Duke of Edinburgh’s Award
What is the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme?
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme (“DofE”) is a voluntary, non-competitive programme of activities for anyone aged 14-24. Its ethos is to enable every young person of every background to do their DofE and succeed, regardless of any barriers. It provides a balanced programme of activities that develop the whole person – mind, body and soul – in an environment of social interaction and teamworking. Taking part builds confidence and develops self-esteem. It requires persistence, commitment and has a lasting impact on the attitudes and outlook of all young people who do their DofE.
DofE at Roundwood Park School
Here at Roundwood we offer students in Years 9-13 the opportunity to take part in the Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards. Students achieve the Award by completing a personal programme of activities in four sections – they choose what they do:
- Volunteering: undertake service to individuals or the community. This develops compassion, commitment and the confidence to make a difference.
- Physical: improve in an area of sport, dance or fitness activities. This develops fitness, enjoyment and, depending on the activity, teamwork.
- Skills: develop practical and social skills and personal interests. This helps young people to realise their unique potential and gain greater self-esteem.
- Expedition: plan, train for, and complete an adventurous journey in the UK or abroad. This develops teamwork and leadership, and challenges young people to push themselves beyond their expectations.
“After completing my Qualifying Expedition I can honestly say it was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. Not only was it physically challenging but also mentally and emotionally challenging too! I have learnt that I have a lot more determination and will power than I ever thought I had, but also that if you have a team around you, you can push yourself to do things that you could not do alone!”
During the course of the Award our students are taught the skills necessary to undertake their expeditions, including mapping and navigations skills, food planning and preparation! At Silver there is a Practice Expedition which takes place in the Chilterns at Easter and a Qualifying Expedition in the Peak District after exams have finished. Both expeditions involve three days of walking and two overnight camps.
We also offer the Gold Award to our Year 12 and 13 students who have completed their Silver Award.
We are incredibly lucky to have a dedicated and committed staff who run our Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme. Every year we have a large cohort of students who manage to achieve their Award.
“I am so glad I have finished my Silver DofE Expedition! It was the toughest three days that I have endured in a long time, both mentally and physically. However, looking back on the experience, I am so glad that I had the opportunity to take part in it! I have learnt that I am a lot more resilient and determined than first thought, and that if I put my mind to doing something, I will do it! I have learnt how to deal with my emotions and channel them into positive thoughts, to help me get through the day. I am so proud of what I, and my whole team, achieved.”
To achieve an Award, the student needs to evidence the activities they have undertaken, show how they have progressed and that they have met the goals they have set themselves for each section.
eDofE is the online system that participants use to record their DofE programme and activities, and prove what they have done in different ways. Assessors can also submit evidence on behalf of the participants.
A DofE Award is an enormously valuable achievement and is recognised and valued by colleges and universities worldwide.
Emphasising the importance of highlighting the activities you have undertaken as part of your DofE programme on your UCAS or college application form, tells the institution that you have an ambitious and positive attitude as well as a range of interests.
Many top universities are now looking for much more than good grades and extra-curricular activities; they are interested in young people who can evidence a genuine and committed interest in their desired area of study.
“Learning the basic principles of camping, first aid training, and orienteering exercises throughout the year allowed me to become an accomplished trekker. I have gained a lot of character from this experience and recommend DofE to any young person from this weekend alone.”
In addition to literacy and numeracy skills, the UK Commission for Employment and Skills and the CBI define the skills and attitude that make someone employable as:
- Problem solving
- Team working
Having a positive attitude is also an incredibly important attribute in every industry, from customer relations to construction.
A ‘can do’ approach underpins success in working life by helping you to be resilient and adapt to changing situations around you.
DofE programmes help participants to develop each and every one of these attributes and skills – although they might not realise it.
For further information about the Award, go to www.dofe.org.
If you have any queries about DofE at Roundwood Park, please contact Mrs Godbee, our DofE Co-ordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.