Duke of Edinburgh
We have set up the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme at Sharples School to give our students the opportunity to take part in the world’s leading youth achievement award. Through our DofE programme, Sharples students will experience new activities and learn new skills while developing their independence, their resilience, their teamwork and their community values along the way.
Q What is The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award?
A It is an award recognising the achievements of young people that has been running for more than sixty years and now has more than 300,000 participants each year across the country. The DofE award is non-competitive and provides challenges, teamwork and opportunities for new experiences and gives recognition for achievements.
Q What is Sharples School’s involvement?
A In September 2018 Sharples School became a licensed centre for The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. Sharples School students are able to enrol with the DofE organisation and carry out their Activities supervised by Sharples School staff. School staff will lead the expedition, lend some of the essential kit to students and provide training and preparation for the expedition.
Q Is it only open to students in Year 10?
A At the moment, yes.
Q How much will it cost?
A We ask for a one-off £80 contribution towards the costs of providing the award, including individual registration with DofE, campsite fees, transport for the expeditions and fuel for camp stoves. This can be paid in manageable instalments over the year. We will ask for an initial payment of £30 at the start.
Q Will I need to provide all my own equipment?
A We can definitely lend some “core” equipment from the school store of DofE equipment. This will include tents, camping stoves, maps and compasses. Other essential equipment will include rucksacks, waterproof coats and trousers, walking boots, sleeping bags and roll mats. We will have a questionnaire for students asking about such equipment, what students will be able to provide and what they would borrow from us, if available. We will then see what equipment is needed and how much of this we can afford to buy and then lend to students.
Q If I want to buy some equipment, is any advice or help available?
A Yes, we will give you kit lists so you know what is needed. We will also give you advice about the sort of quality needed, where you might look and what it should cost. We can tell you what you don’t need as well as what you do and when cheaper equipment will be perfectly fine for what we will do. Your DofE registration will give you a 15% discount card with GoOutdoors and your DofE membership may give you discounts with other outdoors retailers too. Just ask.
Q Can I do any of my Activities in school?
A Yes, provided it is not in lesson time. To qualify for DofE Activities, anything you do must be giving your own time, which can include breaks, lunches or before and after school. Examples that can qualify for the Volunteering Activity might be running sports practice sessions for younger students or providing Maths booster sessions for younger students. Similarly you may be able to do your Physical or Skill Activity in school.
Q Will I need to stay after school?
A Doing your DofE Award comes with an expectation and commitment that you will go above and beyond the minimum requirements. So yes, you will sometimes need to be in school outside the normal school hours for DofE reasons. Of course you would always have advance notice. Your three Activities are planned by you, so it is up to you whether these are in school or not. The preparation sessions for the expeditions will start in January and continue into the summer (see the Sharples DofE calendar on the school website). It is likely that some or many of these sessions have to be after school, for example learning to pitch and pack away tents and practising cooking our meals on camp stoves (and then eating them!). We don’t anticipate these taking more than an hour after school and you would have plenty of advance notice.
Q I play netball for the school team. Is this a Skill or a Physical Activity?
A It can be either, but not both. If you choose it for your Skill then you’ll need something else for your Physical Activity. Or vice versa.