Duke of Edinburgh’s Award

Duke of Edinburgh’s Award

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is back better than ever in 2020!

Although it’s been a long and hazy summer, the SCEGGS Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is back with more excitement, challenge, personal discovery and teamwork on the agenda. We trust all our girls have returned to school refreshed, enthusiastic and motivated, and those that have signed up for the Award are looking forward to some adventure and re-connection with the outdoors.

Mr Swain and I would like to take this opportunity to reassure everyone – students and parents – that we are (obviously) planning all our hikes with safety as the highest priority – especially in regard to bushfires, but also exercising in the outdoor heat and smoke haze. At this stage early in the year, we are putting together our schedule of expeditions for the next six months, but obviously hikes may be postponed at short notice if weather conditions are not conducive to a safe and healthy result. We understand this will occasionally be inconvenient for some students, whose busy schedules limit expedition planning, but we are sure everyone acknowledges that this is the only sensible course.

There will be every effort made by us to accommodate girls that have expeditions rescheduled, and we encourage girls to come and talk to us should this become an issue for them.

For girls in Year 9 embarking on their Bronze Award, the process is to:

  1. Return their permission note (emailed out to them last year, available on request) to Ms Bower.
  2. Via the SCEGGS Cognito page, open the SCEGGS Duke of Edinburgh’s page, and then the NSW Duke of Edinburgh’s Award site, where all the information is available about doing the Award – reading and understanding this thoroughly can save a lot of time and heartache!
  3. Be alert for emails notifying Duke of Edinburgh’s meetings (currently, usually in W5 at lunchtime) – and be sure to attend them so that you are fully informed and can plan your hike with your peers.

For girls continuing on to Silver or Gold, or those completing a Gold Award they started last year, remember to stay on top of your activities, and keep up to date with logging them – and also get those assessor signatures sooner rather than later. If you have questions or difficulties with your award, a quick review of the rules on-line, or a question to Ms Bower (at school or by email) may save hours of wasted effort or missed opportunities.

One example of wasted effort can be the plan to use parents as assessors – rarely allowed by the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award office, and often a cause of heartbreak when girls have tried this in the past, only to be refused. Assessors should be independent of your family, and (from the website): “Assessors must have experience and/or qualifications in the activity chosen by the young person. They must be suitably skilled to assess a Participant’s activity, write a report at the completion of that activity, and sign off the Participant’s records to verify that the Participant has achieved the requirements of The Duke of Ed.” This rule also applies to Expeditions.

Although it sometimes seems the rules and requirements of the Award become more restrictive every year, we still feel that the rewards and benefits are well worth the effort, and trust that we continue to see the energy, enthusiasm and enjoyment that the girls have always shown, again this year.

Ms Joanne Bower and Mr Doric Swain
Duke of Edinburgh Award Co-ordinators