The Duke of Edinburgh's Award is the premier youth achievement award in the country and is highly regarded by employers and universities. The programme provides students with the opportunity to develop practical and social skills, nurture their personal interests and talents and become more independent.
CCHSG first offered the DofE in September 2010 with the aim of building a vibrant centre that provided the opportunity for all students to access the benefits of DofE. Initially only the Bronze Award level was offered, but we now have a very well established programme and are officially accredited to run the Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards, with over 120 students taking part each year. Completion rates are excellent, with a 95% completion of the Bronze Award last year.
The participants volunteer with many local and national charities, undertake a range of physical activities, gain new experiences and master a new skill or hone their abilities in an existing one. At each level they undertake two expeditions, which get progressively more challenging as they move from Bronze to Gold. The Expedition section promotes team spirit, the ability to compromise and recognise the skills of others and, as students will tell you, provides a source of many happy memories.
All CCHSG students will regularly be informed about the school’s DofE programme and given the opportunity to take part.
The main difference between the Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards is the minimum length of time they take to complete, how challenging they are and the minimum age that you can start. Activities for each DofE section take a minimum of one hour a week over a set period of time, so they can be fitted in around academic study, hobbies and social lives. Development and regular progress must be shown and all activities must be completed by the participant’s 25th birthday.
Bronze – CCHSG offers this in Year 10
Silver – CCHSG offers this in Year 11
Gold – CCHSG offers this in Year 12
Volunteering is all about making a difference to other people’s lives. Students choose their own activity which could be anything from conservation work, raising money for charity or working with older people to starting a local recycling campaign. The Volunteering section is about giving your time to help others and change things for the better. For the Bronze Award the volunteering section runs for a minimum of 3 months; Silver 6 months and Gold 12 months.
This is a chance to focus on health and fitness. The only requirement is that the activity chosen requires a sustained level of energy and physical activity. For example you could improve your football, rock climbing or dance skills or try a completely new sport or activity. The activity can be completed as part of a team or alone. It is not necessary to achieve at a very high standard or be incredibly fit – it’s the personal progress that counts. For the Bronze Award the Physical section takes place over 3 months;Silver 6 months and Gold 12 months.
The Skills section is about working to develop skills in a chosen area. This could mean getting better at something you already do, like playing a musical instrument or learning something for the very first time, like how to design a website. For the Bronze Award the Skills section takes place over 3 months; Silver 6 months and Gold 12 months.
Students plan and complete a practice and qualifying expedition as part of a small team. The focus is on developing communication and leadership skills as well as resilience and independence.
Residential section (Gold Award only)
Gold Award students complete an additional Residential volunteering section. For example helping at a National Trust site in the UK or working with children in India. This takes place over a minimum of 5 days and 4 nights.
For further general information about the DofE Award see www.dofe.org
Information and application packs can be downloaded from the links below: