The Duke of Edinburgh’s award prides itself on being the ‘world’s leading youth achievement award, giving millions of 14 to 24-year-olds the opportunity to be the very best they can be’.
Over the past few years, St Gregory’s has been successfully running the Bronze award with participants from Year 10 to Year 12.
To take part in both awards, students are expected to complete activities in the following areas:
- Volunteering – helping people in the community. This could be any activity which benefits an individual or the community; for example, helping at Scouts or assisting elderly neighbours. Working in a charity shop is also a popular choice.
- Skills – hobbies and interests. For this section, participants should think about hobbies such as learning an instrument, having driving lessons or starting something new such as photography.
- Physical – sport, dance and fitness. With so many different clubs on offer at St Gregory’s, finding something fun to do won’t be hard.
- An expedition – training is given during the course of the year. This is one of the biggest challenges of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. The length of this increases with the level of the award: for Bronze, 6 hours of hiking a day over two days and for Gold, 8 hours of hiking a day over four days. Navigation is one of the vital skills that all Duke of Edinburgh participants must learn and it is really one of the most useful elements of the course, particularly for the expedition. Practice expeditions are great for getting the hang of the compass work and for getting used to the heavy rucksack, learning how to pitch the tent and cooking a meal on the camping equipment. Having completed the expedition, students give a presentation on the aim of the venture, which helps them to evaluate the experience and share it with everyone.
For the Gold Award, students must also spend five days and four nights on a residential activity. The activity can build on an existing skill, for example a course to improve keyboard skills, or can be something completely different like learning a new language or volunteering with a children’s holiday camp.
If you are interested in finding out more about the Awards please contact Miss McCarthy.