Duke of Edinburgh
AS THE SCHOOL APPROACHES THE END OF ITS SECOND DECADE OF ORGANISING THE DUKE OF EDINBURGH’S AWARD FOR OUR STUDENTS, WE CAN LOOK BACK AT SOME OF THE CHANGES OVER THE YEARS.
We originally started with a handful of groups in Year 10 doing the Bronze Award, with a small number of staff involved in running the Award with the help of the London Borough of Enfield. We now have between 10-12 groups of Bronze in Year 9 (approximately 65-84 students), 5 – 6 groups in Year 10 doing Silver (up to 42 students) and 2-3 groups in Year 12 doing Gold (14-21 students). Numbers are gradually increasing in all year groups. We are the only centre in the borough of Enfield to offer all three levels of the Award – Bronze, Silver and Gold. Every year we have amongst the largest number of participants of all the schools in the borough.
From a handful of staff, we now have between 25-30 members of staff giving up their time to help run the Award every year. We have staff from a variety of departments, as well as from Reprographics, Reception, Office staff, Technology/Science technicians….. and all they get for giving up their time is a DofE lanyard and pen! We have staff walking with groups during the practice expeditions, camping with the groups, assessing the expedition groups, assisting with training and route planning sessions, chasing up participants’ progress in their ‘Volunteering, Physical and Skills’ sections, helping out when we give out and collect kit.
Record keeping used to be done by hand and now we have edofe, which enables participants to upload evidence of progress in their individual sections. We now have over 800 students archived on edofe, a tangible memory of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award over the years.
From working closely with the London Borough of Enfield and having our presentation evenings with other Borough schools at the Millfield theatre, we are now a licensed organisation in our own right – able to verify and approve our own Bronze and Silver Awards – with our presentation evenings held in a packed main hall in school, with representation from the London Regional Office of the DofE.
And finally, some really good news. The PTA decided to award £582, which will be spent on equipment that would normally have to be purchased by parents of participants on items such as sleeping bags/sleeping bag liners and compression sacks. The PTA also agreed to fund-raise a further £1,526.90 to go towards waterproofs and walking boots. For some families these are items that are one-off purchases and can add up to quite a substantial sum. We will be able to offer these items out on loan free of charge for the duration of the expeditions and will hopefully, at the same time, make doing DofE accessible to more students.