Duke of Edinburgh Award
An Award without barriers
The Duke of Edinburgh's (DofE) Award Scheme is a programme of personal development activities designed for all young people between the ages of 14 and 25. Open to everyone, irrespective of background, it allows every participant to challenge themselves and to define their character. With guidance from our dedicated staff, pupils follow their chosen activities and report on progress via an electronic record. For each section, minimum standards of achievement are laid down and only when these are met, do participants qualify for an Award – Bronze, Silver and ultimately Gold.
An exploration of self
Irrespective of level, the Award Scheme is a balanced programme of activities that develops the whole person – mind, body and soul – in an environment of social interaction and team working. In gaining awards, pupils learn by experience the importance of self-discipline, organisation, enterprise and effort. They come to know the enjoyment of working with and for other people.
Each level of the Award consists of four sections: Volunteering, Skills, Physical and Expedition. Gold also requires a 5 day residential course.
Volunteering examples include helping with Prep School clubs, sport or after school activities, assisting community and charity shops, riding with the disabled and coaching younger children at sports.
Skills range from musical instrument examinations, LAMDA examinations, cookery, dance, learning to drive and creative writing.
Physical tends to be after school sport, but can also include personal sports played outside of Lingfield College.
At the core of each award level is a focus on self-discipline, motivation, commitment and teamwork.
The Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme at Lingfield is lead by Mr Philip Stanton and his dedicated staff, including Mr Casey (Silver) and Mr Gaunt (Bronze). Mr Stanton, in his previous career in the Army spent much time leading adventurous training in the UK and abroad including; mountaineering, skiing and offshore sailing trips. He completed the demanding Joint Service Mountain Leader course (Summer Leaders Course) and therefore knows the way of the mountains well. He particularly enjoys challenging students as they progress through the Award and from which they get a great sense of achievement.
The Expedition – a test of self and team
Of course, for many, the Expedition is the highlight of each stage of the Award. Expeditions are carried out in the South Downs, Brecon Beacons, the Isle of White and the Highlands of Scotland. At Lingfield College, Mr Stanton likes to challenge the participants at every level, and it is fair to say that the Lingfield Expedition Phase is one of the more challenging phases across the scheme, with greater emphasis on independence, resilience and determination. The participants’ sense of achievement on completion is tangible, and they always look back on it with great fondness. Many say it was their highlight of their time at Lingfield.
Each Expedition is planned by pupils with guidance from BXM, our outstanding Approved Activity Provider (APP), with whom the College has built up a great relationship over the last few years. This ensures that the training is delivered by experts in their own field.
Why do DofE?
The Award, at whatever level achieved, offers practical and tangible leadership and teamwork experience. UCAS recognises the value of the Award, especially at Gold level, as do employers, who value the qualities developed by those who undertake the Award. At Lingfield pupils get the chance to prove to themselves that they have what it takes. They will of course be fully supported by our dedicated team of professional staff but the real work is up to those who take the challenge! It is a true test of self-belief.
In all sections, the staff will guide and support the pupil pushing them to try new activities and go beyond their limits and expectations.
At Lingfield we pride ourselves on our high levels of completion. This is achieved through guidance and nurturing, however, it is their Award and as such completion is down to individuals’ motivation and commitment. Lingfield pupils get the chance to prove to themselves that they have what it takes to attain personal and collective goals.
At the College we tend to do Bronze in year 10, Silver in year 11 and the Gold Award in year 12, where the participation rates are very high. For Bronze we normally have 80 pupils, Silver 40 pupils, and Gold 20/25 pupils. On completing the Gold Award there is also an opportunity to take on the Three Peak Challenge.
The Three Peaks Challenge (Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike, Snowdon)
The National Three Peaks Challenge is a formidable challenge which the College has undertaken annually for the past five years. This happens on the last weekend of the Academic Year and members of the 6th Form (usually those who have completed Gold Award) are invited to participate. Although the aim is to undertake it in under 24 hours; this is not the main purpose for the College. The aim of the College is to challenge pupils both physically and mentally in a demanding environment that requires teamwork and individual perseverance.
Over the last 5 years under the organisation of Mr Stanton over 40 participants have completed the challenge, the fastest time being an amazing 23 hours and 34 minutes. Time, however, is not as important as the participation and completion.