfordshire. The school also places second in the county out of all education establishments for completion rates.
Students have enjoyed the volunteering aspect of the scheme and have undertaken more than 10,680 hours of volunteering in the local community since 2011. This has included supporting local charity shops, food banks, schools and animal shelters.
Headmaster, David Buxton, said: ‘It was right and fitting that the St Columba’s College’s DofE groups paid their respects to HRH The Duke of Edinburgh as they set off on their practice expedition last Saturday as the funeral took place. The Duke’s was a life well-lived and his Award Scheme develops the qualities of character that enable young people to both grow in self-confidence and develop a mentality of service towards others.’