Duke of Edinburgh
The Duke of Edinburgh Award was established at Arthur Mellows in the 1980s and has grown from its humble beginnings to become one of the largest centres in the Midlands and East Anglia. In a good year the College provides the opportunity for around 160 students to achieve one of the three awards:
- 82 students achieve Bronze
- 35 students achieve Silver
- 35 reach the prestigious Gold
What are our Duke of Edinburgh students involved in?
The Bronze and Silver Awards consist of 4 sections:-
- Volunteering – Choosing to give time to help people, the community or society, the environment or animals. Volunteering must not be done for a business but can be undertaken for a charity or not-for-profit organisation. Students have enjoyed helping at Park Run events in the city, local charity shops and Brownie groups amongst other activities.
- Physical – any sport, dance or fitness activity – in short, anything that requires a sustained level of energy and physical activity. Typically students have enjoyed joining Werrington Joggers, attending gym sessions and taking part in Zumba.
- Skill – an activity that will allow you to prove you have broadened your understanding and increased your expertise in your chosen skill. Previously students have looked at sports leadership, art and baking.
The Gold has an extra one – Residential.
Perhaps the most memorable part of the whole award, if not the most enjoyable. This is where the majority of students navigate independently (and cook for themselves) for the first time. As a consequence the College puts on some additional training to teach the skills that they will require.
Where do we go for the Bronze Expedition?
Students take part in training and practice walks around Peterborough, and then undertake their qualifying expedition in Norfolk.
Starting at drop-off points around Ringstead students make their way across country to the coast and then walk south to Hunstanton. This is usually done under remote supervision, with adult leaders following the routes some time later, looking for lost souls etc.
After spending the night in basic accommodation and preparing their own breakfast, they set off for the second day, making their way to Dersingham. Overall they will have spent 12 hours over the two days walking.
For Silver and Gold Expeditions, students have travelled to the North York Moors, Shropshire and the Lake District.
The Presentation at the Palace
Achieving a Gold Award is a very special achievement, for our students. It demonstrates that they have team-working skills, leadership skills and self-motivation.
In view of this, the presentation of the award is also special and is held in London, for our students. Not only that, but the Award is given by a guest celebrity presenter and HRH the Earl of Wessex, who himself received the Gold award from his father in 1986. It provides a memorable day out and photographers are always on hand to capture the event for students to proudly show to all their friends and family.
Adult Leaders within Arthur Mellows Village College
High quality leadership is essential to the success of any scheme, especially one involving children. Arthur Mellows has an established history of running the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme and consequently has built up quite a broad depth of skills across its leaders. A pool of experienced leaders is available from the teaching staff, support staff, Governors and even past award holders. They all work seamlessly together to try to make the scheme enjoyable and a positive experience for the students. To ensure the standards of the scheme are continuously improving and the students are being led safely at all times, the expedition leaders have undergone formal training, which is delivered, supervised and monitored by Mountain Leader Training / British Mountaineering Council approved suppliers.