The Duke of Edinburgh International Award was founded in 1956 by His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh. Since then it has become the world’s leading youth achievement award, bringing together practical experiences and life skills to equip young people for life. Over 8 million young people from schools, colleges, universities, employers, social clubs, youth organisations such as the Scouts, Girl Scouts and Girl Guides, young offenders’ institutions, religious organisations, sports clubs and more have participated in the Award from over 140 countries and territories.
The concept of the Award is of individual challenge designed to encourage young people between the age of 14 to 25 to develop into responsible, active citizens who will positively contribute towards society.
Sunmarke is proud to offer its students the opportunity to participate in this Award.
The Award is voluntary, non-competitive, enjoyable and balanced, and requires students to expend effort over a period of time. There are three levels to the Award: Bronze, Silver and Gold. Young people design their own Award programme, set their own goals and record their own progress. They can choose a Service, Physical Recreation or a Skills activity; or go on an Expedition; and to achieve a Gold Award, take part in a residential project.
The International Award gives students the opportunity to give back to the community and make a real difference to the people or wildlife / animals, or to contribute to a good cause. The Award acquaints students to the joy of giving and participation in community development.
Some examples of services include: first aid, visiting and supporting people in need, volunteering at hospitals, sports coaching, charity work, etc.
Physical Recreation, both individually and within a team, is a healthy as well as fun way of developing a real sense of achievement outside the classroom. Apart from instilling enthusiasm, it also instils a feeling of well-being in students.
Examples of Physical Recreation are: Ball Sports, Athletics, Water Sports, Winter Sports, Martial Arts, Animal Sports, etc.
The Duke of Edinburgh International Award encourages students to learn something new as a part of the process. Whether they have always wanted to ski or capture moments through photography, the Award allows them to do just that. There is no competitive nature, only the pleasure that comes from learning a new skill of their choosing.
Some examples of skills are: Music, Arts and Crafts, Nature and the Environment, Communication, Games and Sports and related skills, etc.
The Adventurous Journey section encourages a sense of adventure and discovery whilst undertaking a team journey or expedition. As part of a small team, participants plan, train for and undertake a journey with a purpose in an unfamiliar environment. Students will spend 2 days and 1 night away completing a minimum of 6 hours of purposeful effort per day, and 12 hours of purposeful effort in total.
The only person they compete against is themselves, by challenging their own beliefs about what they can achieve. At present, we are only offering the Bronze award but look forward to offering both Silver and Gold at some time in the near future.
Some examples of adventurous journeys incorporating exploration and expeditions are: exploring the natural world, exploring the human impact on the natural world, carrying out health surveys, completing demanding journeys by foot or other means, mountain climbing or long-distance cycling, etc.