The Duke of Edinburgh's Award scheme is an enjoyable, challenging and rewarding programme of personal development activities for young people aged 14-25. Taking part is not an easy option but it will almost certainly provide pupils with vivid memories which will stay with them for the rest of their lives. Recent research by the United Learning Trust (ULT) on the methods that major employers use for selection of new employees highlights the importance of the Duke of Edinburgh's award in the selection process.
The scheme provides opportunities for participation at three different levels and we currently offer the Bronze Award to pupils in Year 10 with the Gold Award being offered to pupils in Year 12. To gain an award a pupil must participate in four or five activity areas.
Our pupils have helped those less fortunate than themselves by giving their time to act as helpers for Riding for the Disabled, Bristol Zoological Gardens, St Peter's Hospice charity shops, Help the Aged charity shops, Cancer Research charity shops, church youth groups, Rainbows and the Beaver Scouts. They have also helped in the community by caring for disabled children, visiting the elderly and joining the St John's Ambulance Service. Pupils can also do their service in school by giving up their time to do recycling duties.
Planning sessions for the expeditions take place in the lunchtimes and after school. Pupils learn the basic skills of navigation and also come to terms with the equipment they will need to use to bring the expedition to fruition. The chosen venues for the expeditions are carefully matched to the capabilities of the candidates but include areas such as the Mendips, Exmoor, Dartmoor and the Brecon Beacons.
Skills chosen for study by our pupils in recent years include art, calligraphy, cookery, dress making, Greek, Italian, keeping pets, piano, pottery, singing and violin. Choices can be tailored to suit the interests of the individual.
Pupils have either developed an interest in a new sport or been given extra recognition for one they already took part in. These sports have included aerobics, badminton, circuit training, dance, hockey, judo, netball, riding, sailing, swimming and yoga.
Residential Project (Gold only)
Older pupils participate in a residential project. A wide variety of projects are available but those involving environmental conservation work often prove to be the most popular. Staff provide guidance on those courses which satisfy the award's criteria.
Participation in these activities is great fun but there is also a more serious side to the award. Pupils are encouraged to develop their own abilities to the limit and learn how to co-operate with others as part of a caring and sharing community. The scheme is well respected by university tutors and employers and many pupils have continued to participate in their chosen activities long after completing their Duke of Edinburgh's Award.
Why should you consider taking part in the Scheme? First and foremost, it is good fun. It will help you develop self-confidence and provide you with vivid memories, which will stay with you for the rest of your life. It will give you experience of working as part of a team and helping others. It will also enable you to develop new or existing skills and interests.
In the highly competitive world of today, university admissions tutors and employers are looking for more than just good academic grades. They wish to recruit young people who can demonstrate strength of character plus commitment in themselves and to others. Taking part in and completing the Award, at any level, will set you apart from other candidates of equal academic ability. The Expedition, Skill, Physical and Service sections will provide you with valuable experience that you can use on your UCAS Statement, at interviews and beyond.
You can obtain more information by clicking on the link below:
Duke of Edinburgh's Award website