Duke of Edinburgh's Award
St Bede’s has been a highly successful centre for the Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme for several decades. The award is an optional choice for students in the upper school. There are four sections: three individually chosen activities - Physical, Volunteering and Skill - and the group Expedition. Students show great commitment and determination through their participation in the award. Many try new things and gain a great deal from taking part. We are very proud of them all.
About 80 - 90 students take part in the award at this level. Students enroll at the end of Year 9, work on their chosen activities during Year 10, aiming to complete it by the July. The activities students choose are many and varied! For example, we have recently had Water Ski-ing and Horse and Carriage Racing for the Physical section, alongside more usual activities such as Swimming or Rugby. For Volunteering our students often support their local youth groups and organisations such as Brownies, or volunteer formally at their Church or for a local charity. For their Skill, learning another language - be it ancient Greek or Sign Language - or musical or drama participation are popular choices.
For the Expedition section, students choose the group they will be in. In the Autumn and Spring terms we have initial training on a day walk in the Cambridgeshire countryside, "First Aid in the Outdoors" training, after school meetings to learn about kit, food planning and route planning. Early in the Summer term we go for our expedition training weekend, walking and camping in the Essex hills. In Activities Week we go to the Derbyshire White Peak area for the assessed Expedition. This presents new challenges (steep hills!) to which the students rise very well. The groups show grit and perseverance while working well as a team to make a success of their trip.
About 25 to 30 students in year 11 decide to go on to do the next level of the Award. This is started in Year 11, and either completed in that year, or continued at sixth form level. The expedition trips are to the South Downs (practice) and to the Swaledale/Wensleydale area in North Yorkshire (assessed).
The school has a well established team of teachers and volunteers who work with the students, training, supervising and assessing them. Several of our volunteers are ex-St Bede's students. We are always very happy to hear from parents and carers who have some level of qualification or experience, and who would like to get involved in helping with the award. Several parents of students are long-term helpers with the expedition section.
More details are available from the school. Please contact the Duke of Edinburgh Coordinator, Ms H Bennett, at email@example.com