Duke of Edinburgh
At de Stafford School, we are proud to have a strong tradition of running the Duke of Edinburgh award. We are currently completing the Bronze Award with our Year 9 and 10 groups and the Silver Award with some of the Year 10s.
What does DofE mean to your child?
It is a fun adventure and it takes them out of their comfort zone. They have a chance to discover new talents and build strong friendships. They grow in confidence and resilience and develop important skills that colleges and employers are very keen to see in young people. Research says that students with a DofE award are much more likely to get a job in the future and to get a place at college.
The 4 Sections:
- Physical - They have to complete a length of time in a physical activity (sport, dance, gym, martial arts etc.)
- Skill - They have to complete a length of time learning a new skill (musical instrument, maths leader, photography etc.)
- Volunteering - They have to volunteer for a certain length of time (helping at a charity shop, helping younger groups at cubs, guides; taking on some environmental work etc.) We also have some volunteering opportunities around school. It should not be volunteering doing work that other people are paid to do.
- The Expedition - They have to complete two expeditions, the practice and the qualifier, where they navigate and walk as a group and camp overnight. This will also involve a relatively large amount of training, both after school and on one Sunday, including camp craft, navigation using a compass and a map, fitness, nutrition, cooking and orienteering. There will also be two practice walks: a short one around Caterham after school and a day walk to practice safety, navigation and team dynamics. All of these events are compulsory for DofE students. Parents will be asked to bring participants to the beginning of these events but collection will usually be from school.
Kit is expensive so we provide most of the kit you will need for DofE. The Duke of Edinburgh himself is adamant that this is an inclusive award so there is funding for anyone who might qualify for support. Previous injuries or existing conditions should also be no barrier to participating. Special dispensations are regularly given to participants to make the process accessible for all. Here is the Exped kit list that all students will need for the practice and qualifying expeditions. Here is the Day Walk kit list that all students will need for the day walk. Here is the Sunday Training Day Kit List that all students will need for the training day.
How to Apply
An application form will be distributed to students via an introductory assembly in September. They will need to apply, telling us about their previous experience and hobbies, how they intend to complete their skill, volunteering and physical section and why they are ready and should be chosen for this challenge. They will then have an interview. Again, they should prepare for this interview by researching and deciding what they will do for their three sections, (there are some ideas in the links above) and by being ready to explain why they want to do DofE. We will be looking for the following criteria: Enthusiasm for DofE; Organisation of the Sections; Evidence of previous commitment (so whether they are likely to stay the course); Attitude to life. Please practice this with them so that they are more confident. Places are limited so this process will determine if they will get a place or not.
Those who do get a place can still complete Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award with other providers such as Street Youth Centre Caterham in Caterham Valley or with Surrey Outdoor Learning & Development (SOLD) in Dorking.