The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme
Anyone aged between 14 and 24 can engage in the Duke of Edinburgh’s programme at one of three progressive levels: Bronze, Silver or Gold. There are four sections at Bronze and Silver level and five at Gold, each of which has defined criteria which must be met and assessed as satisfactory by participants.
With assistance from adult leaders, participants select and set objectives in each of the following areas: volunteering (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) and expedition (planning, training for and completion of an adventurous journey in the UK or abroad). At Gold level, participants must complete an additional fifth residential section which involves staying and working away from home undertaking a shared activity.
Benefits of participation in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme include increased self-belief and self-confidence, independence of thought and action and greater personal responsibility. The programme fosters the development of skills, both practical and inter-personal.
The responsibility for the meeting of the criteria for the four sections of the Award, including the paperwork, is placed squarely on pupils’ shoulders. For most, it is an extremely rewarding exercise and the pupils should complete the Bronze award during the Lent and Summer terms of the Lower Fifth form.