An exciting new opportunity for our students was launched in November 2012, The Duke of Edinburgh’s award (DofE), the world’s leading achievement award for young people.
We decided to introduce the Duke of Edinburgh’s award because we believe that a DofE experience provides an additional dimension to our existing educational provision, which will have a profound impact on participants by providing them with the chance to develop skills for work and life, fulfil their potential and have a brighter future.
The fact that most employers now place significant value on the DofE award is reason enough for introducing it, but the benefits are far greater than giving our students ‘the edge’ when being interviewed for work or college places.
There are four sections to the DofE award which together aim to develop more rounded and compassionate adults, self confidence, new talents and abilities, greater self awareness, a sense of identity, respect and understanding of people from different backgrounds, cultures and walks of life, a sense of responsibility, team player skills and, independence of thought and action. In addition the DofE aims to develop stronger community links through the Volunteering Section.
The four sections are:
Volunteering - undertaking service to individuals or the community – undertaking service to individuals or the community
Physical - improving in an area of sport, dance or fitness activities
Skills - developing practical and social skills and personal interests
Expedition - planning, training for and completing an adventurous journey.
For each section the student chooses an activity, sets goals – what they want to do/achieve, that must be measurable by an Assessor, and an individual challenge. There is no such thing as a DofE programme but rather DofE programmes because every one taking the DofE chooses what they want to do.
Once chosen, the student then has to carry out the activity for a minimum of one hour per week over the designated period of time — three or six months.