The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is a voluntary, non-competitive programme of activities. Doing DofE gives young people the opportunity to experience new activities or develop existing skills. The awards are personalized, achievement focused, achievable by all, and lead to an individual balanced development through a focus on the whole person; mind, body, and soul. There are three progressive levels of programmes which when successfully completed lead to a Bronze, Silver or Gold Award. Participants create their own DofE programme by choosing a volunteering, physical and skills activity, going on an expedition and, for Gold, taking part in a residential activity.
The skills and personal attributes that are developed through participation in the DofE are recognized by employers, colleges and universities. There is general agreement that participation develops self-confidence, independent thought and action, respect and understanding of others, responsibility, an understanding of personal strengths and weaknesses, teamwork, and communication.
At ISA we encourage 9th and 10th graders to participate in the Bronze and Silver award programmes. The commitment and consistency developed at these levels provides a nice preparation for the CAS requirements in the IB program the next two years. Hence, in 11th and 12th grade, concurrent work on a DofE Gold Award while fulfilling CAS requirements can be a natural pairing of commitment to complete both programmes.