The Dove Award

Lower Fourth (LIV) is a significant step up and in many ways a unique year. Just two examples are the move into the new community of a Senior Boarding House and gaining more independence over study with free periods. These new experiences and challenges are a vital part of shaping our pupils into flourishing individuals and LIV reflect on these as part of the Dove Award, a scheme run through our tutoring programme. It is structured across three Pillars: Community, Flourishing and Learning.

Joining a Senior Boarding House and tutor group means adjusting to new communities. Through the Pillar of the Community, pupils reflect on how they interact with both the local and global communities they are part of. Part of this is engaging in fun tutor group activities such as a film-making workshop, the annual Bonfire Guy making competition, and projects related to Black History Month and International Women’s Day. It also consists of year group activities such as a trip to Bletchley Park in the Autumn Term, and an outdoors Team Building day in the Spring Term. Through reflection on their engagement in these activities, pupils see how they embody the School Values of Trust, Encouragement, Mutual Respect, Dynamism, Excellence, Innovation, Service and Balance.

The Pillar of Flourishing is about developing to become the best version on oneself, both physically and mentally. This takes place through discussions and activities during weekly tutor times. This year, sessions have included mental wellbeing, a growth mindset, the practising of kindness, listening skills and empathy, and how to maintain healthy digital relationships.

Through the Pillar of Learning, pupils reflect on the increasing academic challenge of LIV and strive to take control of their own studies. The central activity is completing a substantial piece of super-curricular work and reflecting on how the School’s Academic Qualities of Risk Taking, Resourcefulness, Determination, Reflection and Development have been employed through this.

The Award culminates in a Dove Ceremony in the Summer Term, in which we recognise and celebrate projects which exhibited excellence in one or more of the Academic Qualities, as well as other pupil successes. The following is just a small selection of the many exceptional and wide-ranging projects we saw this year: a research project on the James Webb Space Telescope, an essay on the development of Christian hymns, a design for a bird box, a tote bag created from raw fabric, a soufflé, a research project on the Haenyeo (‘Sea Women’), a transcription of violin solos by ear, and a research project on the impact of WW2 on women’s fashion.

The LIV is a transformative year, readying pupils for the next major phase of their education. Through the Dove Award, we hope pupils will appreciate how much they have grown throughout the year and feel prepared to embrace the next stage as they enter Upper School.

Mr Alec Howells
Deputy Head of Lower School and Teacher of Computer Science

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