Duke of Edinburgh
The Duke of Edinburgh programme is a real adventure from beginning to end. It does not matter who you are or where you are from. You just need to realise that there is more to life than sitting on the sofa watching the world pass you by.
We are very proud to be the largest centre in Wales. Typically we have about 150 pupils registered on the Bronze Award, about 70 pupils on the Silver Award and about 100 pupils at various stages of the Gold Award. We are equally proud of our completion rate which is annually at about 80%. Last year around thirty pupils received their Gold Awards at St James Palace, with the awards presented to them by a member of the royal family.
Olchfa offers the Bronze, Silver and Gold DofE programmes as well as Direct Entry Gold DofE. Pupils are given the opportunity to enrol for Bronze DofE at the end of Year 9 and go on to complete their Bronze award during Year 10. Those that are successful are then offered the opportunity to complete the Silver award in Year 11 and the Gold award through their time in the sixth form. The Direct Gold award is offered to pupils who have joined the school for sixth form, alongside a few Olchfa pupils who did not complete Bronze and Silver in Key Stage 4.
There are four sections of the award to complete. The first three are Volunteering, Skills and Physical. Pupils make their own choices from a long list of approved activities. Pupils then undertake these activities for a minimum of one hour each week and the time-span for each depends on the level of the award they are following. At the Gold level there is an additional requirement to complete a five-day residential challenge, either working for the community or learning a new skill.
The expedition section takes place once the other sections are complete. Pupils follow a training programme to prepare them for expeditions and then complete two expeditions, a practice and a final assessed expedition. Again the time-span of the expedition depends on the level of the award they are following. All our Bronze expeditions take place on the Gower, while Silver and Gold expeditions take place in the Brecon Beacons.
The award is a non-competitive programme that encourages pupils to try new things and to stretch themselves in new directions. The award is a great opportunity to reward pupils for activities they are already undertaking. It also encourages pupils to consider their community, increase their health and fitness levels, make new friends and create memories that will last a lifetime. Employers and Universities regard completion of the Award at any level as a sign of a well-rounded individual, capable of rising to a challenge and willing to invest time in altruistic activities.