What is The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award?
The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award is the world’s leading youth achievement Award which equips young people for life and is run in over 140 countries and territories across the globe. Doing the Award is a personal challenge and not a competition against others; it pushes young people to their personal limits and recognises their achievements consistently. Participants are invited to design their own programme of activities, set their own goals and challenge themselves to achieve their aims.
What is involved in the DofE International Award?
The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award comprises three levels:
- Bronze Award: for those over 14 years (6 months minimum participation)
- Silver Award: for those over 15 years (12 months minimum participation)
- Gold Award: for those over 16 years (18 months minimum participation)
Students that are 15 years old can go directly to Silver, where they would do 26 weeks for each section, with their favourite section being for 52 weeks.
Silver Adventurous Journey is 3 days 2 nights and Gold is 4 days 3 nights.
Within each level there are four sections:
- Service – Participants volunteer in their communities, make a positive contribution to society and demonstrate social responsibility.
- Physical Recreation – Encourages young people to improve their fitness and performance and enjoy healthy lifestyles for good mental and physical wellbeing.
- Skills – Enables participants to develop their talents, broaden their abilities, increase their self‐confidence and improve their employability.
- Adventurous Journey – Young people discover a spirit of adventure and gain a deeper understanding of the environment and the great outdoors.
The Bronze Award takes a minimum of 6 months to complete. Participants are required to commit to each of their three chosen activities for at least 3 months – approximately 1 hour per week for 14 weeks. Participants then continue to do their favourite activity from one of the sections for a further 3 months.
During this time, participants are expected to attend an International Award meeting once a week. These meetings are used as mentoring sessions where participants can discuss their experiences and manage their targets. These are logged in their ‘Online Record Book’ which needs to be updated weekly.
During the year, participants also receive all the necessary training required for an unaccompanied hike. They learn skills such as:
- First aid and emergency procedures
- Guidance in how to use camp equipment
- Camp craft and cooking
- Route planning
- Map reading and navigation
These skills are developed and ultimately tested in two Adventurous Journeys which take the form of a 2 day / 1 night, weekend away.
Young people who complete the Award become more confident and resilient, and develop skills in areas such as communication, problem-solving and leadership. By creating opportunities for your child to develop skills, get physically active, give service and experience adventure, the Award can play a critical role in his / her development outside the classroom. It also allows their achievement to be consistently recognised worldwide, giving them a unique international accreditation of their experiences. We are really looking forward to guiding the students through this exciting journey. Further information is available from https://www.intaward.org.