Pupils in Senior 10, PVI and the Sixth Form have the opportunity to participate in the Bronze, Silver and Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards, respectively. The awards are nationally recognised.
The ‘DofE’, as it is colloquially known, is an integral part of a pupil’s personal development at School. It requires participants to engage in community service, complete practice and assessed expeditions, and follow self-selected continuous skill development over an extended period. A pupil’s chosen skill may be a sport, involve a hobby or activity, or be based on a new programme of study. The award is not competitive. Instead, it places great emphasis on personal development through working individually and as part of a team towards a challenging goal.
While participants at all levels are required to take part in an expedition which involves overnight camping, Gold Award participants undertake five days of wild camping. Pupils have embarked on expeditions to Ashdown Forest, the South Downs, the New Forest, the Black Mountains, Snowdonia and the Pyrenees in pursuit of their respective Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. They have also chosen to volunteer for organisations such as Oxfam and Momentum.
The Award encourages pupils to develop skills that are complementary to those they develop in School. Doing the ‘DofE’ allows pupils to thrive as mature, empathetic and engaged citizens. Most of all, it allows them to make friends and to have fun.