The Duke of Edinburgh's Award
Culford is able to offer students the opportunity to complete all bronze, silver and gold levels of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme, with the support of a Duke of Edinburgh’s Award coordinator.
About the Award
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme was launched in 1956. Its purpose is to broaden the experience of young people by encouraging them to discover the satisfaction of giving service to others, learning a skill, taking part in a physical recreation and undertaking an expedition. Its ultimate aim is to teach young people the value of teamwork, service and self-reliance by encouraging them to involve themselves in a wide variety of activities.
The Award can be done by absolutely anyone aged 14-25 and is a voluntary and non-competitive programme. There are three progressive levels of the award: bronze, silver and gold. At Culford most participants complete the bronze award in Lower Fifth (Year 10), silver award in Upper Fifth (Year 11) and gold during the Sixth Form (Years 12 and 13).
Gaining the Award
You have to make a regular commitment to three elements of interest for a set period of time, depending on the level of award in which they are participating, as well as take part in an expedition. The required elements are:
Service - helping the community
Physical Recreation - a sport, dance or fitness activity
Skills - a hobby, skill or constructive pastime
For the expedition, participants must train for, plan and complete a practice and assessed expedition for each level of the award as part of a group. Expeditions must be self-sufficient and include overnight camps; they get progressively more challenging until at gold level pupils are expected to complete a four day, three night expedition.
The terrain also becomes more challenging; the bronze expedition takes place in Suffolk, silver in the Peak District and the gold qualify in Snowdonia.
In addition, at gold level, participants are required to do a five day residential course of their choice.
The DofE Award is a real challenge, especially at gold level, but, as anyone who has completed it will tell you, it is massively rewarding and enjoyable.