Options College Shifnal recently embarked on the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme. After receiving our ‘Directly Licensed Centre’, award from Prince at St James Palace in 2014. We have enjoyed a thoroughly successful year of the scheme with nine students passing their bronze award.
The D of E Scheme is an outstanding, world recognised award which stands the participants in great stead for employment opportunities. Many employers will fast-track an applicant to the interview stage simply by them having stated the D of E Award on their CV. An employer will recognise the vital characteristics of an applicant with D of E of having the excellent skills of:
- Team working
- A positive attitude which is important in every industry from customer relations to construction
The scheme is split into four sections. The participant has to pass all of them to achieve the award. At Options College Shifnal, participants worked at their skills for one hour per week for three months ranging from card games to building go karts.
For the physical section some students attended after school sports clubs or took part in activities in their own time including judo, football and dodgeball.
The volunteering section of the bronze award required students to work over a six month period. They decided to team up and construct a camp in the school forest. They built a pond dipping platform, group seating area and a fire pit.
For the expedition section the group split into two groups and participated in a two day, one night training and assessed expedition. Everyone passed which meant they had culminated their years’ work and had gained their bronze award. They had numerous challenges however on their expedition with torrential rain, wind, broken equipment, injuries and severe fatigue!! Each participant contributed into a fantastic team whether they were a cook, tent erector, map reader, team motivator or even just being really organised!!
Many students have already progressed onto their silver qualification with a new cohort starting their bronze award.
Overall the participants and D of E staff team ensured that everyone had an amazing time and came out a more positive person.
Sir Terry Pratchet sums up brilliantly what the D of E is all about:
“We sorely need something like the D of E to get us out of our chairs and in touch with the real world, even if the real world is trickling down the back of your neck and your tent has blown away. It is important.
It means that you know how to engage with the world and deal with other people. You can’t learn that from a computer.
It’s about dealing with disappointment, things going wrong and pushing on despite all obstacles. I know it sounds old, but it isn’t.
Young people meet more difficulties, opportunities and challenges than they would have done around the turn of the 20th century.
The D of E is a fundamental part of the ‘Make a human Being kit’
The D of E Team
Options College Shifnal