The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is a popular choice for students in Year 9 and Year 10. This year saw record numbers, with 100 students beginning to work towards their Bronze Award and 75 being invited on the Expedition.
The Bronze Award offers young people the opportunity to challenge themselves, acquire new skills, experience adventure and work with others to develop their confidence and self-esteem. Colleges and employers all recognise the values including commitment, time management and resilience that the Award instils in participants.
For many students, the highlight of participating is the 2-day Bronze expedition which involves learning walking skills, campcraft, map and compass-reading skills, first aid and emergency procedures. The students during the practice walk and the expedition planned their own routes, navigated themselves and cooked their own meals while camping. As always, the students impressed us with their ability to burn a sausage in 90 seconds flat! Some of the students also showed some admirable first aid skills on the first day, a testament to the hard work and diligence they displayed in their Expedition Preparation Sessions.
In addition to the expedition students must complete several months of Volunteering, Physical activity and developing new or existing Skills. Students complete these sections in their own free time, outside of school, their commitment to succeed is vital. Our students have undertaken a range of activities examples include:
- Physical: Football, Cross Country Running, Sailing, Horse Riding, Netball, Dance, Basketball, Rugby
- Skills: Tennis Coaching, Photography, Cooking, Crocheting, Python Coding, Music, Learning Gaelic, Baking
- Volunteering: Beavers, Scouts, Teaching Dance, Faith Outreach, Fundraising, School Librarian and Reading Buddies
Between 1 April 2022 and 31 March 2023, our students have clocked over 1,287 volunteering hours, the social value of which is £6,190. Many of our students from this year and last have contributed to our fundraising efforts, raising over £3,000 in two years. This year enabled us to purchase school supplies of rucksacks, trangias and tents for the students to use on their expeditions.
We are incredibly proud of the resilience and dedication that these students have shown over the year. Of the 75 students who completed their expedition in June, 42 have now completed their award and many more are close to completion.
Next year we will be taking our remaining Year 9 students on Expedition and inviting our current Year 8 students to take part in the award. Information will be delivered in assemblies and emailed to parents when applications open.