Encouraging independence in young people
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award gives all young people aged 14-24 the chance to develop skills for life and work, fulfil their potential and have a brighter future. At Adams’ we encourage students to develop their teamwork skills whilst also promoting the independence and resilience to complete each section successfully. Individuals work towards their Bronze Award in Year 10 and, once accredited, progress to do the Silver Award during Year 11.
Each level of the Award consists of four sections:
This quite literally involves people giving up their free time over a number of weeks to support a good cause. From conservation to youth work to fundraising for your favourite charity or caring for animals, there’s an endless list of possibilities.
This section gives participants the opportunity to develop greater physical fitness in an activity of their choice.
The Skills section is all about developing practical and social skills and personal interests. By choosing to develop a particular skill students not only develop a new talent but also boost their self-esteem, develop practical and social skills and learn how to set and rise to challenges.
This section involves the largest input from staff. Students are first trained for a practice weekend expedition to the Peak District during the Autumn term. This involves learning to use maps, take bearings and create route cards to complement the maps. Some simple first-aid and cooking instruction is also undertaken over the first year. Students then work in groups to plan and execute a self-sufficient expedition that takes place over the summer term. Strong team skills are essential. The walking expeditions are of different lengths for each level of the award; two days at Bronze and three days at Silver.
The weekend tested our physical and mental endurance and required us to work effectively as a team. We faced a lot of challenges including the task of cooking ourselves dinner!
The toughest part overall was the hills; with up to 15kg on our backs at a time and up to 40 degree angles to climb up it wasn’t fun and games. Bronze seemed like a breeze in hindsight. However, being able to relax during lunch breaks in beautiful scenery and having a laugh with your friends is enough to make those hills seem a whole lot less intimidating.