The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme is an internationally recognised project which aims to extend young people’s personal development and their life in the community. It operates throughout the UK and in many other countries throughout the world. The Award hopes to develop young people by presenting them with the opportunity to:
- contribute a service to the community
- develop a personal skill
- develop personal fitness through the pursuit of a sport or leisure activity that involves exercise
- meet a challenge and learn to work with others through undertaking an expedition
There are three levels of Award which are all offered as part of the Sherborne Girls Adventure and Leadership programme:
- Bronze Award (Compulsory to those in the L5)
- Silver Award (Open to those in the M5)
- Gold Award (Open to those in the L6)
How does it work?
At each Award Level there are four sections which correspond to the objectives outlined above.
- Physical Recreation
At Gold Level there is an additional residential project which extends one of sections a) - c) and lasts for five days and four nights (NB this has to be arranged independently).
Each level of the award requires a girl to dedicate one hour a week to her service, her skill and her physical. She must do this for a period of months, which varies depending on the level of the award and any previous awards achieved. Many girls at Sherborne are already involved in sport and/or creative endeavours beyond the curriculum, these can be recognised within the framework of the DoE.
The expedition section is managed by the school’s Adventure and Leadership team who provide an exciting array of opportunities at all levels. Bronze sees the girls taking in many of the best sites in Dorset and Wiltshire; Silver pushes the challenge with expeditions on Exmoor, Dartmoor and in the Yorkshire Dales; Gold sees the girls afforded the chance to undertake more arduous trips in areas like the Picos de Europa or Scotland and includes the option to undertake expeditions in canoes. All levels of the award require the girls to train for and undertake a minimum of two expeditions (practice and final). The expeditions become longer as the level of the award steps up from 2 days at Bronze through to 4-5 days at Gold.
For further information please check out the DoE’s own excellent website at:
L5 - Bronze
In L5, all girls will be be enroled for their Bronze Award which will work alongside their timetabled Adventure and Leadership sessions. As a part of these sessions girls will already be able to complete the expedition and volunteering sections.
M5 & U5 - Silver
Silver is offered as an optional extra to all girls starting in M5. As with Bronze, girls will be expected to dedicate time to each of their sections every week and attend evening classes with an instructor in order to prepare them for the associated expeditions. As with Bronze, the girls will all complete two expeditions with the final venture being a minimum of 3 days. Recent expeditions have been on Exmoor and up in Yorkshire.
In this transition year of DoE, we intend to offer a Silver package to the U5 also. This will be a similar arrangement to above but with all expeditions scheduled so as not to interfere with GCSE examinations.
L6 - Gold
The Gold DoE package at Sherborne Girls is really exciting and includes both walking and paddling options. It is open to all L6 and we regularly have a large take-up in this year group. Last year saw teams successfully canoe across Scotland on the Great Glen and achieve a proper mountaineering expedition in the Picos de Europa. Training is completed both on site and on scheduled trips to Dartmoor at the end of the Christmas holidays (for the walkers) and to the River Exe in mid-March (for the paddlers).