WELCOME TO THE DUKE OF EDINBURGH'S AWARD
We are Miss Mackintosh, Ms Walker, and Ms Buteux and we are the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Team.
We are really excited to offer this opportunity to all our students, and to be expanding our programme year on year. The Duke of Edinburgh's Award is an internationally recognised qualification which demonstrates and develops students' essential skills and attributes for work and life such as resilience, problem-solving, team-working, communication and drive. It is all about having fun, working hard with friends old and new, improving self-esteem and building confidence.
We currently run the Bronze Award for students in Year 10 and the Silver Award for students in Year 12, with the option for students to embark on their Gold Award in Year 13. At all levels, the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is open to everyone, regardless of background, academic ability, or prior experience; the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is for everybody.
The Bronze and Silver Awards are split into four sections: Skill, Physical, Volunteering, and Expedition. The Gold Award adds a further Residential section.
Students must choose activities to complete for the Skill, Physical and Volunteering sections. They must work on these activities for at least an hour a week. At Bronze level, students must take part in one activity for 6 months, and two activities for 3 months. At Silver, time scales differ depending on whether students have already achieved the Bronze award, but vary between 3, 6, and 12 months. Equally, Gold time scales vary between 6, 12, and 18 months, partly dependent on whether students have previously achieved the Silver award.
Students can largely choose which of the activities they complete for the longer time period, though Volunteering must be completed for longer time scales in the Silver and Gold awards. These activities can be brand new to the students, or can be activities in which they already participate, but the students must set themselves a goal to work towards within the time frame. Once they have completed the time frame, a supervising adult unrelated to the student must write a report assessing the student's reliability and commitment, as well as the progress the student has made towards their goal. This report completes the sectional activity.
Activities that CHSFG students have taken part in for their sectional activities include:
Playing an instrument, Choir, Being part of the School Production, Crochet, Knitting, Drawing, Photography, Fire Safety skills at Fire Cadets, Cooking, Baking, make-up artistry, learning a language (including Spanish, Mandarin, Lithuanian and British Sign Language), Embroidery, Calligraphy, and Playing in a Steel Pan Band
Basketball, Badminton, Athletics, Gym workouts, Swimming, Running, Walking, Horse Riding, Hip Hop Dance, Football, Trampolining, Judo, Tae Kwon Do, Mermaid Swimming, Team Sports at Fire Cadets, and Street Dance
Helping at Guides/Scouts/Brownies/Cubs/Rainbows/Beavers packs, volunteering in local libraries, volunteering in local charity shops, helping at various sports clubs, helping at after school clubs, volunteering with Riding for the Disabled, helping at clubs within school including Netball and Dance, running own clubs within school including British Sign Language Club, Junior Steel Pan Band, and Multi Sports Club, giving instrumental lessons to other students, and volunteering at Parkrun.
The Residential section, added at Gold level only, requires students independently to complete a 5 day residential course in an area of interest to them. This must be with a group of unknown peers, and must involve social time in the evenings as well as planned activities during the day.
There are so many options for every sectional activity that everyone can find something they're interested in.
The Expedition is a 2-day (Bronze) or 3-day (Silver) expedition undertaken in local countryside at Bronze level, and more unfamiliar countryside at Silver. The Gold expedition is a 4-day expedition conducted in wild country e.g. the
Lake District or Dartmoor.
Students must plan and journey along their own routes unaccompanied, carrying their own equipment; make camp at a campsite with washing facilities, cook their own dinner, pack up camp, and journey along the remainder of their route. Bronze routes cover roughly 12km each day, Silver routes around 14km each day, and Gold routes in excess of 16km each day.
In order to prepare students for this, weekly training is undertaken at every level - this covers first aid, care of equipment, the Countryside Code, putting up tents, packing of rucksacks, use of camping stoves, map reading, navigation, route planning, etc.
We often carry out a Practice Walk, as well as a Practice Expedition and Qualifying Expedition for each award level in the Spring and Summer terms. The Practice and Qualifying Expeditions are both compulsory elements of the Expedition section of the Award, which is then assessed by qualified assessors during the Qualifying Expedition.
We have a fantastic team of staff assessors including Miss Mackintosh, Ms Walker, Ms Buteux, Mr Copper, Ms Hosken, Ms Staples, Mr Wright, and Mr Molyneux, as well as many other staff who help to supervise our expeditions –
we couldn’t run the programme without them.
For more information, and to follow our fantastic students’ progress, why not follow our Twitter account? @CHSFGDofE
Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award parental feedback June 2023
“The teachers were very supportive and encouraging throughout the process. CHSFG are very fortunate to have such a devoted caring group of teachers. “
“I would like to say a huge thank to the school team for organising it and being supportive for all students. Fantastic school team - I think as parents we should be very grateful to give them this opportunity and encouragement. Also the school is fantastic to provide all the equipment; not many schools do that!”
“Your communication throughout this has been second to none. I also appreciate the fact you have taken the time to practice various things on a Thursday evening. This experience has been an amazing opportunity for my daughter, one that she and her peers will never forget. Thank you to you and your staff for providing her with this incredible adventure. “
“My daughter found the expedition very challenging and exhausting, but we both agree that the overall programme was such an enriching experience. We especially love that it gave her an opportunity to volunteer at a charity shop and gain some valuable work experience. I'm sure she will look back on this as a highlight of her school experience. Thank you to all involved in organising this and helping them prepare for the various life challenges ahead. We are both so grateful for you.”
“Thank you all for supporting my daughter to have such a wonderful experience, she enjoyed the DofE programme and the whole process, this experience was good for her confidence and for her wellbeing, she learnt lots of key skills and she was able to overcome the challenges by being reflective with your ongoing support and guidance. The communication was outstanding and the encouragement when learning new skills will remain with her.”
“I'd like to thank the teachers and staff involved in the DofE scheme for their dedication, commitment, effort, and safe return of our children. In addition to everything they learnt, you've taught them how to give sacrificially. “
“I'm very happy that my daughter took part in DofE and I think it's very beneficial for her. My daughter found it challenging but she enjoyed it and was very proud of herself after the expedition. “