The Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme is offered as an extra-curricular activity at Glenalmond at Gold and Silver level. As a result we enjoy one of the highest success rates of any independent school in Scotland.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is hugely popular at Glenalmond, where an average of 50 Glenalmond pupils gain their Silver award and between 20 and 30 successfully complete their Gold Award each year - 66% of our pupils start and finish their DofE awards - the average for Scotland is 49%.
The Silver Award is offered to those who remain in CCF during 5th Form. It normally takes 12 months to complete with much of the expedition training being part of the CCF training package in the Michaelmas term. The practice expeditions are based in the local area starting from Glenalmond and run either side of the Easter break, before the main GCSE exams begin. The assessed expedition is in Scotland but in a more remote area towards the end of June, after the GCSE exams have finished. It involves a three day/ two night trip, with at least one group using canoes as their mode of transport.
This award requires 12 months of service. Being an active member of the CCF and undertaking at least one visit to camp or a course will cover this. The cadets also need to work to improve a skill and to participate in a physical recreation. There are many possibilities for the last two but they need to be discussed in advance with the person who will monitor and report on their progress in order to sign their record book at the end of the required period.
The Gold Award is more demanding and has five sections. Expeditions in recent years have included walking in Norway, Morocco and Scotland; canoeing the River Spey from source to sea; and paddling across Scotland from Fort William to Inverness. Expeditions take place towards the end of the Easter holidays with the assessment during the summer holidays.
Most participants do their Service Section on a Wednesday afternoon either by continuing to stay in the CCF or by undertaking Community Service. They must also complete at least 12 months of a skill and physical recreation and attend a residential course. This has to be a minimum of five days and four nights away from home on community service work or training.
It takes a minimum of 12 months to achieve Gold if Silver has already been completed first, or 18 months if it has not. It calls for a large degree of determination and self-motivation.
For more information contact our Outdoor Activity Co-ordinator and DofE Award Officer Mark Nichols
For more information about the Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme visit: www.dofe.org