Duke of Edinburgh’s Award
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is a fantastic scheme which allows young people to challenge themselves and learn new skills through planning and training for a series of walking and canoeing expeditions.
Pupils work in teams to plan their expedition routes and share the load of carrying tent, cooking equipment and food. The expedition lasts for 2, 3 or 4 days depending on the level of the award. In addition, pupils must also learn a new skill and undertake some voluntary work to achieve the award.
At Oswestry School the pupils have the option to complete the Bronze, Silver and the Gold Award. The main differences between them are the length of time they take to complete, how challenging they are and the minimum age you can start.
A Duke of Edinburgh Award is a great asset when applying for University; pupils’ academic potential and commitment to their chosen programme of study are the most significant factors in decision-making, but the DofE award can be very beneficial.
What has to be done to gain an Award?
Volunteering - pupils offer service to individuals or the community. This can range from teaching primary pupils to read, visiting the elderly, clearing footpaths to recycling withing the School.
Skill - this essentially means a hobby. It encourages discovery and development of practical and social skills and personal interests.
Physical Recreation - encourages participation/improvement in physical activity.
Expedition - this encourages a spirit of adventure and discovery. At all levels of the award, appropriate training is given and practice expeditions take place.
Residential (Gold only) - this broadens young people's experiences through involvement with others in a residential setting for at least four nights.
How does this all fit into the pupils' busy lives?
Oswestry School's extensive programme of activities affords numerous opportunities for the volunteering section. Those playing in teams can use their match practices towards their physical recreation, whilst others enjoy participating in extra clubs. Skills are taken up in the pupils’ own time. Expeditions happen at the end of the school year: Bronze on the Long Mynd; Silver and Gold canoeing on the River Severn.