The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award provides voluntary activity programmes for girls aged 14 and above.
There are very strong DofE groups, in which over half the girls in school participate. Nearly every girl does Bronze DofE in the UIV and LV Forms, many continuing to do Silver programmes and, in the Sixth Form, Gold.
Four section programmes are followed at Bronze and Silver, in which participants, guided by staff, select and set objectives in each of the following areas: Volunteering, Physical, Skills and Expedition, with activities chosen to suit their individual interests. At Gold, a Residential is added. Physical and Skills section activities are chosen from those available at school and at home. At all DofE levels, participants devise a wealth of ingenious fundraising activities for the Volunteering section. At Silver and Gold, many also choose to help in a local Primary School, visit the elderly or assist with Riding for the Disabled.
Girls are trained and prepared in school for their Expeditions, developing their organisational, team work and leadership skills and learning to cope with challenge and adversity. Expedition training includes a First Aid Course for all new participants. At Bronze, expeditions last a weekend and run locally; at Gold they last four days in ‘wild country’. Whilst many girls choose to walk, riding with a specialist trekking company is possible for Gold and competent sailors may be able to join an open Gold sailing venture.
DofE participation offers many rewards, among them the friendships made, the memories shared and the reward of achieving a Bronze, Silver or Gold Award.