Duke of Edinburgh Award
Despite the weather on Monday 19th March DofE students carried out the tasks and enjoyed the day. Firstly, they learnt vital skills that could be used in everyday life such as how to effectively tie a bandage and how to get a fellow member of the public into the recovery position.
Next they went outside to collect their tents that they would use in the expedition. They followed key instructions to safely put it up and later pack them away. After all their hard work a nice hot drink was deserved. Using the trianga, students carefully set up a working heat source and made a hot drink of their choice. To test their skills members of staff put together a treasure hunt around the school grounds. Due to the helpful staff all students successfully completed the hunt. The group with the most correct answers received a prize, it really was a great day!
Madison and Mola, 9C
SHSG has been running a highly successful and rewarding Duke of Edinburgh award for over 10 years. We hold the highest cohort in the south east, and are recognised within the area for our high pass rate, motivated staff, and very enthusiastic participants.
'Emily: I feel that it is a fantastic experience which I may never get to take part in outside of SHSG. D of E is a fun experience which allows students the opportunity of working like adults to complete the expedition. I do not take part in any other activities which allow me to build up the skill and confidence that D of E will allow me to build up.'
'Joanne: I enjoyed teamwork involved and am really grateful at how much I have developed my skills eg: listening, organisation, the list just goes on and on. I learnt how to work in a group, found out what my strengths are, learnt a bit about myself and most importantly, to trust someone. The silver will be another chance for me to further develop skill and confidence, be more independent.'
The Duke of Edinburgh Scheme is designed to give young people personal and social development through a range of practical and adventurous activities. This includes, but is not limited to: leadership, self reliance, problem solving, independence, perseverance, teamwork, social interaction, understanding and finally enjoyment! Employers recognise the award as a valuable asset to round of a persons 'life skill' set, and universities show a keen interest in people with the award, because it shows a person to be an individual of character and ability, more than purely academic, with a set of grades.
'Emily: I hope to experience some new, memorable adventures, helping me to gain a view on life that employers and universities find useful as an indicator of character. I hope to make a difference to my local community through volunteering.'
'Katie: It would be a great feeling to help people not for the benefit of myself during the volunteering section, but making people's lives better and helping society.'
Taking part in the scheme requires commitment but the rewards are high. The scheme allows a choice from literally hundreds of different activities chosen by the participants themselves. This is tracked and recorded on line. In the Summer Term the whole group will learn how to orienteer and then will head off for the final expedition after routes are planned and mapped out through the countryside. Participant will also cook their own supper.
'Elizabeth: Allowed me to prove myself as a team leader. Would like to develop my confidence when exploring unfamiliar places. The action of the whole group achieves and outcome. Living amongst nature has always appealed to me; however I had had few opportunities to do this.'
The practice and assessment expeditions areas are:
Bronze: Danbury for two days and one night camping
Silver: New forest for three days and two nights camping
'Sophie: I loved the atmosphere at the camp site so I would like to experience that again in year 11, especially if it's the last time I will see the same people.'
There are 4 main aspects to the Award:
Ø 1 - 3 must be completed one hour per week for three to six months.
Ø Participants will receive an Entrance Pack, including a log-in password, where they must keep a record of their activities and ask a supervisor or trainer to sign off each week as they complete the activities.
Ø They will organise themselves into groups of 6 and will be allocated an Award Leader (a member of staff). The Award Leader will arrange meetings if needed to discuss progress.
Ø Organising and enrolling in these activities is entirely the participant's responsibility.
Ø The activities must be extra curricular.
Ø They must set targets and aims for their activities.
'Alexandra: Another reason I want to continue onto the silver award is because the expedition really helped with my leadership skills and really made me realise that I take things for granted. It made me feel really independent without any adult help. It makes me feel that doing a sport and a skill for a reason and I am really getting something out of it.'
To help participants achieve the award there will be compulsory lunchtime and/or after school meetings will need to be attended by all participants. This will be assisted by regular mentor meetings, between the participants and a trained staff member.