Halliford School is proud to offer the Duke of Edinburgh Award for the students. This fantastic award gives our students the chance to experience outdoor adventure first hand, taking part in exciting hiking and camping expeditions to areas of natural beauty. Students are given the chance to learn important outdoor skills such as navigation and camp-craft. In addition, the D of E pushes participants to give back to their community by volunteering for a not-for-profit organisation. This provides valuable work experience and simultaneously benefits society. Two further stipulations of the award are the Skill and Physical sections, which encourage participants to take up a new sport and interest, coaxing them to developing work ethic, dedication, fitness and hopefully giving them a new hobby or pursuit. The Duke of Edinburgh Award is a hugely beneficial challenge that is as rewarding as it is enjoyable.
At Halliford we work with professional outdoor leaders to offer the award to as many students as possible. We start with the Bronze award in Year 9, which gives them a taste of the adventure D of E has to offer, and gives them the transferable skills which they will use if they decide to progress to Silver in Year 10. We are looking to introduce the Gold award in Sixth Form, to allow the most intrepid of our students to achieve this prestigious award. I highly recommend students getting involved with the D of E and I hope that it will act as an inspiration for starting a lifelong love for the great outdoors.
Indeed, I have personal experience with the school’s D of E offering. Ten years ago, back when I was a student of Halliford School, I did my Bronze award. Some of the teachers who accompanied my expedition are still teaching at the school and they helped make the D of E both enjoyable and inspiring. I discovered that I had a genuine interest in the outdoors and once my award was complete I began planning my own expeditions and hikes. Quickly the outdoors became my primary hobby and interest, and once I became a member of staff at the school I began to become involved as a D of E leader for expeditions, until recently when I took over the role of D of E manager. I hope that our D of E offering will allow other students the opportunity to find a real love for being outside, hiking, camping and exploring, whilst giving them the tenacity, skill and drive to adapt to face the challenges that can accompany such pursuits.