The Duke of Edinburgh's Award, a national programme with three progressive award levels (Bronze, Silver and Gold) is designed as an adventure and major challenge for students, helping them push personal boundaries, gain new skills and enhance their life experiences. At Kingswood, Year 10 pupils are encouraged to begin their Bronze Award, Year 11 undertake the Silver Award and, in the Sixth Form, those who wish to continue to Gold are given the opportunity to complete the full programme. Generally around 70 Kingswood pupils participate in the Bronze Award each year with many continuing onto Silver and or Gold - an extremely prestigious award which is presented to students at St James's Palace.
To download more information please go to http://www.dofe.org.
Bronze, Silver and Gold expeditions for the Duke of Edinburgh's Award take place each year in some stunning locations around the UK including The Mendips, Forest of Dean, Snowdonia, Exmoor, Brecon Beacons, the Black Mountains and the Lake District where the students plan their walking routes, camp, cook meals and learn survival and first aid skills. A number of 'training' expeditions are organised prior to the qualifying venture. All expeditions include at least one night's camping.
As part of the expedition section pupils have to present their experiences. A number of groups prepare videos which summarise their expedition, two of which can be seen below.
Gold Expedition To The Lake District
Bronze Expedition To The Forest Of Dean
For the Gold Award there is an additional five-day residential project planned by the students themselves which, in the past, have included expeditions to Malawi, yacht skipper qualifications, running children's camps and participating in the National Citizen Service programme.
The skills section encourages students to discover what they are really good at, either by getting better at something they already do or by learning something for the first time. There is a wide range of skills that students can access from learning a musical instrument, taking up a craft activity or constructing a website. For a comprehensive list of the types of skills that can be followed please click on the following link: http://www.dofe.org/skills-section.
The Duke of Edinburgh Award also encourages students to make a difference to other people's lives and change things for the better – something that is very much part of the Kingswood ethos. Most of the students will undertake their voluntary activity in school such as joining the Eco-Schools activity or assisting in running clubs for junior pupils. Others find alternative options available outside of School, such as helping in a charity shop, working with older people or raising money for a cause. Many students find this section one of the most rewarding elements of the DofE Award and are inspired to continue with this after leaving school. For more ideas about volunteering please click on the following link: http://www.dofe.org/volunteering-section.
Kingswood offers such an extensive sports programme within school that all pupils have every opportunity to fulfil the criteria within school for this section of the Award. We encourage our students to be fit and healthy and have fun improving skills or learning a new sport either as part of a team or individually. Pupils don't have to be super fit or top team players; the physical element just requires a sustained level of energy in physical activities which could include dance, rock climbing, football or riding. Please click on the following link for more ideas: http://www.dofe.org/physical-section.