Students are working on a variety of skills as part of their silver Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme. Several are taking up creative pursuits, such as music, art and writing, while another helps at a local scout group.
All of them have to complete a physical challenge, plus a skill and some voluntary work to quality for the Award. At the moment they are route planning for their expedition, but the skill section is one that they can work on at any time and they have to devote at least 30 hours to it.
Charley Copperthwaite has been singing for four and a half years and has lessons: ‘I am not sure if I would ever chase a career after it, but it is definitely a hobby that I really enjoy. During the Christmas showcase I did a duet with another girl and also sang in the choir. It was nerve-racking at first but once I got started I was fine.’
Laura Williams has been playing the piano for six years: ‘I was intrigued by how people read music and I wanted to learn myself. I go to a lesson for half an hour every week and try to practice every day.’
Emma Davidson is learning to play the guitar: ‘It is something I have been interested in doing for a long time and recently got an acoustic guitar. I have been teaching myself using online tuition and have taught myself the basic chords.’
Nicole Keeling writes in her spare time and has completed three novella-length stories, each of about 30,000 words: ‘I write fiction and use a mixture of genres. I have written a detective one, a romance; mainly dramas. They have been on websites where people can give their opinions. I tend to look over and read them again and if I get another idea I can add that in. I do a lot of reading and don’t know where my ideas come from but I do have an over-active imagination.’
Tyler Harris volunteers with a Scout troop in Corby: ‘I help with orienteerin, organise games and teach the Scouts to tie rope knots. I especially like the summer camps. Last year we were kayaking for four hours around Brownsea Island, where the Scouting movement first started.’
Christopher Weaver is doing art for his skill. He got a A grade at GCSE and is being mentored by art teacher Mr Procter: ‘I have done a few watercolours and detailed pencil work and have now started doing some oil pastels as well which is not quite as detailed, it is a different technique. Now I make time for it and it is really nice to get away from work. My favourite is watercolours but I prefer experimenting. Mr Procter has been suggesting things so it has been useful.’