Co-curricular activities have a central place at Bennett and yet when it comes to DofE, it is so embedded that it is regarded as part of our curriculum provision for students here. We want every student from every walk of life to participate in the Bronze programme and receive the benefit of some formative experiences, especially in the expedition which promotes knowledge of survival, camp craft, map reading, project and team management. At the same time students develop character in being determined to achieve the goals they have set and accommodating enough in the first place to be able to work with others towards this. Students who are able to undertake these opportunities have been shown to experience better mental health and have more enacted models to draw upon when challenges come in life: ‘When I was really tired and hungry and we still had two miles to go, I knew I would get there if I just keep going, one step at a time.’ In this way, students are more rounded, but also more ready for their studies too, complimenting what they set out to achieve in their subjects.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is also a programme which promotes and celebrates other co-curricular activities: maintaining a physical sport or activity; keeping up a skill; volunteering to help others and look to use all of their skills and knowledge to build one another up and make for a better world. It is no surprise that employers value the award, but also that there is a specific category for it on a students’ UCAS application form for higher education destinations. We hope that you will make the most of all the opportunities in the Duke of Edinburgh award.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is accessible to all students in year 9 to start the award scheme at the bronze level, to year 10 and year 11 students for the silver award and to all students over the age of 16 for the gold award. We particularly welcome students as direct entrant’s to the gold level of the award, especially those new to Bennett in the 6th form.