Duke of Edinburgh Award
What is the Duke of Edinburgh Award?
The Duke of Edinburgh Award (otherwise known as ‘DofE’) is an award scheme that gives young people aged 14-24 the chance to develop skills for life and work, fulfil their potential and have a brighter future. DofE encourages teamwork and social interaction and helps young people to stand out of the crowd when applying for college or jobs.
There are 3 different levels of DofE starting with Bronze, then Silver and finally Gold. These award levels have time scales which aim to guide young people though completing different sections of their award. Sections are recorded by pupils online through their personal account on eDofE, which records evidence of the hard work and time they spend working towards their award. There is also an expedition at each level of the award, which involves camping and planning/navigating a route to walk in a team. Each level of the award involves completing 3 different sections of activity which pupils complete in their own time:
- Volunteering - Voluntary work to help others
- Skill - Developing a skill
- Physical - Progressing in a sport or physical activity
- Residential - (Gold only)
Duke of Edinburgh at West Kirby School and College
At West Kirby School and College, we’ve been providing our pupils with the opportunity to take part in the DofE award for several years. In this time, many pupils have successfully achieved their Bronze, Silver and Gold awards.
The DofE is a national award scheme which is renowned and greatly valued by colleges, companies and work places. Our pupils are as proud of their DofE achievements as they are with any other academic qualifications or achievements they gain at WKS.
Our DofE staff
There are several school staff who volunteer to support pupils through their training and expeditions:
- Mrs Draycott
- Mr Scullion
- Miss Killey
- Mr Cox
- Mr Evan
Pupils doing their award have weekly training sessions in school to learn and practice the skills needed for their expedition. Training sessions are fun and interactive! They involve learning some theory but also give pupils the opportunity to develop practical skills, such as:
- Teambuilding skills
- Learning how to use equipment e.g. put up/take down tents
- Outdoor cooking skills and meal planning
- First Aid
- Map reading, navigation and route planning
- 'The Countryside Code' and environmental issues
- Problem solving skills
- Using eDofE
- Team work, building relationships and tolerance
- Going outdoors - doing practice walks in the local area
- Having fun!
Many pupils have difficulties with social interaction, communication, language and emotional regulation. These skills are promoted though the training sessions and additional work throughout school. The DofE staff help pupils to develop these skills in a safe and supportive, fun environment. Sessions are interactive and differentiated to meet the needs of pupils.
We’re very lucky at West Kirby School and College as we aren’t far from Cheshire or North Wales where we do most of our expeditions. We also take advantage of what’s on our doorstep as we do some local walks around Wirral to put theory skills into practice such as map reading.
Why do it?
Our DofE pupils have gained valuable skills and had incredible experiences from taking part in their award at school. Sometimes doing the award is not always easy- training sessions, activity sections and the expedition can all be a challenge… BUT it’s a worthwhile challenge! It builds resilience, confidence and self-esteem. Plus all the challenges, hard work and progress are rewarded by unforgettable memories, experiences and lifelong skills!
"Duke of Edinburgh is good because it gives me life skills like cooking and camping!"
"Doing my expedition was something I thought I'd never be able to do - such an achievement!"
For more information about the Duke of Edinburgh award, see Mrs Draycott in school or go to www.dofe.org
Follow our DofE adventures on twitter! @WestKirbySchool #wksdofe