The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme is a highly regarded programme which is of immense benefit to the pupils who undertake it. Since its small beginnings in the College seven years ago, it has grown into one of the largest co-curricular provisions in the College. Indeed, as our own Operating Authority, we are the largest provider of the Duke of Edinburgh’s award in Manchester; there are currently over 75 students at various stages of their awards. We offer the Bronze, Silver and Gold awards, under staff who are BELA qualified and registered D of E Assessors.
To complete the award, students must complete varying lengths of time in Voluntary work, learning a new Skill, and taking part in a Physical activity. They then head out into the wilds to complete an Expedition where they must navigate their way through days of walking, and nights of cooking and camping. Our expeditions take place in Buxton and the Peak District, the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales.
The pupils sign up to the Duke of Edinburgh’s Bronze Award in the U4 and complete courses on map reading, compass bearing, camp craft and first aid. They will also attend three walks of differing ability in readiness for their expedition. Pupils will complete their award in their L5 year. In the Sixth Form, students can choose to take part in either the Silver or Gold award. Previous awards can reduce the time needed to complete advanced levels.
The Gold award also includes a ‘Residential’ section, where participants must spend at least 5 days away from home working for the benefit of others, with people they are unfamiliar with. Many of our Gold students choose to use their work for the Lourdes pilgrimage for their residential section.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is not an easy undertaking. However, we see the same benefits to pupils that University Admissions tutors and future employers will see; a sense of adventure, organisation, independence and teamwork. It is entirely uncompetitive and achievement focussed, but requiring a dedication and long-term plan. But more than all of that, it should be enjoyable and provide students with a real sense of achievement and satisfaction upon completion.
More information on the Award can be found by clicking here to visit the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award website.