There has a been a DofE group at Churston Ferrers Grammar School for over 10 years, and it has grown enormously in popularity, particularly in the last three years. We are now very proud to be a Directly Licensed Centre for DofE, working closely with the South West regional DofE team. We have a strong relationship with other DofE centres in Torbay, coming together at the annual Torbay DofE Presentation Evening.
The Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme started in 1956 as a scheme for boys (girls were accepted a few years later) and since then over 200,000 Gold awards have been presented, mostly by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh himself. DofE runs in various forms internationally in over 140 countries, and there are over 850,000 current participants globally. That sounds a lot, but in the UK a very small percentage of the 14-19 age group participate in DofE, let alone complete an award. This makes the DofE opportunity at Churston really special.
How the DofE fits into Churston life
Students can take part in DofE between Years 10 and 13. They work on the personal sections of the award to start with, which means getting involved in activities in three different categories: volunteering, a physical activity, and a skill. They can start new things or use existing hobbies and clubs as DofE activities. Activities are done in their own time – this includes lunchtime and after school clubs in school as well as non-school activities. We provide the expedition section through a series of training sessions, a day walk and practice expedition weekend, before the assessed expedition takes place. We provide walking expeditions – other modes of travel are available through outside organisations.
Participation in DofE fits into the school ethos of learning for your future, and becoming a well-rounded person as well as being well-qualified academically.
Churston students are very lucky that DofE enjoys support and time from lots of volunteer staff in and out of school. Because of this support over 200 students are currently doing their DofE at bronze, silver or gold level.