Already renowned for its academic excellence, Newcastle Under Lyme School continually seeks to provide opportunities for pupils to explore their full potential both inside and outside of the classroom and to develop those important 'life skills' that will help them succeed in their future careers.
The Duke of Edinburgh's Award has been running in the school for well over 5 years and currently has over 100 participants involved at all levels of the Award.
The DofE scheme begins at age 14. As many of our students do not reach this age until the end of Year 9, NULS offers the option to participate in the scheme in September of Year 10. After a presentation on the scheme, students are invited to apply and, if necessary, are interviewed by a DofE leader.
NULS is able to offer around 50 places at Bronze - limited only by the staffing of the expedition section, where the supervision requirements requires a large number of teachers. Demand for places can be higher, which unfortunately means that not all students who apply are able to participate.
Once the Bronze Level is complete students can continue with the scheme taking the Silver Award in Year 11 and progressing to Gold in the Sixth Form; we are able to offer up to 36 places at each of these levels.
Each level of the Award is divided into four sections: Volunteering, Skill, Physical Activity and the Expedition. Those completing the Gold Award are also required to undertake a week's residential position, such as working for the National Trust or attending a week-long event away from the School.
The Duke of Edinburgh's Award is a voluntary, non-competitive programme of activities for anyone aged 14-25.
It offers an individual challenge and encourages young people to undertake exciting, constructive, challenging and enjoyable activities in their free time.
The Award is a four section programme with three progressive levels: Bronze, Silver and Gold. The sections involve: Service, Skills, Physical Recreation and Expeditions.
A key point is that it is the students themselves are responsible for the planning, delivery and completion of the various activities that they have elected to do.
At this time, just over 7% of those in the UK aged 14-17 participate in the Award and the Award has recently been rated as a major influence on the selection of employees in graduate recruitment, here in the UK.
The Bronze level of the Award is the traditional point of entry into the scheme, and many people in the Fourth Year become involved at this point.
Students need to complete four sections; Volunteering, Physical, Skills and an Expedition. For more details on what each of these entails, click on the link to the DofE official website.
Each year the school runs two training expeditions and an assessment expedition. The expeditions are designed as a launch pad for the skills needed at this level, as well as for Silver and Gold.
The expedition involves a two day journey on foot as well as an overnight stay in a camp site. During the training phase the groups are taught the essentials of camp management, hill safety and navigation. They are also given plenty of opportunities to put their interpersonal skills to test!
Upon completion of the assessment expedition, groups then need to give a presentation or complete a log of what happened!
For more details on the Bronze award, please go to the DofE website.
The Silver level of the Award is a natural continuation from Bronze, but students may also start their journey into the scheme here as Direct Entrants. People generally start Silver in the Fifth year.
Once again, students need to complete four sections; Volunteering, Physical, Skills and an Expedition. The requirements for each section are slightly more demanding than for Bronze. For more details on what each of these entails, click on the link to the DofE official website.
Each year the school runs a training expedition and an assessment expedition. If you have not done the Bronze award you are called a Direct Entrant, and will need to undertake additional training and complete the training expedition as well as the assessed expedition.
The expedition can be completed on foot, or even in a canoe (depending on the degree of interest expressed). The expedition will be over three days and two nights, and once again the groups will be self-sufficient as they need to cook and look after themselves. Similar to Bronze, the groups will subsequently need to give a presentation on their journey, or complete and hand in a log of events.
For more details on the Silver award, please go to the DofE website.
The Gold level of the Award is the culmination of the previous two levels, but students may also start their journey into the scheme here as Direct Entrants. You have to be aged 16 or over in order to register for Gold.
The usual sections need to be completed; Volunteering, Physical, Skills and an Expedition, but students also need to do a 5 day Residential course. The requirements for each section are slightly more demanding than for Silver.
Each year the school runs a training expedition and an assessment expedition. If you have not done the Silver award you are called a Direct Entrant, and will need to complete two training expeditions as well as the assessed expedition
The expedition can be completed on foot, or even in a canoe (depending on the degree of interest expressed and relevant previous experience). The expedition will be over four days and three nights, and once again the groups will be self-sufficient as they need to cook and look after themselves. There may also be a requirement to spend at least one night in a wild camp (depending on local conditions).
Similar to Silver, the groups will subsequently need to give a presentation on their journey, or complete and hand in a log of events.
If you are already involved with the award then please check the notice board in Victoria Building regularly and also the online document library.
How to get involved