Duke of Edinburgh Award
The Duke of Edinburgh's Award is the world’s leading youth achievement award, giving millions of 14 to 24-year-olds the opportunity to be the very best they can be. DofE is a real adventure from beginning to end.
It doesn't matter who you are or where you're from. You just need to be aged between 14 and 24 and realise there's more to life than sitting on a sofa watching life pass you by. At Thornhill Community Academy, you can do DofE at Bronze or Silver level. To do Bronze you must be in Year 9 or above, and to do Silver you must be in Year 10 or above. You achieve an Award by completing a personal programme of activities in four sections. You'll find yourself helping people or the community, getting fitter, developing skills, going on an expedition. But here's the best bit - you get to choose what you do! Your programme can be full of activities and projects that get you buzzing. And along the way you'll pick up experiences, friends and talents that will stay with you for the rest of your life.
If you are struggling to think of what to do for your Volunteering, Physical or Skills sections, there are lots of really good ideas on the DofE Award website. For each section, you need to do your chosen activity for a minimum of one hour each week in your own time. You must have an assessor for each section, who must not be a family member, is knowledgable in the chosen activity, and can write a short report once you have finished the section.
By delivering our own in-house training and practice walks, we try to keep costs down as much as possible. The full cost of completing your Award in 2019/20 is as follows:
- Bronze Award - £140
- Silver Award - £190
A non-returnable deposit of £40 is required to secure your place on the Award, and the remaining amount will need to be paid by the end of January. All payments must be made via ParentPay. Please note the above fees include the cost of one practice and one qualifying expedition. If additional expeditions are required, these will be charged extra (£50 for Bronze, £75 for Silver).
Most training sessions will take place after school on Thursdays. Students will also be going on three practice walks before the expeditions, the details of which are below. It is vital that all students attend all training sessions and practice walks.
The finish times for the walks and expeditions are approximate and depend on how fast the students walk, how long they stop for breaks etc. We will always ask students to give you a phone call at least 30 minutes before they are due to finish.
While each student will obviously need the correct gear for their expedition, we don't want you to feel the need to buy lots of expensive gear, especially if it will only be used once or twice. There are some good principles for buying kit below:
- Have I got a kit list? The Duke of Edinburgh's Award have produced a comprehensive kit list on their website. This covers all expeditions up to Gold Award, so please don't feel the need to buy everything on this list, but it should give you ideas of what students might need.
- What’s already in my wardrobe? Check what kit you already have that you could use (but avoid denim and cotton items).
- What can I borrow? Ask around and see what people have and would be happy to lend, particularly small items like hats, sun cream and water bottles.
- Am I still growing? If you are, you may want to spend less as you will quickly grow out of your clothing, boots and some kit.
- What’s the climate like? Find out what the normal temperatures are, particularly at night, for the time of year.
- What’s the weather likely to be like? You must have waterproofs but check the forecast. Will you need dry-bags and extra waterproofing? Or sun cream and sunglasses?
- How long am I going for? Making do with basic/alternative kit for two days is very different to three or four days.
- What else would I use the kit for? Would you use the boots every day walking the dog or take the rucksack on your gap year? It might be worth spending more if you’ll get that value back over time.
- What’s my budget? Think about what you can afford and what kit you have to get. Also, remember to use your DofE Card or Voucher.
- Where can I get boots that fit? The range of expedition boots is vast because people’s feet are so different. If you want a boot to last, make sure you get a professional fitting to find a pair that really fits you.
The following items can be borrowed from Kirklees DofE, so there is no need to buy these unless you are planning to use them again:
- Tent (2 or 3 person)
- Sleeping mat
- Rucksack (Large, for expedition only. Students will still need a smaller rucksack/backpack for the practice walks)
- Stove (Trangia)
- Fuel bottle (but fuel will need to be supplied)