Nord Anglia Education
Nord Anglia
15 February, 2023

Duke of Edinburgh Award and IGCSE PE Practice Expedition

Duke of Edinburgh Award and IGCSE PE Practice Expedition

This academic year has seen over 20 students in years 10 and 11 begin their Silver or Bronze Duke of Edinburgh International Awards, alongside seven Year 12's and 13’s who began their Gold awards, having already completed previous stages of the award. The award involves various sections, each providing different challenges, and levels of commitment to complete. The students must have goals towards improving a skill, physical recreation, and voluntary service. Each of these sections of the award takes dedication of time and effort and requires commitment and self-motivation to complete. Students spend 1 hour a week on each of these sections of the award, for between 3 months and a year, depending on the level of their award. Alongside this, there is an Adventurous Journey which needs to be completed, with both a practice and a qualifying journey.

Last week, the students completed their practice journey hiking in the desert to Al Thakira Mangroves and Purple Island. This was a 2-day journey for the Bronze award and a 3-day journey for the Silver award. The students were self-sufficient, carrying everything they needed to complete the journey including camping overnight. They had to cook and prepare all their meals and work as a team to complete the journey successfully. There were some tired students when they arrived back at school on Thursday having completed their journey, for a well-earned weekend rest. Having completed the journey, the students have been debriefed and know where they need to improve for their qualifying journey.

Alongside the Duke of Edinburgh, some of the participants were doing the expedition as part of their IGCSE P.E. with a requirement to walk 40km over two days. This is a massive challenge even for many adults, with the students being assessed on their navigation skills, how to deal with unforeseen circumstances and the nutrition which they got through the meals they prepared. They were required to set up the camp site, putting up tents and assigning areas for cooking, ensuring that it was left in a clean and tidy state when we departed in the morning, so that there was no sign of us having camped there.

Overall, it was a great, albeit very challenging, experience for all the students taking part. We were proud of the teams who completed the expedition successfully and we look forward to the Duke of Edinburgh International Award students completing their qualifying journey in March to finish the adventurous journey section of the award.