Duke of Edinburgh’s Award
The DofE Award is a certificated scheme for young people that encourages them to develop skills such as self-reliance, self-discipline and teamwork. Participants complete three month projects under three headings:
Volunteering; where they give of their time to help other people Skill; participants develop an existing interest or try a new one and Physical; participation in a sport or other pastime that promotes fitness.
Candidates also organise and take part in a two day Expedition where they have to plan and organise a journey in wild country. They have to be self-sufficient in finding their way, preparing food and they have to camp overnight.
In S4, the participants will select and start their projects. In class they learn basic navigation, first aid, outdoor cooking and camp craft and will, at the end of the year organise and take part in a practice expedition.
In S5 students will complete their projects and expand upon their expedition skills. In the spring, they will organise and participate in their qualifying expedition.
In S6 students may, if they choose to remain in the DofE programme, start upon their Silver award. This involves extended volunteering, skills and physical projects and a three day expedition with two nights camping.
Outdoor education and outdoor learning is a central tenet of the Curriculum for Excellence. Rutherglen High School’s Outdoor Learning programme encompasses several award programmes which include the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, The John Muir Award, Personal Achievement Awards and the ASDAN Awards.
Spending time in the outdoors is import for all of our students for all sorts of reasons.
Health promotion – Spending time in the outdoors obviously encourages children and young people to be active and promotes life-long participation in healthy outdoor activities. Spending time in outdoor, green spaces has been shown to lower anxiety and to be beneficial for mental health.
Self-confidence – Outdoor activities promote self-reliance, encourage team-building and respect for others and for their abilities and to become Confident Individuals. Students are encouraged to engage with risk in a considered manner and take responsibility for themselves and for their own actions.
Community – Working in the local community; especially with other groups and organisations; allows students to learn what it means to be Responsible Citizens and Effective Contributors within society. Learning about and working in their local community encourages life-long participation and engagement within the community.
Environmental issues – Working within green spaces builds a deeper appreciation of the natural environment and teaches students an understanding of the global implications of our daily actions. It encourages students to engage with sustainable development and an ethic of care for our planet.
Outdoor learning – Learning outside of the classroom allows students to engage practically with their learning. Science, geography and physical education are the more obvious subjects that can be brought alive in the outdoors but all subjects benefit from being taught in different surroundings. Outdoor learning encourages students and staff to think creatively in order to find ways of making all school experiences real and applicable to the students’ everyday experiences and thus allow everyone to become Successful Learners.
Students in S2 and S3 have the opportunity to participate in short projects lasting 8 to 10 weeks that teach skills that normally lie outwith the remit of our academic subjects. It allows our staff to share their interests and engage with students in a slightly less formal setting. After completing their skills block, student prepare a short showcase presenting their new skills to their peers. The skill groups offered differ from term to term but have included: