The Duke of Edinburgh's Award (DofE), is the name for a youth awards programme founded in the United Kingdom in 1956 by Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. There are 3 levels: Bronze, Silver & Gold.
The physical section involves improving your skills and fitness levels in a chosen activity, this can range from individual sports like running and horse riding, to dance, yoga or team sports like hockey and netball.
The skill section involves starting a new skill or developing an existing skill, common examples of these include playing an instrument, cooking and cake decorating.
The volunteering section gives you the chance to make a difference to people’s lives and use their skills in the community. This can include a huge range of activities such as helping at park run, an after school club, at brownies or cubs or at an old peoples home.
The expedition section is carried out in groups of 4-7. As a group you plan a route to walk each day, write up route cards and plan the food for the duration. You have to carry everything they need for the expedition clothes, food and tents etc. You camp overnight and cook your food on trangia stoves.
Bronze: This is not offered at TWGGS.
Silver: This is done in Year 10. You do not have to have completed Bronze to do Silver and we get many direct entrants. The volunteering, physical and skill sections should be organised yourself, with the expedition being led at school. This will involve a training weekend to teach the skills groups need to complete the expedition and then 2 weekends for the expeditions, the practice and the qualifier.
Gold: This can be started as soon as you turn 16. Again you do not have to have done Bronze or Silver to complete the Gold award. This also includes a further section, the residential. This is designed to get you to spend five days and four nights taking part in a shared, worthwhile activity with people you have never met before. A DofE residential will help boost your independence and confidence. This is the section which involves the most independence, as all sections are organised yourself. There is guidance provided for all sections, with suggestions for the expedition section in particular.
DofE is an amazing opportunity for you to develop many different skills. It is about challenging yourself to try something new, working as part of a team as well as showing independence. There is a huge sense of achievement in gaining the award as it shows a commitment over a period of time and pushing yourself to do new things will help you grow in confidence and develop new skills.
Headteacher Linda Wybar
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