The Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme is very popular with pupils in the Middle School.
The scheme has four parts; physical, skill, volunteering and the expedition. The first three provide fantastic opportunities for pupils to be recognised for some of their existing co-curricular activities and also to try new things and contribute to the community. They commit an hour of their time once a week for three to six months to achieve a goal, help a person or a community or show personal development. The expedition allows them to develop the ability to work as a team; they must plan an overnight excursion, carrying food and camping equipment and execute that plan without outside assistance, dealing with problems as they arise. Preparing for the expedition and successfully completing it gives pupils real confidence in their ability to be independent and most pupils have a great time too!
Pupils on their Bronze expedition.
Approximately 95% of the pupils in Year 9 sign up to take the Bronze award with the great majority completing within 12 months. Pupils can start the Silver award in Year 10 and more than half of the year group get involved with this section. The elements are similar to the Bronze except that the level of commitment is slightly greater. Pupils can complete their expeditions by walking, as they do for the Bronze, or by opting to canoe down the Thames.
Find out more about the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme here.