Duke of Edinburgh
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme has been a central part of life at South for almost 30 years and is one of the things that makes our school unique.
We are the largest DofE Centre in the UK, with over 500 students and 70 staff involved every year.
Students in Year 10 are offered the opportunity to participate in the Award at Bronze level and from a year group of 330, approximately 200 take up the challenge and enrol.
Approximately one third of the students in Year 11 participate in the Silver award, and the Gold award is completed as a two year programme in the Sixth Form. Our completion rates are amongst the best in the region.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award requires students to spend one hour each week Volunteering, and our students contribute thousands of hours of time to help people, charities, and communities every year. Students must also learn or develop a Skill, and these include music, drama, photography and valuable life skills such as cooking. In the Physical section of their award, participants keep active and healthy, perhaps through a team sport or fitness programme.
At Gold level, participants are also required to complete a Residential, which involves them spending time away from home, meeting and working with people they don’t know, and doing something constructive.
The highlight for most participants, at Bronze, Silver and Gold, is their expedition. At Bronze, this is done in rural countryside over two days, with students being self-sufficient in groups of up to seven. At Silver, the addition of a second night under canvas and a third full day of walking adds to the challenge. At Gold, the four day expedition takes place in the mountains of Snowdonia, with students camping wild on at least one of the three nights. The resilience, independence, confidence and teamwork that participants develop through these experiences are invaluable to them as teenagers and adults.