Duke of Edinburgh's Award
The Duke of Edinburgh Award is a national programme that helps young people to learn new skills, and develop existing ones, through a range of challenges. There are 3 levels to work towards; Bronze, Silver and Gold. Students are expected to learn a new skill, participate in physical activities and undertake community service in addition to preparing for, and taking part in, overnight camping expeditions.
The Bronze Award is open to all students at Esher High School in Year 9. The application process begins at the start of the Autumn term and students will have training sessions in school to prepare them for the Expedition. They will also attend a weekly after school club.
To achieve your Bronze Award, you must complete the following for one hour a week, for either 3 or 6 months:
- Service – The chance to volunteer in your local community, helping those who are less fortunate than yourself. Volunteering may involve working in a charity shop or helping to coach at your local sports teams or even walking a neighbour’s dog.
- Skill – The chance to learn something new - either to learn a language, a musical instrument or even a life skill such as cooking or to extend your knowledge of something you are already learning how to do.
- Physical – The chance to let off some steam through sport and physical activity. You can either develop a current sport you play or take up the challenge of something new.
Expedition – For your Bronze Award, you will take part in a 2 day and 1 night practice expedition and then the same for your qualifying expedition. You will have training sessions in school on navigation, map reading, camp craft and how to light a camping stove, so you are fully prepared for the expeditions. These weekends are the chance to get out into the countryside and show how you can work as a team, navigate and be self-sufficient and have a real sense of achievement.
The Silver Award is offered to students in Year 10, who have successfully completed their Bronze Award. To achieve your Silver Award, you will volunteer for 6 months and participate in a physical activity and learn a skill – one for 3 months and the other for 6 months. The Silver expedition is more challenging and is 3 days walking and 2 nights camping.
You will have the chance to work towards your Gold Award after you leave Esher High School. It is widely offered locally, either at Esher College, other local 6th Forms and through voluntary groups.
Completing DofE is an invaluable experience. You will learn so much about yourself and how to overcome challenges, while having a lot of fun. Importantly, it will add value to any UCAS application and your CV.