The Duke of Edinburgh Award
Teaching our pupils the value of resilience, self-reliance and service to the community
At Kingsford Community School we are proud to offer pupils the opportunity to take part in the Duke of Edinburgh award programme.
Founded by Prince Philip in 1956 and in place in many leading schools across the globe, the award celebrates diversity and offers young people an opportunity to gain new skills while creating memories that will last a lifetime.
Kingsford pupils taking part in the award scheme have the opportunity to work with the local community and give back to society through charitable work. They also enjoy adventurous journeys, which allow them to develop essential life skills such as resilience and leadership. Award certificates are also attractive qualifications for CVs and further education applications.
The award aims to inspire, guide and support young people in their self-development and recognise their achievements. This is achieved through a structured development programme that is personalised to each individual.
"I hope that all those who take part in this programme will find an added purpose and pleasure in their lives. I am quite sure that all those who help to run it will gain that special sense of satisfaction which comes from helping others to discover hidden abilities and to overcome a challenge”.
HRH The Prince Philip, The Late Duke of Edinburgh KG KT
Pupils at Kingsford may participate in one of two stages of the programme, starting with the Bronze programme and later progressing to Silver. The significant differences between them are the minimum time required to complete them, the level of difficulty, and the minimum age at which each participant can begin. Further details on the commitment required for each Award can be found here. Regular progression and development must be demonstrated by pupils throughout their participation on the programme. Pupils attend weekly sessions after school to complete their chosen activities under the supervision of qualified DofE leaders.
The award includes four key aspects:
- Volunteering: Undertaking service to individuals or the community
Volunteering is all about taking action and making a difference to other people’s lives. Pupils taking part in the DofE award have the opportunity to enrich their local community through a range of projects, while developing confidence and honing valuable leadership skills. Whether helping to collect and distribute food packages for local foodbanks, writing to isolated elderly people affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, or exchanging postcards with young sick children, our pupils have the opportunity to develop their sense of empathy and citizenship, hone their communication skills, and learn how their actions can have a real impact on the community around them.
“Working with elderly people has allowed me to think less about myself. Volunteering and helping others has given me a greater sense of purpose” Silver participant at Kingsford
- Physical: Improving in an area of sport, dance or fitness activities.
The Physical section is a chance for pupils to focus on their health and fitness and have fun along the way. Kingsford Award participants can choose from a wide selection of physical activities, with individual sports testing their endurance and resilience, and team sports teaching them the values of teamwork, communication and good sportsmanship. The benefits on pupils’ wellbeing and mental health are immeasurable. Pupils track their progress and have a strong sense of development and pride in achievement throughout this aspect of the award. The vast array of sports, from relaxing to extreme, that serve as a starting point can be found in the DofE programme of ideas for the Physical section.
- Skills: Developing practical and social skills and personal interests
From coding to cookery, and performing arts to robotics, the Skills section of the award allows Kingsford pupils to learn new talents, hone their existing skills and discover new things you love. Pupils have autonomy in deciding the skills they wish to develop, creating their own personalised programme, using a menu of options for inspiration.
- Expedition: Planning, training for and completing an adventurous journey in the UK or abroad.
Getting into the great outdoors and spending a night away with your friends – the anxiously anticipated expedition aspect of the Award leaves Kingsford pupils with lifelong memories. Many teachers and adults who took part in the Award remember fondly the fun and friendship associated with the challenging outdoor expeditions. Working in teams, all participants must complete an unaccompanied, self-reliant expedition with an agreed aim. Participants must complete training for 4 weeks at bronze level and 6 weeks at Silver, set up camping equipment and navigate a 6-hour continuous route each day with minimal external intervention. Through the expeditions, pupils explore teamwork and develop leadership skills, nominating a different leader each day. Pupils learn more about nature, and more about themselves, developing their character by understanding the value of collaboration, respect and tolerance. Find out more about the requirements for the Expedition section here.
“The DofE expedition helps us to experience things we would not have experienced in the classroom.” Bronze Award holder
Challenge yourself to journey and explore!
What are the benefits?
Participants develop in the following areas as they work through their DofE programme:
- Self-belief and self-confidence
- A sense of identity
- Initiative and a sense of responsibility
- A real awareness of their strengths
- New talents and abilities
- The ability to plan and use time effectively
- Learning from and giving to others in the community
- Forming new friendships
- Problem solving, presentation and communication skills
- Leadership and teamwork skills.
Employers want to employ DofE Award holders because they are good for business and so help the nation become more successful.” Lord Digby Jones, Former Trade Minister and DG of CBI
Barclays is committed to supporting the employability of young people. The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award encompasses many of the principals promoting resilience, self-assurance and drive.” haron Gillam, Group Head of Resourcing and Graduates at Barclays
In a very competitive job market it is increasingly important that an individual finds a way to stand out from the crowd, not just in terms of their academic qualifications but also in terms of their personal character. A DofE Award is a sign of someone who has drive, energy, resourcefulness and compassion – qualities that will help them succeed in life and in the workplace. It is in our view a real positive.” Adam Crozier, Former Chief Executive of ITV PLC