Record number of students take part
in DofE Award
The surge of interest in the Duke of Edinburgh Award (DofE) over the last few years has been remarkable, resulting its uptake being the largest of any school in our Local Authority and even more exciting in light of the goal set by the DofE Award for the next 5 years:
‘to give more than one million young people the chance to participate in the programme, while ensuring that the scheme is open to all young people and that participants reflect the most diverse generation of young people ever’.
To date, over two hundred UCL Academy students have participated in the scheme since it was first offered in 2013. Last years’ cohort included 14 students working towards their Bronze award and 30 students towards their Silver, and going on the applications received for this years’ intake, those numbers will significantly rise.
The most recent expeditions by some of our Year 9 and Year 11 students took place at the Lambourne End Centre in Essex in late September (18th-19th) and early October (1st-3rd) respectively. It would be fair to say, the weather didn’t make the weekend any easier for the 30 students on their Silver Expedition. Hiking and navigating for 7 hours a day, pitching their tents and cooking, all under a sky of torrential rain. But these students are made of hardy stuff, gritty determination and resilience prevailed and resulted in 27 Silver awards being achieved, alongside an equally impressive haul of 13 Bronze awards for Year 9 students. In spite of the adversities, it was truly wonderful to see everyone back in the field again…not to mention the notable air of excitement throughout the entire camp. Congratulations to all those who gained new award status!
We are also extremely proud to announce that our former Head Boy, Sonal Jayasena has just been awarded the Gold award, making him our second student to achieve at the highest level. Sonal is one of many former students who continue their DofE award path through and with the help of the Academy.
The DofE is just one part of our Enrichment Programme at the Academy, bursting with unique opportunities that seek to cultivate a love of learning, stretch minds and raise aspirations. Alongside the ongoing support of our sponsor UCL and the collaboration between our two institutions, the DofE scheme affords yet another level of prestige to our programme. As a highly respected and longstanding scheme, it offers students an even greater opportunity to augment personal development through an exciting range of challenges that might not otherwise be available to them. The benefits of taking part in this scheme are endless, but life skills that transcend those learned in the classroom might be a good way to describe what the scheme instils and equips young people with. It comes as no surprise that the scheme is highly respected by Universities and employers, who all commend and recognise the transferable skills the scheme offers.
More students than ever before participated in the scheme during the last 18 months, so we are both fortunate and extremely thankful that the Pupil Premium Scheme, Sixth Form Bursaries and philanthropic funding from Elizabeth Critchley made the DofE attainable to all our students. Furthermore, this funding ensures that our participation in the scheme helps to uphold the desire of the DofE organisation, ‘to make the scheme open to all young people’.
We very much look forward to welcoming new and returning students to the scheme this year.