Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme
Independence, resourcefulness, commitment and a sense of responsibility – these are the just some of the qualities that pupils that complete their Duke of Edinburgh Award demonstrate. The Award Scheme has different sections; volunteering, physical, skills and expeditions (and a residential at Gold) that enable pupils to develop different aspects of their characters.
Volunteering resonates with the sense of community that is present within the School and many pupils select activities that enable them to integrate with their local environment and bring a real benefit to individuals.
The physical section is either done through team games and sports, or individual activities. It allows the pupils to develop interests outside the classroom either through team sports such as cricket, rugby or hockey or to pursue an individual physical activity, such as improving personal fitness or archery.
In the skills section, there are links with the enrichment programme and many pupils will take the opportunity to learn something new such as bridge, knitting, vehicle maintenance or cooking.
The expedition section takes pupils out of their comfort zone, both by camping and cooking outdoors and by removing the adult, giving them the responsibility of where to go and how to get there. They learn how to plan and organise the expedition as well as how to be self-sufficient, especially when away from their creature comforts.
All the sections require the pupils to involve themselves, both as team members and team leaders and learn and understand new facets of their characters. The skills they learn and experiences they have help shape them into the well-rounded, confident person with self-belief and a real awareness of their strengths that epitomises the Sutton Valence School pupil.
The staff who oversee the Award Scheme are Mrs Kitchen, Mr Millbery and Miss McConnachie. Mrs Kitchen is the Award Manager and looks after the Bronze Award. She also teaches Mathematics and has responsibility for constructing the School timetable and coordinates the academic data of the School. Mr Millbery oversees the Gold Award, he is Head of ICT and is also the Contingent Commander of the CCF. Miss McConnachie looks after the Silver Award, she teaches academic sport and is in charge of girls’ netball. Other staff who have an interest and help with the Award, especially with expeditions, are Mr Cope, Mr Horley and Miss Clement-Walker.
In all sections, the staff will guide and support the pupil pushing them to try new activities and go beyond their limits and expectations.
At Sutton Valence School we offer all three levels of the programme. Bronze is completed in the Third and Fourth Form, Silver in the Fourth and Fifth Form and Gold in the Sixth Form. At any one time, from the Third to the Sixth Forms, over half of those able to, are involved with the Award scheme. We are very proud when our Gold Award holders visit St James’s Palace to receive their certificates.