Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award aims to provide pupils with an enjoyable, challenging and rewarding programme of personal development, which is of the highest quality and the widest reach. It is a personal challenge available to all, not a competition against others. Completion of it is voluntary, as pupils commit some of their own time to undertake activities which they have selected.
Structure of the Award
At each level (Bronze, Silver and Gold) there are the following sections:
- Volunteering – to encourage service to individuals and to the community,
- Expedition – to encourage a spirit of adventure and discovery,
- Skills – to encourage the development of personal interests, hobbies and social and practical skills,
- Physical Recreation – to encourage participation and improvement in physical activity.
- There is an additional Residential Project as part of the Gold Award.
Expeditions, organised by the Head of Outdoor Education, are undertaken under the supervision of appropriately qualified staff, to a variety of areas including the New Forest, Peak District, Yorkshire Dales, Brecon Beacons, Lake District and Snowdonia. Recently, a canoe expedition has been added to those undertaken on foot, with training on the Rivers Cam and Thames followed by assessment on the River Wye. Camping equipment is supplied from the School’s excellently equipped expedition store.
There are many benefits to pupils from involvement in the Award including: increased self-confidence, independence, a sense of responsibility, awareness of their potential, an understanding of their strengths and weaknesses, and the ability to lead and work as part of a team.
Each year, a Duke of Edinburgh’s Award presentation evening is held at the school, where pupils receive their award certificates and badges. (In the case of a Gold Award, there is also the opportunity to go to one of the presentation ceremonies at St James’ Palace and receive the award from a member of the Royal Family.
Progress and participation in the Award at The Leys
All boys and girls start the Bronze Award after Christmas in Year 9, and should be able to complete this by the end of Year 10. All take part in the Bronze expedition in Year 9 and the Silver Practice expedition towards the end of Year 10, but continuing with the Silver Award in Year 11 is entirely voluntary. In the Sixth form, the Gold Award may be undertaken voluntarily by anyone, irrespective of any previous participation in the scheme.