CSIA students enjoy unforgettable summer of expeditions

Over 200 students complete Duke of Edinburgh and Ten Tors as restrictions lift

Adventurous students from Camborne Science and International Academy (CSIA) have finally been able to complete their Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) awards after the events were halted due to coronavirus restrictions.

When lockdown restrictions were imposed across the UK in March 2020, Mr Douglas, Director of Outdoor Education, explained, “We had no choice but to cancel all our outdoor expeditions. The first lockdown came just days before our Gold DofE students were due to head out to Dartmoor for a three-day practice expedition, which was a real blow after all the hard work they had put in preparing for the trip.”

“In addition, we had a strong cohort of students who spent months training for the Ten Tors challenge, only for the main event to be cancelled. The way the students dealt with these setbacks and adapted to new systems was incredible – they showed such amazing positivity and resilience.”

Once schools reopened and restrictions began to ease later in the academic year, students on the DofE course took on expeditions closer to home without the necessity of camping away from home – meaning they could finally complete the award.

“Our students were really quick to act and implement changes,” Mr Douglas continued. “By slightly adjusting the expeditions, all the DofE students who were stuck with incomplete awards could finally get the recognition they deserved!”

When camping restrictions lifted altogether in mid-May, CSIA students wasted no time in lacing up their boots, packing their bags and heading back out into the greater outdoors.

A total of 21 students spent three days in bad weather on Bodmin Moor, adding to the 38 students who already completed the Silver award in October. Next, 60 students from Year 9 enjoyed some scorching weather in June during their Bronze expeditions, bringing the total number of Bronze awards achieved to over 100. Finally 20 students from Year 12 topped it all off with 4 days in July on Dartmoor covering over 60km to achieve their Gold awards.

“The staff who support outdoor education at the school have been incredible this summer. We had a lot of students desperate to complete their expeditions meaning trips have been out almost every weekend since restrictions lifted.”

“The students of CSIA have seized the opportunity, with over 200 students taking part in expeditions and over 150 students completing a Duke of Edinburgh’s award. This is a fantastic achievement and a reflection of how important Outdoor Education is at CSIA.”

Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) Scheme is a nationally-recognised award that illustrates a school’s commitment to offer high quality extra-curricular provision. There are Bronze, Silver and Gold levels that involve helping the community or environment, becoming fitter, developing new skills, planning, training for and completing an expedition and, for Gold only, working with a team on a residential activity.

CSIA has one of the largest DofE provisions in the county with around 200 students involved in various stages of the award scheme.

Principal Ian Kenworthy said, “Duke of Edinburgh is about giving something back, pushing yourself to try new things and take on a challenge – we couldn’t be prouder of our students who have shown absolute dedication throughout such unprecedented times to push onwards and finally complete their awards. Congratulations to each and every one of them!”

Mr Douglas added, “With the expedition season looking just as busy in this upcoming academic year, the students of CSIA can look forward to a lot more fun out enjoying the coast, countryside and moorlands of the South West and beyond!”

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