The Duke of Edinburgh's Award (DofE) is a nationally recognised scheme to inspire young people to take part in a programme of practical, cultural and adventurous activities. The Award Scheme offers a challenge through a balanced curriculum of activities, in which they are encouraged to serve others, obtain new skills and experience adventure.
Hereford Cathedral School is its own operating authority for the Award Scheme and we offer all three levels of the Award: Bronze, Silver and Gold. There are four sections of each level of the award which must be completed; Service, Expedition, Skills and Physical Recreation. It proves to be a very popular extra-curricular activity at Hereford Cathedral School. Pupils can join the scheme in Year 10 for the Bronze award and Year 11 for Silver, Pupils can then progress to the Gold Level in the Sixth Form.
The Students receive training during Wednesday afternoons from the DofE staff that prepares them for their expedition. There is also a residential requirement at Gold where pupils are involved in a week long course of their own choice away from home.
The Expedition section encourages a sense of adventure and discovery. We use a variety of areas for this, from the local Herefordshire countryside and the Forest of Dean to Welsh Hills of the Brecon Beacons and Snowdonia national parks; we have also used the Lake District, Scottish Cairngorms and even the Spanish Pyrenees and Swiss Alps for expeditions.
The award programme should be completed in the students own time, and as they progress through its three levels, it demands more time and increasing commitment and improvement. At Bronze level participants need strong support from staff; however at Gold students will be largely responsible for organising their own award programme with the guidance of adults.