The Duke of Edinburgh Award (DofE) is an internationally recognised award that celebrates the outstanding achievements of young people outside the classroom. It consists of a series of constructive individual challenges that encourage personal development and is highly valued by employers and universities.
The award at Ark Alexandra Academy is led by DofE Manager and assessor Nicholas Burchell with 17 years of experience; Nicholas is also the Contingency Commander for the Army Cadet Force.
At all three levels – bronze, silver and gold – DofE requires young people to demonstrate exceptional commitment, teamwork, independence, organization and adaptability in order to achieve their award status.
The award consists of five core areas:
- Service – helping other people in the local community
- Skills – covering almost any hobby, skill or interest
- Physical Recreation – sport, dance and fitness
- Expeditions – training for, planning and completing a journey on foot, bicycle, horseback or by boat
- Residential Project – a purposeful enterprise with people not previously known to the participant (Gold award only)
We are proud to offer all our pupils the opportunity to complete their Duke of Edinburgh with us; we see huge benefits to them in terms of self-belief, problem-solving ability and new friendships as a result of taking part in the scheme.
The Award is widely recognised by employers and people involved in education. Some of the benefits to young people include;
- developing or discovering a sense of achievement
- new skills and interests
- leadership skills and abilities
- exciting opportunities
- experience of teamwork
- problem solving & decision making
- increased motivation
- enhanced self-esteem
- development of communication skills
- a network of local, national and international connection
Pupils are enrolled on the Bronze programme in year 9, the Silver programme in the spring term of Year 10, and the Gold programme in the Lower Sixth with school staff leading. The Wealden area is the destination for the practice expeditions during the spring and summer terms. Those pupils working towards their Silver award go to the Wealden area or Ashdown Forest for their assessment.
Successful completion of a Gold award is a very impressive achievement and shows that a participant has the skills, determination, and mentality to succeed. Gold award presentations are highly prestigious events, held at Buckingham Palace in London.