Students from the mixed-ability Beaumont College have been presented with Duke of Edinburgh and Arts Awards.
Awards ceremonies held at the Slyne Road facility, saw three students presented with Silver Duke of Edinburgh Awards and three others recognised for competing sections of the programme.
The six students working on Duke of Edinburgh Awards are David, Natasha and Jadhaan, who all completed their Silver Awards, while Liam, Pip and Adam received certificates for completing different sections and are expected to finish the award in the new academic year.
The students, who have a range of complex needs including physical disability, cerebral palsy and autism, undertook an independent trek through the Langdale Valley earlier this year.
As part of their training, the students learned map skills and camp cookery.
Liam, a first year student at Lancaster participating in the Duke of Edinburgh Award, said: “It was really difficult to carry such a heavy bag and it was really about getting you head around it all. I enjoyed being part of my team and linking with friends I had known from school.”
Kelly Fray, managing director at Ambito Education, who presented the Duke of Edinburgh Awards, said: “We are so proud of all our students who have put so much time and effort into these projects, which has ultimately paid off.
“At Beaumont College, we’re committed to giving our students every opportunity to learn and grow. That’s exactly what these programmes are about.”
Additionally, students work towards Arts Awards every year, which are accredited by Trinity College London. The college currently has 27 students working towards the awards.
This year the students impressed Trinity College London’s moderator “Buzz Bury” who commented: “These are really well presented portfolios and the students work is of a very high standard!”
Each student must create a portfolio to record their creative experiences and learning over the course of year including; research into artists’ work, visiting cultural organisations, being part of an audience, creating their own work, leading workshops and sharing their artwork in either exhibitions or shows.
On his project’s evaluation, Liam Worsley said: “I had never done any performance before. At school I didn’t like physical contact, I wouldn’t allow anyone to touch me. Now I have done a performance with lots of lifts and dance in it. I now I like to help my friends and think about how other people feel.”
David Whitaker, the Right Honourable Mayor of Lancaster, said: “I’m delighted to see how hard the students at Beaumont College have been working. The college is a great asset to the area and shows how important the creative arts are!”
Beaumont College of Further Education, provides a person-centred curriculum to young people with physical and learning disabilities, ages 19 to 25. Its Duke of Edinburgh programme is among the first for students with this level of complex needs.
It has presented its approach to the Royal College of Occupational Therapists, to inform other organisations about its use of the award to progress students’ independent skills.