The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award was established in 1956 with Prince Philip as its first chairman.
The programme aims to “inspire, guide and support young people in their self-development and recognise their achievements.”
It was also established as a form of non formal education for young people, giving them a forum where they can achieve a recognisable Award, showing that they have developed a variety of skills, broadened their experiences and have a certain capability in areas such as team building, working with the community as well as ability to show a commitment something and to follow it through. These are all skills which employers and Universities value.
Anybody between 14 and 24 years old can participate and achieve the award at Bronze, Silver or Gold level.
In order to succeed participants need to set and reach their goals in four areas:
The aim of this section is to encourage service to others and to appreciate the needs of the community. The minimum time requirement is 3 months with an expectation of an average of an hour per week.
Improving in an area of sport, dance or fitness activities. Students have to become involved in some form of physical recreation for a minimum of three months. This can be competitive sport but it does not have to be.
Students can follow a hobby or interest that they are already engaged in, like playing a musical instrument or they might like to try a new skill to broaden their interests.
Encourages a spirit of adventure and discovery. At Bronze level, participants have to walk 15 miles over two days.
Today there are over 850,000 participants globally, participating in the programme in 132 countries. There have been over 7 million participants since 1956 and 3,359,589 Awards achieved.
The sections of the Award are completed in the Students' own time, so in club time we focus on training for the Adventurous Journey, learning skills such as map reading, first aid, route planning and camping skills. We also plan future events and fundraising events for charity, and also to raise money to go towards funding trips and events for the club, to encourage team bonding.
It also gives students an opportunity to try different things such as go-karting, ice skating, horse riding, jewellery making and archery.
My favourite part of completing my Bronze Award was doing the Adventurous Journey, because I had never done anything like that before: I had never slept in such extreme conditions, and had never cooked on a camping stove before. It was a real experience, and I look forward to doing my Silver Award.
I have moved on to my 3rd year of Duke of Edinburgh. The programme allowed me to be friends with people I don’t usually hang out with and be much more organised. Now we depend on each other and work together as a team rather than compete against each other. The Adventurous Journeys were the best part of the Duke Of Edinburgh. We learnt how to take care not only for ourselves, but also for the people in our team. We had a lot of fun but it was important to be responsible and mature. Our award leaders were absolutely fabulous and we are very thankful for the opportunities provided.
The Duke of Edinburgh International Award at Silverline School.
As you can see, the Award requires a personal commitment, and is completed in the participants' own time. Club time at Silverline is used for a variety of purposes such as filling in the log books and training for the Adventurous Journey, which includes basic first aid, orienteering skills, camping and packing skills as well.
The club is also involved in a variety of fundraising and money making activities to generate money for Duke of Edinburgh events. We have performed car window washes, made and sold Christmas Cards, bake sales, and our main fundraising event has been (and will be in the future) Valentines Day, where we made a variety of cards, fridge magnets and chocolate and sweet gifts, sold them, and also offered a delivery service.
In addition to trips and events we also used this money to give a donation to Sirius Dog Sanctuary of 100 euros. Another 100 euros was used to make micro loans to people in countries such as Tajikstan, Cameroon, Tanzania and Kenya through the Kiva organisation. Nearly two of thEse loans have now been repaid and we will be able to re-lend the money, helping more people around the world. Please visit the Kiva website and explore this really worthy organisation, and start making microloans and crowd funding yourself.
In the past we have also taken part in the Dancing Queen Foundation, ‘I’d rather walk than drink and drive’ Annual Sponsored walk, and even when we don’t take part, we help to raise sponsorship for those people in the school who do. Please visit the Dancing Queen Foundations website to find out more.
Ida Rosenberg is one of our year 11 students, who is currently completing her Bronze Duke of Edinburgh's International Award. For her Service Section, she decided to write some news articles about events and people at the school.
This service activity has a dual purpose, it helps to inform parents, pupils and teachers in greater detail about events and people in the school, and also serves as a tool to help Ida develop her English and Communication Skills.
Here are some of the articles she has written.