The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award

The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award is a global framework for non-formal education and learning, which challenges young people to dream big, celebrate their achievements and make a difference in their world.

Through developing transferable skills, increasing their fitness levels, cultivating a sense of adventure and volunteering in their community, the Award helps young people to find their purpose, passion and place in the world.

The award is made up of four sections; a physical activity, a skill, a voluntary service and an adventurous journey. How long you spend on each activity will depend on which level you are working towards. Students at ISH are taking part in a number of different activities, either working on improving current skills or trying something completely new.

Examples include cooking, playing an instrument, basketball, running, befriending the elderly, coaching a sports team, community gardening, to name but a few. Even during the current COVID-19 closures, students are taking the initiative to continue with the award in a variety of ways. The part of the award the most students look forward to the most is the adventurous journey! This involves them training, planning and preparing in small groups for a hiking and camping expedition for 1, 2 or 4 nights, depending on the award level. Students are out on their own (in small groups), navigating (without technology) their pre-planned route, cooking their own meals on a camp stove and then pitching their tents for the overnight stays.

Trips have previously taken place in The Netherlands (Bronze), Germany (Silver) and Scotland (Gold), with the terrain and length of journey becoming increasingly challenging as you progress up the levels. Students often find this the most challenging, yet most fun and rewarding part of the award.

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