This is an entirely voluntary award scheme designed to get young people off the couch and into the community, doing things to stretch themselves and benefit society. Prospective employers and university admissions officers see the D of E as a sign of a well-rounded and self-motivated individual. The ethos of the award is very much about the personal development of the individual, therefore most of the responsibility of progressing to completion lies with the young people themselves.
There are three progressive stages to the award – Bronze (LV), Silver (UV) and Gold (LVI) – but all consist of the same four essential components: Volunteering, Physical, Skill and Expedition. The Gold award also consists of a Residential element.
Many members of Common Room help with the Awards, but key members of staff are:
Ms Linda Baily who looks after the Bronze Award (LVth)
Mr Gordon Bryant who looks after the Silver Award (UVth)
Dr Simon Young who looks after the Gold Award (VIth Form)
The overall Manager is Dr Simon Young (firstname.lastname@example.org). The day to day co-ordinator is Linda Baily (email@example.com) and she deals specifically with registration and D of E matters.
The ‘independent award verifier’ is Mrs Shannon Thomson.
Full details of the Award Scheme can be found at http://www.dofe.org/
Training takes place on Monday afternoons, with Wednesdays being used for additional training and other volunteering activities.
This is usually done in the LVth as you need to be at least 14 years old to start a Bronze programme and you must do a minimum of 3 months activity for each of the Volunteering, Physical and Skills sections, and plan, train for and do a 2 day (1 night) Expedition.
You also have to spend an extra three months on one of the Volunteering, Physical or Skills sections.
In a typical year over sixty Cranleighans undertake the challenge.
Linda Baily is the Bronze Co-ordinator (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The expeditions take place in the local area at the start and end of the Summer Term. You will be trained for them in your Monday sessions as well as on Wednesday afternoons in either your D of E activity or CCF.
You need to do at least 6 months Volunteering and a minimum of 6 months on either Physical or Skills and 3 months on the other. It’s up to you which one you do for longer.
The Expedition section involves planning, training for and doing a three-day (two-night) expedition. The three-day practice expedition is undertaken in the local Surrey Hills during the Lent term and the assessed trip is in the New Forest just after GCSE exams.
If you start the Silver without doing Bronze first you’ll have to do an extra 6 months volunteering or doing whichever of the Physical or Skills sections you have spent more time on.
GGB is the Silver Co-ordinator (email@example.com).
The Gold Award is a much more serious undertaking than Bronze or Silver, and all participants are in the Sixth Form, as you have to be 16. You’ll spend 12 months on your Volunteering section. For Physical and Skills you must spend 12 months on one and six months on the other – you decide which way round you do it.
The big difference at Gold, is you’ll also do a Residential section – staying away from home for five days and four nights doing a shared activity with people you don’t know. It’s great fun and a real chance to do something different!
If you’ve jumped straight into your Gold DofE programme you’ll need to do a further six months either volunteering or whichever one of your physical or skills activities you spent the most time on.
Many manage to finish the award whilst still at Cranleigh, though technically they have until they are twenty five to complete it. Usually there are about 25-30 candidates each year.
The practice expedition is usually run in the Black Mountains in S. Wales over the Easter Holiday and the arduous four day Assessed Expedition takes place in the Plumlumon area of Mid-Wales, over the infamous Alenedd (“The Green Desert”) at the end of the Summer term after AS level exams
Many Gold and Silver candidates also help run other OE activities such as CCF as the “Volunteering” section of their award.