The Duke of Edinburgh's Award

The Duke of Edinburgh's Award (commonly abbreviated DofE),is a youth awards programme founded in the United Kingdom in 1956 by Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, that has since expanded to 144 nations. The awards recognise adolescents and young adults for completing a series of self-improvement exercises modelled on Kurt Hahn's solution to the "Six Declines of Modern Youth".

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An Award without barriers

The Duke of Edinburgh's (DofE) International Award Scheme is a programme of personal development activities designed for all young people between the ages of 14 and 25. Open to everyone, irrespective of background, it allows every participant to challenge themselves and to define their character. With guidance from our dedicated staff, pupils follow their chosen activities and report on progress via an electronic record. For each section, minimum standards of achievement are laid down and, only when these are met, do participants qualify for an Award – Bronze, Silver and ultimately Gold itself.

An exploration of self...

Irrespective of level, the Award Scheme is a balanced programme of activities that develops the whole person – mind, body and soul – in an environment of social interaction and team working. In gaining awards, pupils learn by experience the importance of self-discipline, organisation, enterprise and effort. They come to know the enjoyment of working with and for other people. Each of the levels of Award consists of four sections: Volunteering, Skills, Physical and Expedition; Gold also requires a week long Residential course. Volunteering projects include helping with conservation work, animal shelters, orphanages, supporting events at school, set-building in the school drama productions, and providing support in the library. Skills range from musical instrument examinations, dance, cooking, learning new languages and creative writing. Physical tends to be school sport, but can also include personal sports played away from school such as football and basketball. At the core of each award, level is a focus on self-discipline and teamwork.

British independent school in Haileybury Almaty
British independent school in Haileybury Almaty

The Expedition – a test of self and team

Of course, for many, the Expedition is the highlight of each stage of the Award. Expeditions are carried out in the summer term to Ily River and Assy Plateau near Turgen Gorge, with pupils taking part in winter hikes to gain experience during term time and the actual expeditions in the school holidays. Key to successfully completing the Expedition is less the distance or the weather and more the determination of the group to keep going, to keep putting one foot in front of the other, when every instinct and every muscle is screaming at you to stop. Each Expedition is planned by pupils with guidance from staff and for Gold, external assessors check the groups are meeting the required conditions for success. This is no mean feat and having to carry everything you need for four days in a large rucksack and navigate across some of the most rugged and isolated parts of the country demands real commitment.

Why do DofE?

The Award, at whatever level achieved, offers practical and tangible leadership and teamwork experience. UCAS recognises the value of the Award, especially at Gold level, as do employers who value the qualities developed by those who undertake the Award. At Haileybury Almaty, pupils get the chance to prove to themselves that they have what it takes. They will of course be fully supported by our dedicated team of professional staff but the real work is up to those who take the challenge! It is a true test of self-belief.

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Haileybury Astana and Haileybury Almaty are committed to the welfare and Safeguarding of young people. As part of our recruitment processes we require all applicants to undergo police checks and U.K. DBS checks and we operate clear safeguarding protocols.

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