Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme
The Duke of Edinburgh Award is an outstanding initiative aimed at 14 to 24 year olds, and offers young people the opportunity to take part in a highly-regarded, challenging and fulfilling scheme which not only benefits the awardees but their communities too.
The Duke of Edinburgh Award was founded, and is patroned by Prince Phillip, The Duke of Edinburgh. Over the last seven decades, the scheme has been dedicated to the personal development of young people from all backgrounds and is the widest reaching programme of any UK youth charity with 275,000 young people taking part every year.
The Award operates across the world in different forms, with the aim of providing an opportunity for young people to learn new skills and develop existing interests in a non-competitive framework. It operates at three levels (Bronze, Silver and Gold) and tests across four disciplines (Physical, Skill, Volunteering and Expedition).
Duke of Edinburgh Awards at The Downs School
At the Downs School we are delighted to have been participating in the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme for eight years, and over 300 students have gained awards during this time. We hold an annual presentation event for students at which they receive their awards and we celebrate their success, and are delighted that over the last year, our students have dedicated over 950 hours to our local community. In addition, they have spent almost 1,200 hours developing an exciting skill or learning a new one, and 1,632 hours taking part in physical activities.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is a personal journey which sets challenges, expands horizons and encourages participants to think for themselves. It builds self-esteem and shows just what can be achieved when youngsters set themselves goals and work as a team.
Recent expeditions have included walking the Ridgeway, an expedition to the Cotswolds, and overnight camping in Oxfordshire. All students at The Downs School from Year 9 onwards are able to participate in the scheme and we offer the Bronze and Silver awards.