Duke of Edinburgh Award for Year 9

Some Leigh UTC students are shown sitting at a desk in a classroom, writing with pens in their hands.

Good afternoon Parents & Carers,

It is with great pride and pleasure that I can announce the Duke of Edinburgh’s award will be coming to The Leigh UTC and Inspiration Academy this September! Every student in year 9 is invited to participate; there are no restrictions or requirements – simply a drive to be a better version of themselves. There are numerous benefits that are derived from the award. First and foremost, it pushes the young people that join it beyond their limits. 

For those who may not be acquainted with the award, here is a brief description to aid your understanding prior to joining the award next year:

The Duke of Edinburgh award was initially introduced in 1956 (mainly designed) by John Hunt – the man who led the first successful ascent of Mount Everest; the aim of the award has progressed greatly since then and is open to anyone aged 14-25.

The Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award at The Leigh UTC

Here is a brief overview of the award; please note that students will be given thorough training and support throughout the year in order to ensure they pass. They will be required to push themselves in a range of activities – all of which are outlined below – on an individual and independent basis, while also working together as a team to complete their final challenge of the award.

Working through their development of the Physical, Skills, and Volunteering sections, they will grow as individuals while completing the Expedition section and this will promote greater teamwork, leadership and dependability. It requires those participating to record their progress across each of the sections and have assessors monitor this same progress; by recording, the participants will be documenting their own growth and development, looking at where they started and where they’ve been able to get to.

Each of these sections are as follows:

Physical: Any activity/sport/dance/fitness/classes students do outside the classroom, they are already meeting this. Otherwise, this is the perfect opportunity to start!

Skill: A skill to be developed in their own time. This can be absolutely anything from cooking, to photography, to learning a language.

Volunteering: Students should take an interest in supporting a cause they feel strongly about. Any charity work (including working in a charity shop) will count towards this.

Expedition: The ‘famous’ part of DofE; students will map out their courses, after being given start & end points, and then seek to follow these courses for the duration (dependent on the grade of their award – Bronze is 2 days 1 night, Silver 3 days 2 nights, Gold is quite different for all parts, and not available for lower school, in any case).

Two of the three the primary sections need to be over the duration of 3 months – at an hour a week – with one needing to be extended to 6 months.

For example, if the participant was to use:

Physical: Hockey (training with a club/team)

Skill: Playing the drums (learning afresh or continuing their lessons)

Volunteering: Going to a primary school to support younger students in their learning (helping them to read/with their homework etc)

They are entitled to select their strongest area, but the choice is entirely their own:

 – Physical: 3 months

Skill: 6 months

Volunteering: 3 months

 There is a dedicated YouTube channel for the Duke of Edinburgh Award; please look through this with your child to enlighten you both to the amazing experiences that lie ahead:

Bronze | Start your DofE – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GuZMfKbMW6M

 In order to sign up to the award, students will need to attend an initial meeting – with myself and some of the supporting staff – in the early days of September. This date is yet to be confirmed but will be relayed through form tutors and year assemblies in the first weeks of this academic year. They should also be aware that there will be subsequent meetings which are non-negotiable; these after school sessions will develop the required knowledge and understanding of the different sections, including a substantial amount of required skills for their Expedition. Ranging from first aid, to map and compass reading, cooking outdoors, the equipment they will be provided with (and needed to be purchased) and everything in between. If there are any financial difficulties or queries that you would like to raise, please contact me as soon as possible and I will endeavour to respond within the next 24 hours.

I hope you have had a marvellous summer and I look forward to seeing all of the new participants in September!

Kind Regards,

Mr Ormond-Neale (kieran.ormond-neale@theleighutc.org.uk)

Teacher of English

Duke of Edinburgh Manager