Duke of Edinburgh's Award
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is a voluntary, non-competitive programme giving young people the opportunity to experience new activities and develop existing skills. The Award is widely recognised within the education system and by future prospective employers. Its balanced programme of activities support the individual’s personal and social development and encourages them to take part in exciting, challenging and enjoyable things in their free time. Some of the benefits to students undertaking the Award are:
- A sense of identity; increased self-belief and self-confidence
- Enjoyment and building positive team focussed relationships
- New skills, talents and abilities
- Exciting opportunities
- A sense of achievement; the DofE Award is achievable by all
- Independence; planning, problem solving, leading
There are three levels to the DofE Award (Bronze, Silver and Gold). Students in Year 9 and Year 10 who have chosen to participate this year will complete the Bronze Award for which there are 4 sections:
|Volunteering – undertaking service to individuals or the community||3 months, 1 hour per week minimum*|
|Physical – improving in an area of sport, dance or fitness activities||3 months, 1 hour per week minimum*|
|Skills – developing practical and social skills and personal interests||
3 months, 1 hour per week minimum*
|Expedition – planning, training for and completion of an adventurous journey||
Practice: 1 day/1 night Qualifying: 2 days/1 night
*Students will also have to complete an additional 3 months in one of these sections.
Students will be responsible for planning their own programme of activities which can include attending enrichment activities and/or after-school clubs or groups, both within the Academy or elsewhere. There will be support provided by staff within the Academy to mentor, advise and guide students through the programme. The fourth section, the expedition, will be arranged by fully qualified members of staff and appropriate training will be provided.
Written by a Year 10 Student.
"In 2017, Year 9 and Year 10 were given the opportunity to participate in the Duke of Edinburgh programme and complete their Bronze Award. The students who applied for DofE are currently completing their Volunteering, Skills and Physical sections within the programme and starting to prepare for their expeditions taking place on the 9thand 10thof June, the Practice expedition, and on the 6thand 7thof July, the Qualifying expedition.
To complete the Bronze award the participants, had to decide how long they want to do each section for. Two of the sections have to last 3 months and the third one must be 6 months, doing 1 hour minimum each week from each section. To make it easier for the students, the teachers in AVA have given out a wide range of activities to do after school that can count towards completing their sections.
On the first meeting, the students has been put into groups of 4-7 with their friends, so they can start developing their teamwork and work towards the successful assessed expedition. Each groups have meetings in two weeks and the meetings are based around ‘eDofE and Award Support and Expedition Planning’, up until the Qualifying expedition. The meetings between the 10thof July and the 19thwill be about ‘Expedition Presentation’.
All teams will have and Expedition Training Day on the 28thof April. The students will have to learn about the followings, First Aid and emergency procedures, an awareness of risk and health and safety issues, Navigation and route planning, Map skills, Compass skills, Camp craft equipment and hygiene, Cooking,Countryside Highway and Water Sports Safety Codes, Observation recording and presentation, Teambuilding.
For most students the most exciting part the expeditions themselves, however it will not be easy to complete, even though the Bronze Award is about appreciating the outside world and learning basic skills so that the students can keep themselves safe in any conditions during camping. The Bronze Award is more local than the Silver and Gold so that the supervisors are sure there’s no chance of the participants getting lost. To make the trip even safer each group can have ONE mobile phone, but ONLY for emergency use. On the Practice and the Qualifying expeditions are very similar. On the Practice Expedition the students will be taken to a drop off point where they meet their supervisor and split into their groups. The students will have to work with their group to navigate themselves to the campsite from the drop off point, but the supervisor will be there if the students need help. As soon as a group arrives to the campsite they will have to put up their tent(s) and make their own dinner. After a night at the campsite the students will go straight home, however on the Qualifying Expedition the situation will be different as they will have to pack all their stuff up in the morning then walk to another check point, and they also won’t be supervised during the walk.
The important thing about DofE is to understand that this will help the students to learn independence, a variety of skills and most importantly teamwork that is also very much valued in AVA, other school and companies, therefore it will help the students later on in life too".