The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award provides a programme of activities which enables young people to develop their mind, body and soul. It is acknowledged internationally and valued highly by employers and universities. Candidates benefit particularly from going out into the wider community through the ‘volunteering’ section and in the past our pupils have been involved in working with local organisations such as the Childrens’ Respite Care Centre at Quarriers and in environmental projects at Finlaystone Estate.

At St Columba’s the programme is organised entirely in-house by a team of staff, parents and parents of former pupils, led by the Head of Outdoor Education. All pupils are given the opportunity to participate and most young people take up the challenge at Bronze level (with completion rates well above the national average).

Pupils undertaking the Gold Award have the opportunity to develop their leadership skills through the DofE Award Leadership programme for their volunteering section and mentoring younger participants plays a major part of this.

Full details of the award scheme can be obtained at www.theaward.org.

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