Students were recently presented with their certificates at a prize giving ceremony hosted by HRH Crown Prince Alexander and HRH Crown Princess Katherine at the Royal Palace.
Once again a number of students from the British International School (BIS) had successfully completed the three levels of the International Award for Young People (commonly known as the Duke of Edinburgh Award).
Having spent weekends camping, and completed many theory and practical tests, all the students (and their representatives) were thrilled to have their achievements recognised by their Royal Highnesses at a formal ceremony.
HRH Crown Prince Alexander gave a speech at the ceremony to them, expounding upon the theme of the value of such awards, and he mentioned completing this when he was a student at Gordonstoun School. The BIS Principal, Ms Aleksandra Keserovic gave a speech extolling the virtues and importance of the education they have received, and the challenges they faced in fitting in the demands of this activity with their ongoing academic progress.
In total HRH Crown Prince Alexander handed out 14 awards; 1 Gold, 4 Silver and 9 at Bronze Level.
Following the official ceremony, the students and their guests, along with members of the corps diplomatique and other invited guests enjoyed a cocktail event. During this time students were able to discuss with the local TV and other media representatives exactly what they had been doing and they had enjoyed the experiences.
The Duke of Edinburgh Award is offered to students above fourteen years of age as one of the extra-curricular activities at BIS. Students had to learn both practical skills in these weekly meetings as well as undertake expeditions. During this meetings students learn about first aid, danger in the mountains, camping, orienteering, outdoor sports, and necessary equipment amongst other topics. They will then undertake two expeditions, per Award level, to demonstrate what they have learned; the first expedition being a training run, and the second used towards their Award level. In addition students must spend a certain number of months completing a form of volunteer work.
At the Bronze Award level students will complete an expedition over two days with one night away, and by the Gold Level this rises to one qualifying expedition of four days and three nights (which must be in “wild country” and also a separate residential of five days and four nights.
With their additional examination work, fitting in such a demanding series of activities can be stressful. In completing this students build their level of independence and a real belief in themselves, outside of their academic work. They feel that they have really achieved something when they pass each level.
BIS is grateful that to have this shared belief with their Royal Highnesses, who agreed, once again, to hold the Award Ceremony at the Royal Palace. In doing so it clearly demonstrates to the students the value that the Principal, Ms Keserovic, has for not only achieving excellent examination grades, but also overall development of students.
We are sure that many more students will complete this highly valued award in the coming years.