Duke of Edinburgh’s Award

KLB School is a licenced organisation for the DofE award. Since re-launching in 2015, participation has grown year on year: In the 2019/20 academic year, over 140 students enrolled at Bronze level, over 50 students at Silver level and over 40 students at Gold level.

Award levels and timings:

KLBS offers students the opportunity to take part at the following levels and introduces the award to the relevant year groups during Term 1 each year.

  • Bronze – for those in Year 9
  • Silver – for those in Year 10
  • Gold – for those in Year 12

The commitment required to complete each level is given below. Students need to spend at least one hour per week on each activity during the extra-curricular time, over the required timescale. Many students are already involved in activities that can be included in their DofE programme, including playing sports or musical instruments (Physical and Skills sections respectively).

Bronze timescales:

  • Volunteering section: 3 months
  • Physical section: 3 months
  • Skills section: 3 months
  • Expedition section: 2 days/1 night
  • You also have to do 3 more months in one of the Volunteering, Physical or Skills sections.

Silver timescales:

  • Volunteering section: 6 months
  • Physical and Skills sections: One section for 6 months and the other section for 3 months
  • Expedition section: 3 days/2 nights
  • If you didn’t do Bronze, you must undertake a further 6 months in either the Volunteering or the longer of the Physical or Skills sections.

Gold timescales:

  • Volunteering section: 12 months
  • Physical and Skills sections: One section for 12 months and the other section for 6 months
  • Expedition section: 4 days/3 nights
  • Residential section: Undertake a shared activity in a residential setting away from home for 5 days and 4 nights.
  • If you didn’t do Silver, you must undertake a further 6 months in either the Volunteering or the longer of the Physical or Skills sections.

Latest DofE updates 2020

This academic year has seen the highest level of DofE participation yet at KLB School with over 240 students following programmes at either Bronze, Silver or Gold level. Achieving a DofE award is a significant challenge in normal circumstances but the lockdown has really tested the participants’ ingenuity and resilience.

Not only have the summer expeditions been postponed until the autumn term but many students were unable to continue their chosen Voluntary, Physical and Skills activities in their original format.

Fortunately, DofE has introduced some temporary programme changes, relaxing some of the rules to enable participants to change or vary activities or to consider possibilities that were previously unavailable to them.

For the Voluntary section, some students are now helping younger siblings at home with school work or other activities, which must be a great relief to their parents. Others are supporting shielding or elderly neighbours with shopping, gardening or simply being a regular contact and friendly face to reduce the sense of isolation they may be feeling. A few are helping out at food banks or working remotely on projects for charities.

Physical and Skills activities have continued with use of technology and social media. Many lessons and classes now take place on Zoom while other students have switched to walking, running and cycling to keep fit and are tracking their progress on apps to provide evidence for assessors.

That so many participants have truly embraced the ethos of DofE in their determination to progress with their award programme is impressive. At Bronze and Silver level, quite a few students have now completed all three activity sections and just need to undertake the expedition in order to achieve their award.

I would encourage any participants whose awards have stalled for whatever reason to get in touch – I am always happy to help and will continue to do so over the summer. Remember that everyone is capable of achieving their DofE award and working towards the programme goals can help to provide a focus during uncertain times.

Helen Isaacs
DofE Coordinator

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