The Duke of Edinburgh Award
The Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme is a life-changing experience. It is an opportunity to set personal challenges and push boundaries, developing children's independence and self-esteem. It is an internationally recognised mark of achievement and respected by colleges, universities and employers.
At Harris Academy Wimbledon, all Year 9 students will be working towards their Bronze award during their Enrichment sessions.
There are four sections students will need to complete to earn their award:
- Volunteering: giving time to help others. Examples of this include, supporting the school library, running an awareness and fundraising campaign for a charity, or helping others in the wider community.
- Physical: committing to a sport, dance or fitness activity.
- Skill: learning a new skill or improving an existing talent. Examples of this include Art, Cooking, Music and Chess.
- Expedition: A walking trip over 2 days, with 1-night camping.
Students will need to complete their volunteering, skill and physical sections at an extra-curricular club offered at the academy, an external club or at home. Many of them will already be doing these activities by attending their extra-curricular club and through other hobbies, so this award is a great opportunity for them to get recognition for their existing work. Please see the extra-curricular timetable for information about the opportunities at the academy. Students need to commit one hour per week to two of these activities for 3 months, and one for 6 months. They can choose which activity they would like to do for the 6 months and can space these out between September and June.
Please have regular conversations with your child to find out how they are progressing through their activities and what they are learning. They will need to collect evidence of their learning and accomplishments with an activity log and other sources such as photos. At the end of a section an adult will need to write a short report on how they have challenged themselves and what they have learnt over that period of time. This assessor cannot be a parent or guardian but can be any another adult who can comment on their progress, such as their tutor, coach, or the teacher running the extra-curricular club.
In preparation for the expedition, we will be covering key skills during their Tuesday Enrichment sessions, including the following topics:
- First Aid
- Nutrition and Camp Cooking
- Navigation and Map Skills
- Camp Craft - such as putting up a tent
These are all valuable skills which will benefit them into adulthood.
The Bronze Expedition takes place in the Summer term, in the Surrey Hills where they will spend the day walking, then camp at Bentley Copse campsite, ready to walk for the second day. Students will be provided with essential equipment such as tents, camping mats, maps and cooking equipment.
They will need to source their own personal equipment, including suitable clothing, a rain jacket, appropriate footwear, a torch and a sleeping bag. Walking boots/shoes are encouraged - please see this link for an example from a retailer; however appropriate trainers will also be suitable. Please see pictures below of examples of the personal equipment needed.
Students have the opportunity to work towards the Silver award in Year 10 by attending the dedicated extra-curricular club and completing the activities:
- Volunteering - 6 months
- Physical and Skill - One for 6 months, the other for 3 months
At this level, the Expedition is 3 days and 2 nights, and this is completed twice - one is a practice trip, and the other is the final assessed expedition. These Expeditions take place in the Summer term and are located in the picturesque settings of the South Downs and the New Forest.
Students will have the opportunity to complete their Gold award in Years 12 and 13 at Harris Academy Wimbledon Sixth Form. This is an exceptionally prestigious award that demonstrates outstanding levels of commitment and positive personal qualities. Please see the Duke of Edinburgh website for further details of this level of the award.