St Mary’s offers students the opportunity to participate in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme, which challenges young people aged 14 to 25 around the world to serve others, acquire new skills, experience adventure and make new friends. Valued highly by colleges, universities and employers, the DofE Award has provided our students with some life-changing experiences, as well having been a LOT of fun!
The Award is split into four sections, each of which participants must satisfactorily complete. The first three sections of the Award are almost limitless in their range of choice. Within these sections, each girl is encouraged to select her own programme of activities; some of which she may already be involved in, and others of which may be entirely new experiences.
Each year, the majority of our Year 9 students opt to take part in the DofE and about half of those choose to carry on to do their Silver Award in Year 10. Completion rates at St Mary's are very high and many of our senior pupils have wonderful tales to tell of their adventures and experiences of DofE!
Mrs Wallace is responsible for running the course in school, assisted by a number of other staff members who help girls with areas of specific interest.
Participants choose from commitments such as fundraising, helping out at a local charity shop, helping coach sports or theatre skills, helping at uniformed organisations, visiting the elderly, assisting families with small children...
||This section is based on individual improvement and achievement. Participants can continue sports in which they already regularly participate, or start a new one; they can go to a local gym, learn tennis, go cycling, swimming, dancing, play team sports, etc - the list is almost endless!
||Participants must show progress and perseverance. Girls may opt to develop new talents or perfect existing ones; follow a passion or discover a new one, the choice is up to them. There are so many options - activities that have been undertaken in recent years include: cooking, learning a musical instrument, book and film reviews, singing, theatre skills, knitting, Latin, gardening and woodwork.
At Bronze level participants plan, train for and then - in small unaccompanied groups - undertake a two-day self-sufficient journey. At St Mary’s these expeditions are carried out on foot in the Suffolk / Norfolk countryside.
At Silver level participants plan, train for and then - in small unaccompanied groups - undertake a three-day self-sufficient journey. At St Mary’s these expeditions are carried out in canoes in the Suffolk / Norfolk countryside.
As part of their expedition section the teams are required to carry out a project which they can later present to their Assessor.
At St Mary's the Bronze expedition section is overseen by Adventure Expeditions and the Silver canoeing expeditions are organised by Anglia Adventures. These are both Accredited Activity Providers.
Please follow the links to find out more:
Further information about the Duke of Edinburgh's Award can be found at
THE DUKE OF EDINBURGH'S AWARD