The English College is proud to deliver The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award. It is a world leading achievement award with the aim of providing new challenges and skills to young people. The Award was founded by His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh in 1956 with the sole purpose of readying young children for future responsibilities and equipping them with necessary skills to cope with the successes and failures that life can bring. The Award is globally recognised by employers and universities as they understand the key skills gained upon the completion of the award. Skills such as communication, teamwork, leadership, problem-solving and perseverance are vital in everyday life outside of the classroom.
The award is facilitated by Mr Talsania who is the Award Co-ordinator and members of staff support training sessions, expeditions and provide mentoring for the students. Mr Talsania has been on many expeditions in the UK and is an expert in the skills required to successfully navigate in the mountains or in the desert without a mobile phone!
The English College start training sessions in year 10 for the Bronze Award, year 11 for the Silver Award and year 12 & 13 for the Gold Award. Students must complete a physical activity, skill and voluntary service with a minimum of a 1-hour commitment for each activity per week. On top of that, students are then expected to undertake a practice adventurous journey and qualifying adventurous journey.
The Award is a huge step towards the students becoming independent, working on their team working, leadership and communication skills. This allows the students to develop their confidence, intra-personal and interpersonal skills which translates into the classroom. Moreover, it also allows the student to expand their CV and university applications when they are able to discuss the skills they have gained relating to the International Award. Below are the time requirements for the activities and adventurous journeys for each stage of the International Award.
Service allows the students to think more about other people and empathise with situations they may have not experienced before. Students may also improve their tolerance or develop compassion towards others.
A physical skill is designed to encourage healthy behaviours, no matter what level they are currently at in a particular sport. It is perfectly fine to take up a new sport or activity. This section tries to improve the health, potentially team working skills, confidence and self-awareness. This is very important in the preparation of the adventurous journey where they will be physically challenged.
Students can improve an existing skill or learn a new skill. Learning a new language, musical instrument, research the history regarding an ancient civilisation are all great examples of a skill students can learn. Students will be able to improve their time management and self-motivation.
Adventurous journey: planning, training for and completion of an adventurous journey.
For many students, the highlight of The Award is undertaking the adventurous journey. It is a huge learning experience, having to cook for themselves, work together navigating unknown areas or figuring out how to set up a tent! On top of that, they need to do this using only a map and a compass. They are not allowed to have electronic devices during the expedition. Moreover, if the students get lost, they need to work together to figure out where they are and what their next steps should be. We have safeguards in place to help locate them, for example GPS trackers, drones and 4x4s and we are well equipped to deal with any medical issues.
For students to undertake the adventurous journey, they must be fully trained for their expeditions. Therefore, it is mandatory for all students to attend ALL training sessions. Students must show commitment towards the Award and be proactive. It is their Award and their responsibility to ensure they understand what is required of them.
Bronze: 3 months for each activity & an additional 3 months for one of the chosen activities. The duration of the adventurous journey is 2 days, 1 night with a minimum journeying time of 6 hours.
Silver: 6 months for each activity. If the previous Award has not been obtained, students must carry out a further 6 months in a chosen activity. The duration of the adventurous journey is 3 days, 2 nights with a minimum journeying time of 7 hours.
Gold: 12 months for each activity. If the previous Award has not been obtained, students must carry out a further 6 months in a chosen activity. The duration of the adventurous journey is 4 days, 3 nights with a minimum journeying time of 8 hours.
Mr Krishan Talsania - Teacher of Chemistry
Duke of Edinburgh International Award Coordinator