Duke of Edinburgh's Award
At Dartford Grammar School we offer the DofE award scheme to students in years 10-13. Year 10s can complete the Bronze award and Year 12 can participate in the Silver award and Gold awards. We are the largest participating school in the south-east of England, with nearly 300 students regularly taking part.
What do our students say?
About the Gold Award: (from Maria, Year 13)
"Last year I completed the Gold Duke of Edinburgh award. I think I am speaking for all of the students who completed the award when I say that, surprisingly, the teachers were definitely the highlight of the trip. The support of teachers during the trip was invaluable. This is probably best demonstrated by the fact that, after a very difficult 9-hour day of walking for my group, where seemingly everything that could have gone wrong had, in fact, gone very very wrong, seeing a teacher emerge, driving over a hill towards us, our whole team burst out crying with tears of joy and relief!
I think that the opportunity to see a different, less formal side to the teachers, also really helped create a better learning environment when school restarted where, amongst all of the stressful demands of Year 13, everything feels much calmer and more comfortable - knowing you always have some teachers who know you really well you can turn to. It also makes engaging with teachers outside and inside of lessons much more natural, relaxed and just easier in general, and I think the same can be said about teachers interacting with the students.
The Duke of Edinburgh Gold Expedition is an amazing opportunity to get away from the chaotic demands of everyday life and enjoy the challenges of a situation and environment that you’d otherwise likely never find yourself in."
About the Bronze and Silver Awards (from James, Year 12)
"My name is James and I began my Silver DofE journey in late 2017. I completed all sections of the award by December 2018, and I am now awaiting my completion certificate. Prior to Silver, I completed my Bronze in Year 10.
The DofE is a great experience for both students and staff alike. The practice and qualifying expeditions, and their associated planning processes, both serve as a much-needed break from the classroom. Staff have the opportunity to support a group on their route planning and to supervise a group as they embark on their expeditions, and students get to know these members of staff well.
From my own experience, the informal setting of a group planning its route helps students and staff to form a positive working relationship. This is further cemented when staff accompany the group on their expeditions. It seems that both sides enjoy the experience and come out of it with a better understanding of each other, having worked together in a more informal and greatly contrasting setting to a classroom."