The Duke of Edinburgh's Award (DofE) is the world's leading achievement award for young people, recognised by employers and universities alike. It helps to instil a sense of adventure and has a lasting impact on young people's behaviour, skills and life chances.
At Longridge Towers, pupils have the opportunity to create their own DofE programme by choosing a volunteering, physical and a skills activity, going on an expedition and, for their Gold award only, taking part in a residential activity. The award enables pupils to develop their mind, body and soul in a non-competitive environment, which elevates their self-confidence, skills and aspirations. The DofE is a widely recognised qualification and is viewed in a very positive fashion by university admissions tutors and employers.
Each section of the programme focuses on developing a core aspect in our pupils, in a fun yet challenging manner and has specific aims and purposes. By completing the various components, our students develop new skills, confidence and talents, help their community and gain a greater appreciation of the world and their surrounding areas.
When pupils reach Lower Sixth, they are encouraged to participate in the DofE Gold Award. Students do not need to have completed Bronze or Silver, as Longridge offers the option for to enter directly at gold level. The Gold Award is a considerably harder challenge and does require commitment at all times. The positive experiences that students gain are vital for their own development and give a great sense of achievement and satisfaction.
Although most aspects are the same as Bronze, it does differ slightly as an independent residential activity must be undertaken, for at least 4 nights. In the past, students at Longridge have been encouraged to broaden their horizons by travelling abroad to carry out conservation in less developed countries.
The expedition at Gold level requires pupils to spend 4 nights camping and 5 days travelling. Prior to the adventure, pupils are encouraged to plan their own journey as part of a team, choosing where and how they want to undertake their expedition. This year’s gold group carried out their practice expedition in the snowy Lake District and used the Yorkshire Dales for their final journey, later in the year.
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