The Duke of Edinburgh Award (DofE) is very popular at Oxford High School. The Award is an extremely worthwhile scheme which offers participants the opportunity to develop existing interests, acquire new skills and develop leadership, resilience and independence.
The Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme is split into different levels (Bronze, Silver and Gold), becoming more challenging as the students get older. Each requires regular commitments towards three sections: volunteering, physical and skills, as well as the expedition section of the Award. At Gold level there is also a residential requirement to the Award.
Bronze and Silver expeditions are run by the School for participating students, whilst those working towards their Gold Award will organise expeditions themselves, with assistance where appropriate. The school expeditions are very enjoyable, but with a degree of challenge. These are run by a very experienced Approved Activity Provider, Zest for Adventure. The students are given training to equip them with the skills necessary to complete the expeditions successfully. The first walk is fully accompanied by an instructor or member of OHS staff. On the practice and assessment expeditions the students walk in groups, working together in teams. They carry all that they need for the expedition in their rucksacks and navigate their way around a pre-planned route each taking their turn to lead the team.
The Bronze Award is started in Year 9 and the Silver Award in Year 10. The Gold Award can be started on a participant’s sixteenth birthday. Undertaking the Duke of Edinburgh Award is challenging, requires a significant commitment and builds confidence; it is incredibly rewarding and gives young people the skills that will serve them for many years.