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Silcoates is proud to be a Directly Licensed Centre for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. Prince Philip himself describes it as a ‘do it yourself growing up kit’.
Year 9 is when the fun starts. A couple of local expeditions around the Silkstone/Penistone area are just challenging enough to give pupils a taste of navigation, carrying all your own kit in a rucksack and camping out for a night. We’ve had some beautiful sunny expeditions when we really get chance to enjoy the glorious Yorkshire countryside, and sometimes it’s been so cold the tents have frozen like cardboard overnight. All good, character building stuff!
The other aspects of the award are supported in weekly sessions. We’ll help pupils to find placements for volunteering, and encourage them in their chosen physical and skill activities.
Silver and Gold tend to be more independent endeavours. Advice is on hand anytime a pupil needs it, and of course we support their expeditions too. Walking expeditions in the Yorkshire Dales, the Peak District and the Lake District present a tougher challenge for Silver and Gold candidates, and we also offer a superb 120km canoe expedition on the River Wye.
We have an enviable record of helping students to complete their Gold D of E award, whilst still at school, culminating in every parents’ proudest moment: receiving the Gold Award from a member of the Royal Family at one of the royal palaces.
The D of E award is a chance to develop leadership skills, teamwork, resilience and a practical involvement in the wider community. It stands out on a CV and tells employers a great deal about students’ commitment and drive. It offers skills for life and many hobbies, friendships and experiences gained through the award scheme will stay with those young people all their lives.