The Duke of Edinburgh Award

The Duke of Edinburgh Award at St Thomas More RC College


This year we have launched the prestigious Duke of Edinburgh Scheme at St Thomas More RC College. A group of enthusiastic Year 10 students have been selected to take part in the scheme and they will be asked to go the extra mile by gaining new skills, pushing themselves physically and mentally, and to help others to explore new territories. 

Year 10 students were asked to use their rhetoric and linguistic skills to write a letter of application to outline why they were suitable for the scheme. Mrs Pearce was in undated with applications and 21 Year 10 students were successful in being selected to take part in this exciting initiative. These students will complete the Bronze Award and throughout the course of the year they will complete may activities.

Furthermore, the students have had to demonstrate their commitment in three main areas over the past 6 months. Firstly, they have been volunteering in charity shops in their local community to support good causes. Also, they will be working with a range of young people who suffer from a range of learning disabilities; this will involve working with children in a sport/ dance environment and their work will help these young people to overcome certain barriers that they may face.

The second area of commitment is a physical challenge, students have to show improvement in a sport or physical activity over time and we have students taking on martial arts, climbing, Irish dancing, and tennis amongst other things. The final area of commitment is learning a new skill or developing a skill that they have. For the commitment challenge, students are going to learn: new cooking skills and techniques, coaching skills, train other students in the arts, and finally, to play a musical instrument.

Over the coming months, students will be prepped for their final section of the award, which will be the expedition. They will be required to show skills in navigation, cooking, camp craft, first aid (hopefully only in practise!) and most importantly teamwork. They will be trekking over hills and dales across two days on a practice expedition and using the skills they have learnt to plan and complete a two-day expedition under their own steam.

The Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme is an amazing chance for young people to become more independent and resilient. In addition, it teaches young people about the importance of playing an active role in their community and how they can help others. It will also allow our students to improve their oracy and interpersonal skills and they will have to adapt to many new and interesting situations during the programme. Our pilot group are demonstrating these skills in many of these areas and we cannot wait to see them put these skills to great use on their expeditions soon. Watch this space!