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  • Distinctly Different

    We offer a distinctly different option from other private schools in Boston, providing your child with the opportunity for a high level of academic success.

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A world outside BISB’s classrooms: My journey to The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award

I hope my story will help you understand that not everything you can learn at school happens in its classrooms, but trying something new outside the four walls of your school rooms can open your horizon to a life experience that will be treasured forever.


Day 0: Where to start? Point Zero starts with knowing what you do not know.

Life in High School is challenging, but I can guarantee you that making the time and effort to learn something new will give you the extra energy to cope with the academic stress. The key is organization and making any moment count.


The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award is only offered at BISB in Massachusetts, and it has three levels: Bronze, Silver and Gold. Each level is progressively challenging, but do not worry, everyone starts from 0.

Take it as an opportunity to do things you are not used to, get out of your comfort zone, and explore!

Day 1: First level in Bronze Award, setting your goals.

As a teenager, we like to text. The faster the better, and as The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award becomes part of my life outside school, it needs a nickname. That’s how DofE was born.

You can shorten its name to make it easy, but there are no shortcuts on achieving the DofE Bronze Award.

It is a long journey, a minimum of 6 months, so choose carefully and let your imagination fly. You do not have many limits, but do not forget you have to be able to reach your goals.

Day 2: The importance of investing time doing something you love.

If my day could have 72 hours…wouldn’t it be wonderful?

High School lessons, running from one classroom to another, trying not to be late, so much homework! Thanks BISB for my agenda ;-) Short break, past so fast, more classes, I am getting hungry, finally lunch at Showa Cafeteria, developing extra techniques to eat fast, have a tiny bit of social life and finishing my lunch - because DofE preparation is during my lunch break - speeding over to meet our DofE coordinators Mr. Ng, Ms. Staniland and Mr. Higgins, explanations, DofE requirements, more explanations, lunchtime has ended, running to more lessons, being on time, more homework, school is finished for the day, no pick up because I enjoy my school clubs, finally pick up time. Exhausting, isn’t it?

But my day is not over yet, because now I start my outside school activities.

“Run or we will be late, there is so much traffic!” my mother shouts: “Run, RUN, RUN!”


Now I can do the things I love: Music and Sports.


BISB: 7-8 hours/5 days per week, plus homework. Music and Sports: 3-4 hours weekly, plus countless hours during weekends.

Where do I fit my DofE? If you love what you do, you will find the time. Let’s do it together!


Day 3: Choosing activities for DofE, this is going to be a fun adventure!

The DofE is a personal journey so anybody can do it, you just have to make it your own.

DofE Bronze award has 3 sections: Volunteering, Physical and Skills. Also, there is the Expedition. The first 3 sections you choose for yourself. Mr. Ng, Ms. Staniland and Mr. Higgins have been very supportive and guided me to engage in activities that mean a lot to me now, and will, in the future.

It was a time of personal search and it was worthy!


That’s all Folks!

I hope you liked my first entry and come aboard with me on the DofE adventure.

We are lucky BISB is giving us this opportunity to make something fun and meaningful.

So many things I want to share with you.

Do not miss it! ;)


  • Mercedes Fernández