The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award has been an important and popular part of Lancing’s co-curricular programme since 1963.
Today approximately 22% of Lancing pupils participate in the DofE programme, which is crucial in helping build confidence, self-discipline and resilience in young people, whilst at the same time teaching fundamental leadership, team and collaboration skills. From this academic year the Bronze Award has become one of the co-curricular options for the Third Form (previously only available from the Fourth Form). This change will allocate the students more time to go through each level, enabling them to concentrate on their academic studies and complete the second and prestigious Silver Award with ease in the Fifth Form. There are currently 30 Lancing pupils training for the Bronze; 36 Fourth Formers started their training towards their Silver Award this year, while 38 Fifth Formers are currently completing their Bronze award or have progressed to Silver Award.
Twenty students carried out their practice expedition in Ashdown Forest during the Advent term with the aim of completing their Silver Award before Easter. In the Sixth Form there are currently 26 pupils working towards the Gold Award. Some of the Sixth Formers are also involved in a ‘buddy system’, which enables younger pupils to be fully supported by those older in planning and executing expeditions or when learning new skills. The benefits of DofE don’t end when an award is achieved: it is an asset for personal statements and a valuable addition to any university or job application. Its life-changing experiences last well after the objective has been reached, with memories of the camaraderie, the ability to overcome all obstacles, and the sense of achievement when remembering how far they’ve gone to succeed.
‘As the new DofE Manager, I am very excited that we are opening up the Bronze Award to the Third Form for the first time. The pupils in this year group have already shown enthusiasm about DofE and are using their initiative to find new ways to be part of the College community through various volunteering projects, ranging from campaigning against plastics to helping in their Boarding House or in the School Shop. We are also involved in the inaugural allocation of DofE Ambassadors within our Gold Award. We congratulate Natasha C and Loren P, both in the Lower Sixth, who have been selected to be the face of DofE within the College. They will also be able to access DofE leadership training with a view to becoming DofE leaders of the future.’
Michelle Porter, Teacher of Physics and DofE Manager