Students from Varndean School received awards for their voluntary work, research projects and an expedition at the Brighton and Hove Duke of Edinburgh Awards (DofE) ceremony.

Setting the bar high for the number of students receiving awards, 64 Varndean students were awarded bronze awards and 21 students received silver.

While working towards their awards, students were involved in an array of activities, including completing a pier to pier swim, helping out at Brownies and in charity shops. They have learnt how to make dresses, cook meals and some circus skills.

As part of the programme, they also completed their expeditions in some uncomfortable conditions.

Head of the DofE Award scheme at Varndean, Alison Browning, said: “There’s such a buzz about the DofE at school. Students love the satisfaction it brings and take great pride in overcoming the many challenges it presents.”

During the ceremony at Hove Town Hall younger students from Varndean School provided entertainment with a taster from the forthcoming musical, Oliver.

Another highlight of the evening was the screening of a short film made by Year 11 student Zack Stubbs, who completed his silver assessed expedition in the New Forest during the October half-term.

The film was made by putting a small video camera onto a golf club, held aloft as the group undertook a study of trees in the forest.

The school’s production of Oliver will run from March 20 to 13 2012. In the meantime, there will be a Year 11 production of The Crucible on December 19 at 7pm.

Members of the public can attend but they should contact Ed Taljaard, to check availability by emailing

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