Duke of Edinburgh

Posted on: 12/02/2019

Last year, a group of Year 8s went to the Peak District camping for 3 days.  The results were inspiring for all those involved.

Early this academic year, a small group of staff got together and looked at the feasibility of relaunching the Duke of Edinburgh award at the Academy.  In a lot of other schools where this is offered, they use companies, which means a cost of between £150 and £350 per child.  This would mean the award would be beyond the reach of many of our students who we believe it would benefit most.

The award is recognised by colleges and employers as showing wider skills.  It involves students taking part in volunteering, physical, and skill challenges as well as a two day camping expedition.

An email was sent to staff to ask for help in running the award…..18 staff came back with offers of help!   This means, with the expertise we have in school already, and the support of the Principal, we can run the award “in house” using our own staff, which in turn means we think we can run the award this year for £50 per student over the two years.

Next we got in touch with the Duke of Edinburgh Award itself. Our tents are at least 12 years old, and not in very good condition and we needed help to learn how to run things really effectively.  They gave us a substantial grant to replace tents and equipment, sent a regional officer to talk to us and have offered free training on how to run things…not to mention offering a regional officer to come and give an assembly on the award.

Then it came to the assembly to our Year 9s.  I was incredibly proud of the mature behaviour of our students in listening so attentively.  Indeed, we had an email back from the regional officer about it who also commented that it was one of the best behaved groups she had given a talk to. 

Letters were issued to the students and, as things stand, we have 35 students signed up, which is absolutely brilliant.

So what is the Lancaster Academy offering our students in terms of a “wider education” through the D of E experience?

In Year 8, in addition to the ACCLAIM award work, (Bradgate Park days etc), we take 15-20  students to The High Peak in Derbyshire, camping for 3 days, on a trip that is targeted at students who may not have had the experience before.

In Year 9, the students are offered the Duke of Edinburgh Award, as far as we can there will be no limit of numbers.  There will be a 2 day camping trip as part of this for the practice expedition.

In Year 10, the students will complete the Duke of Edinburgh Award including a 2 day final camping expedition.

We are all looking forwards to seeing our students benefit from this fantastic opportunity!