Duke of Edinburgh Awards
Join us for an adventure- join DofE!
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, fulfill 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
DofE at West Kirby School
At WKS 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.
There are several school staff who volunteer to support pupils through their training and expeditions:
- Mrs Draycott
- Mr Scullion
- Miss Killey
- Mr Cox
- Mr Jones
- Miss Gilmartin
- Mr Davies
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 WKS 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!
Here’s what some of our pupils say about doing their DofE:
“I’ve discovered more about myself and what I’m capable of and I’ve also learned more about my peers and been able to make some great friends. I’ve become more independent and I’ve learned a bunch of new skills like map reading. I think without a doubt that if I hadn’t done DofE then I wouldn’t be as happy as I am today and I would be doing as well as I am in school.” -Euan
“I feel proud I did it!”
“Absolutely amazing in every aspect! I learned new things, saw new things etc. Even when we had some issues, everyone fought through them and kept their spirits up. I genuinely will never forget this”
“I’ve gained great confidence. I know that I can cope in difficult situations and I am more resilient”
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