Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme
The Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme challenges young people aged 14 to 25 throughout the world to serve others, acquire new skills, experience adventure and make new friends. Students may enter at Bronze, Silver and Gold levels, in Years 9, 10 & 12 respectively. As well as after school skills sessions, participants must also complete many elements in their own time. Commitment is vital. Each award should add purpose and pleasure to a young person's life and their achievements are widely recognised in education and employment.
Students participating in DofE can expect to gain valuable experience of working with others both through voluntary work and through teamwork. Students can build their self-confidence by setting and then working towards the goals they set themselves. They will also get to push their boundaries, go exploring, discover new things about the world around them, and hopefully also discover something new about themselves.
The Award is comprised of the following sections:
- Volunteering (helping people in the community)
- Skills (covering almost any hobby, skill or interest)
- Physical Recreation (sport, dance and fitness)
- Expeditions (training for, planning and completing a journey on foot or horseback, by boat or cycle)
- Residential Project: Gold Award only (a purposeful enterprise with people not previously known to the participant)
The Award is widely recognised by employers and those involved in education. Some of the benefits to young people include; developing self-confidence and self-reliance, gaining a sense of achievement and a sense of responsibility, discovering new skills, interests and talents and developing leadership skills and abilities. They can also discover exciting opportunities, make new friends, experience teamwork, problem-solving and decision-making, increase their motivation, enhance their self-esteem and develop their communication skills. They will also, of course, have fun! The Award is closely linked with many Government initiatives across the UK.