A Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is so much more than a ‘pat on the back’ for completing a programme of activities. It is recognition of a young person’s successful journey of self-discovery and development, renowned by employers and universities for the qualities young people have who’ve achieved a DofE Award develop.
AT Greenbank High School the Duke of Edinburgh scheme is a real adventure from beginning to end. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from, it doesn’t matter how bright you are or even how fit you are. Greenbank DofE accepts everyone who wants to complete their Award.
Duke of Edinburgh has grown and grown at Greenbank in the last few years. When I first started helping out there were only 36 girls taking part in the scheme. Now there are nearly 100, three times as many. The level of commitment from the girls and also the staff has also grown over the years. The girls see it as a massive achievement during their time at Greenbank and many go on to complete higher level awards at college or university.
The pupils find themselves helping people or the community, getting fitter, developing skills, going on an expedition and learning how to work and get on as a team. Their award can be full of activities and projects that get them buzzing, and along the way they pick up experiences, friends and talents that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.
Greenbank now offers two levels of the award – Bronze and Silver. Girls that want to do both awards start in Yr9 whereas the girls only wanting to complete Bronze start this in Yr10.
Most people are not aware of how much time and commitment the girls put in so here is a brief outline of what the scheme involves:
The Bronze DofE has 4 sections; Volunteering, Physical, Skills and Expedition. You must do a minimum of 3 months activity for each of the Volunteering, Physical and Skills sections, choosing one activity to do for 6 months. Plan, train for and do a 2 day (1 night) Practice Expedition. Lastly they must plan, train and complete a Final Expedition were the candidates will be assessed on their; navigational skills, camping skills and team work.
The Silver DofE Award also has 4 sections; Volunteering, Physical, Skills and Expedition. They need to do at least 6 months Volunteering and a minimum of 6 months on either Physical or Skills and 3 months on the other. It’s up to them which one they do for longer. If they have completed the Bronze award, they can choose the same activity for Silver, but they need to show development in it. It’s best to try something new! The Expedition section involves planning, training for and doing a 3 day (2 nights) expedition.
Mrs S Minshull – i/c of Duke of Edinburgh