The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award

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Tranby College has a burgeoning Duke of Edinburgh's International Award programme with between ten and twenty students taking part at any one time.

The aim of the Award is to provide an enjoyable, challenging and rewarding personal development program, which could take in many aspects of extra-curricular school life.

Originating in Scotland in the UK in 1956 by a small team led by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh; Dr Kurt Hahn, German educationalist and founder of Outward Bound and the United World Colleges; and Sir John (later Lord) Hunt, the leader of the first team to conquer Mount Everest. The Duke of Ed program aimed to, "contribute towards building strength of character". As such Hahn echoed Joseph Conrad in Lord Jim who asserts that it is necessary for a youth to experience events which 'reveal the inner worth of the man; the edge of his temper; the fibre of his stuff; the quality of his resistance; the secret truth of his pretences, not only to himself but others.' This would resonate eerily with many of our Year Ten students who have completed the Outward Bound Course over the years.

The Award is non-competitive, voluntary and open to all. It demonstrates commitment to various activities over a long period and is a marathon, not a sprint. The idea is to set your own personal goals and then strive to meet them.

There are three levels of Award: Bronze, Silver and Gold, each requiring increasing commitment and responsibility. Bronze is usually started in Year 9 and takes a minimum of six months to complete. Silver (anyone over 15) takes approximately a year and Gold is for those 16 and over and takes approximately 18 months to complete.

There are four sections of the Award with an extra section for Gold:

Service: Community service is a great opportunity to learn from and give to others in the local community. The Service section is excellent at developing leadership skills and self-confidence as well as a sense of responsibility.

Skill: A hobby or interest must be practised over many months and improvement shown for the Skill section. Popular choices include music, debating, drama, art and learning to drive.

Physical Recreation: The idea of this section is to keep active and healthy over a period of time. This could be a school sporting activity or with a local club and the Physical Recreation section encompasses both individual and team sports so there is plenty of choice.

Expedition: This section can be the most challenging and the College's Outward Bound Programme caters for qualification at either Bronze or Silver level.

The popularity of the Duke of Ed continues to grow both at Tranby College and worldwide. Participation in the Award as well as completions has grown every year since 1956. Every day, more than 1,600 young people start their Award journey.