Rushden Academy has a proud history of students completing their Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) alongside their GCSE and A-Level studies. Students who have completed the award have enjoyed participating in a variety of new experiences and challenges to benefit both themselves and the local community, whilst gaining a well-recognised and respected award that increases employability.
Members of “Team Phoenix” who have received national recognition for their work volunteering for the Phoenix Charity are using their work as part of their volunteering section, whilst other students are helping to coach and mentor younger students within Academy at study and sports clubs.
Rushden Academy strives to enable every student to be able to take part in the Award and welcomes enrolment from students in years 9 through to sixth-form, whatever their prior involvement in DofE. Participants must undertake a variety of activities from the categories (sections) listed below and create an electronic portfolio to evidence their progress. The Award scheme is progressive and students are expected to undertake a programme that increases in challenge and time as they move from Bronze award to Gold Award.
What do I have to do?
At Bronze level you must undertake activities from 3 sections; Volunteering, Physical and Skills for 3 months, with one activity extended to 6 months as well as undertake the planning and completion of an overnight adventurous activity (expedition).
For Silver Award participants must carry out a further 6 months of volunteering, and 6 months for physical or skills activities (the other for 3 months) that are either different or show a clear progression from their Bronze activities as well as complete a 2 night expedition.
Gold participants will also be required to complete a residential activity and a 4 night expedition (in “wild-country”) in addition to 12 months volunteering, and 12 and 6 months for physical and skills sections.
The Academy have are able to offer opportunities in all three sections, however it is expected that students will also choose activities outside of the Academy in order to aid the community and provide themselves with individual and personalised programmes.
Do I have to start at Bronze?
Participants can start their DofE journey at any stage however must take longer to complete their different sections. We recommend that the majority of students start at Bronze as it is the entry level and will provide participants with the understanding and skills required to progress at Silver and Gold Awards. Students will also receive recognition of their achievements sooner when they complete their Bronze Award.
What does an expedition involve?
For the expedition section of your award your must complete an adventurous activity (walking, canoeing/kayaking, sailing, cycling or horse riding) as a team under your own propulsion whilst carrying the equipment and provisions to sustain you and your team for the length of your journey. You will need to plan and follow a route independently, cook your own meals and work together if you are to successfully complete your expedition section. Bronze Award students complete two expeditions; one overnight practice expedition walking and another qualifying (assessed) expedition. We recognise that the equipment required for such an expedition is expensive and the Academy has a supply of equipment for camping and cooking as well as travelling and aim to offer low-cost expeditions in the local area to enable all students to participate and enjoy their experience. The 2016 expedition season included expeditions to new areas in Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire to provide more challenge for students who wish to visit different areas as part of their expedition.
How much does it cost?
Currently enrolment onto Bronze and Silver Awards costs £40 per participant. This represents the costs to the Academy of running the programme and all of the money is used to enable students to participate in their Award. Depending on the expedition mode of travel chosen, and the location there is an additional charge to cover camping and travel costs (This years walking expedition charge was £10 per student). The Academy is able to train, lead and assess expeditions on foot up to Silver award ensuring that these costs are minimised.