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Duke of Edinburgh Award 2015

INTREPID youngsters have secured a commendation by royal appointment after completing the first stage of their Duke of Edinburgh Award.

Five students from The King’s Academy, Coulby Newham, celebrated after being presented with the coveted bronze award in a scheme which is widely regarded as the world’s leading achievement programme for young people.

Year 11 students Chloe Graham, Kelsey Graham, Solomon Harrison, Eve Smith and Year 12 pupil Amy Taylor joined fellow Year 11s Tom Livesey, Samuel Hogg, Summer Robinson and Catherine Race, who achieved their bronze awards earlier in the year.

They were the first students from the academy to achieve the award, which is a new initiative for The King’s coordinated by facilities manager Andy Carr.

He said:

To complete the first stage of the award scheme the students needed to provide evidence of accomplishment in four areas including skill improvement and physical activity as well as working within the community and completing an expedition.

“They’ve gained so much from all of the individual experiences, from finding their independence to working as a team and helping others, all of which are invaluable skills which they can apply in everything they do in the future.”

DOE awards 2015To secure the bronze award the students took part in horse riding, map reading and navigation skills, volunteering with the British Heart Foundation, care of the elderly, a ceremonial foot drill, mentoring younger people and gym work.

They also completed a two day expedition visit to the North York Moors and Upper Teesdale.

Amy Taylor, 16, of Easterside, has now enrolled on the silver award programme alongside Chloe Graham, Kelsey Graham, Tom Livesey, Samuel Hogg, Summer Robinson and Catherine Race.

I thought that the awards programme sounded like fun and I knew that taking part would be looked on favourably by universities when I apply for courses in the future,” said Amy.

“It’s made me a lot more independent and also encouraged me to take on more responsibility around the house like looking after my brother and helping my mum with the cooking and cleaning.

“I had a great time, especially on the expedition, which I think has influenced my younger brother to take his bronze award next year.”

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Charitable Donations 2015

CARING students have made a difference to the lives of hundreds of people across the North East and Africa after raising more than £60,000 for three charities.

Pupils from The King’s Academy, Coulby Newham, presented cheques of £1,800 each to representatives of the school’s three adopted causes following a year of fundraising.

The money raised will help to support the work of The Butterwick Children’s Hospice, Stockton, The Great North East Air Ambulance and The Uhuru Ministries, Kenya.

Former King’s Academy principal Chris Drew, who attended the presentation, said:

Since The King’s Academy opened 12 years ago our staff and students have done a remarkable job in helping to support our three chosen charities.

“Our total of £60,000 is an incredible amount to have raised during that time and a tremendous legacy by the staff, students and parents of The King’s Academy.

“Whether as individuals, as tutor groups or even as entire year groups, our fundraising is always a whole school effort and I hope it will continue to make a difference to those people in real need.”

King’s Academy geography teacher Samantha Wills, who accepted the cheque on behalf of The Uhuru Ministries, Kenya, said that the money would help to provide shelter, food, books and clothing to children orphaned or abandoned due to civil war in the country.

This is an amazing amount which will go a long way to helping children in desperate need living in a really poor area of Kenya,” she said.

Community fundraiser for The Butterwick Children’s Hospice, Stockton, Tracy Bowstead, thanked the academy for its continued support, which has so far raised over £20,000 for the children’s cancer charity.

Donations like this are wonderful and show that the staff and students here at The King’s really do think about others before themselves,” she said.

Public liaison officer for The Great North East Air Ambulance Janet Hume added:

The Great North East Air Ambulance costs £4.5 million a year to run and receives no government or lottery funding.

“We are completely reliant on donations like this to ensure that we can continue the invaluable work that we do helping save lives across the region.”