Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme

Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, years 9 to 11

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is a national scheme that encourages young people up to the age of 25 to get involved in a range of activities and to experience the UK countryside. It consists of three levels; Bronze, Silver and Gold. Students at each level have to carry out three activities for increasing durations. These are Volunteering, which could be working in a Charity shop, fund raising or coaching younger children, a Physical Activity, which may involve playing football, swimming outside school, running or gymnastics, and a Skill, which is often playing a musical instrument, but also includes drama, first aid and cooking.

However, the term ‘Duke of Edinburgh’ is often associated with groups of young people trekking through the countryside with heavy backpacks and it is their expeditions which the participants most look forward to, especially when it is over! Our pupils are familiar with cities and pavements and many are pushed well beyond their comfort zone when faced with a muddy track, a field of cows and a barren campsite without electricity. They learn to work as a team under pressure and it is certainly character building! At each level participants receive training and carry out a practice expedition, when a qualified adult can work with them to ensure that they can read a map, pitch a tent and cook on a gas stove. On the qualifying expedition participants are monitored remotely by qualified expedition assessors, giving them a real sense of independence.

Here at South Wigston High School, we currently offer the Bronze Award to our year 9 and 10 students and to those year 10 and 11 that complete it, the Silver Award. Both are recognised internationally by education establishments and employers and provide students with a ‘foot in the door’ during application processes.