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The School runs the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme as a co-curricular activity. At the end of the Lower Fifth Form pupils can opt to start the Silver Award. In the Sixth Form they can complete the Gold Award. To complete a level, pupils must do a volunteering activity (through either the Combined Cadet Force or the Community Service Unit), a skill (typically hobbies such as photography or playing a musical instrument), a physical activity (any school or outside sport) and two expeditions (one practice and one assessed expedition). Activities from the School’s co-curricular programme can be counted towards the award. Alternatively, the participants can use clubs or societies out of school. At Gold level there is also a requirement for a residential course. Full details about the award scheme can be found at www.theaward.org.
The purpose of the Award is to develop personal skills including self-motivation, organisation and self-discipline. A further purpose is to develop leadership qualities through group work and expeditions, as well as to generate an awareness of others through service. It requires a high level of commitment, especially at Gold level, which is why universities regard it as a very positive recommendation on CVs.
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