story 1 April 2020

Musical youth

Margot, 16, is also a pupil at St Bernard’s Grammar School. She’s really upbeat about completing her DofE in isolation.

“My big brother’s just achieved his Gold Award and I’m determined to complete my DofE programme too. This coronavirus situation is scary and strange, but carrying on with my DofE activities gives me a bit of stability during isolation. It helps me to carry on with one of my favourite activities.”

“I’m currently doing my Silver DofE and have completed my expedition so am doing the Skills section at the moment. I’ve been having singing lessons since I was 11. At first I mostly sang classical and folk songs until more recently when I began to sing more musical theatre pieces. I’m being assessed by my singing teacher via email. She is watching me on Skype and I’m looking forward to seeing her and having my singing techniques improved.

“I’m doing dancing for my Physical section and do ballet, modern and take additional ‘elite’ classes in ballet and modern, as well as weekly body conditioning.

Margot dancing in living room

“I am being assessed by my ballet teacher via email. Through my dance school’s (Susan Handy School of Dance) live Instagram broadcasts, I have been able to continue dancing through this period of isolation, even if it is in my living room!

“My different teachers have been online at different times, following a schedule and answering any questions posed through comments on the live videos.

Margot dancing in living room

“I like being able to dance just as I would have done before and I like being given the opportunity to keep my strength and flexibility intact whilst also maintaining the social side of dance through the comments.”

“One of the pleasures of managing the DofE at St. Bernard’s has been to see students develop their independence, innovation and problem solving skills. As we are managing to adjust to a whole new challenge of teaching across the internet, we are starting to see how creatively all of our students respond to any challenges that they face.”

Philip Turnham, DofE Manager, St. Bernard’s Catholic Grammar School, Slough.

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