Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme

What does the course aim to do?

Prince Philip has written:

“Young people growing up in this modern complicated world have many difficulties to face, and opportunities for personal achievement are often limited. At the same time parents, teachers, voluntary organisation leaders and employers, who recognize their responsibilities towards young people, also have their problems.

“This scheme is intended to help both the young as well as those who are concerned for their welfare. The object is to provide an introduction to worthwhile leisure activities and voluntary service; as a challenge to the individual to discover the satisfaction of achievement and as a guide for those people and organisations who would like to encourage the development of their younger fellow citizens.

“I hope that all those who take part in this scheme will find an added purpose and pleasure in their lives. I am quite sure that all those who help to run it will gain that special sense of satisfaction which comes from helping others to discover hidden abilities and to overcome a challenge.”

What are the main areas of the Scheme?

Volunteering: to encourage service to others. One hour per week for at least 12 months.

Expeditions: to encourage a spirit of adventure and discovery.

Skills: to encourage the discovery and development of personal interests and social and practical skills. One hour per week.

Physical Recreation: to encourage participation in physical recreation and improvement of performance. One hour per week

Activities in these four sections are intended to complement each other and so provide a balanced programme reflecting different aspects of young people’s development.

For the Gold Award participants also have to complete a Residential Project of at least 5 days.

There are many options available in the five sections and it is intended that each student will be able to choose courses to suit his/her particular interests.

Each section is assessed but the form of assessment varies from course to course. Many aspects are assessed as the course proceeds.

The Scheme will make a significant contribution to the development of Key Skills.

See website: www.dofe.org for details.

Am I suited to this Scheme?

The scheme is very challenging and interesting but it is not easy. It demands “stickability” and determination as well as the ability to overcome difficulties and the ability to work with others. The Physical Recreation and Expedition sections require a “reasonable” level of fitness. Students need to be well motivated and to take responsibility in the sourcing and pursuit of their various course choices to complete.

Where will it lead in the future

The “GOLD” award is recognised nationally and is held in high esteem by employers and others as it says a lot about the character of the holder.

How will my time be organised?

A training session that you must attend will be held each week at lunchtime. It will cover expedition training, writing route cards and will give guidance in the other four areas. In addition courses will need to be attended outside school hours and you will spend a significant amount of time over the two years pursuing your interests.

The expeditions will take place over weekends and you will need to cover the expenses for travel and campsites.

As this is an optional extra course in the sixth form a charge will be made to cover staffing and administration of expeditions as well as registering for direct entry Gold Award

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