John Mason School is committed to supporting students in KS4 achieving and engaging with the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme. This is a nationally recognised award that challenges students to take part in activities in four areas; Volunteering, Skills, Physical and Expedition. The award tests resilience and resourcefulness and completion of the award is very favourably viewed by employers and college admissions tutors. These skills also are invaluable in meeting the demands of GCSE and A Level exams.
Year 10 Bronze Award
All students take part in training for the Award, supported by a full tutor programme, advice, and guidance from staff at all the main points.
Volunteering – students will use one tutor time session a week to plan for volunteering. This may include delivering a lunchtime club for Year 7 students. They need to sustain this for three months.
Skills – Students will be given the choice skills to take part in during tutor time or they may choose their own. They will be given either instructions or practice time for one session a fortnight so that they can meet the requirement of showing progress. They need to sustain involvement in this for a period of three months.
Physical - students will be encouraged to think about their health and physical fitness by taking part in physical sessions for a period of three months.
Expedition - students will receive training for the expedition element for one tutor time session a fortnight. They will get instructions in all the skills required to undertake an assessed two day, self-sufficient, camping expedition in June. They will need to attend a full day of camp craft training, and a two day supervised training expedition. Training for all students will be a compulsory part of the Tutor Programme, but participation in the actual expedition will be optional.
Year 11 Silver Award
All students in year 11 are given the option of participating in the Silver Award. Unlike in Year 10, the expectation on commitment and organisation shifts onto the shoulders of the students. The same components will be tested, but students will be expected to organise this themselves.
Volunteering – They need to sustain this for six months.
Skills/Physical – They need to commit to the chosen activity for a period of three or six months.
Expedition – Students will receive the training for the expedition element for one DEAR time session a week. They will attend a training day to develop navigation skills. They will undertake a practice expedition of three days and two nights in April on the Jurassic Coast, and an assessed expedition of the same length in the Forest of Dean/Wye Valley in July.
Year 12 Gold Award
All students in Year 12 are given the option of participating in the Gold Award. They are given a higher level of support than at Silver but are still given the independence and opportunity to choose their own section programmes. The length of each section is dependent on whether the Silver Award was achieved, if this has not been achieved, then the participant must undertake a further 6 months in the Volunteering section or the Physical/Skills that would previously have lasted 12 months.
Volunteering - Must be sustained for a minimum of twelve months.
Physical/Skills – One of these must be sustained for twelve months while the other must be sustained for 6 months.
Expedition - Students will receive training for the expedition element for one timetabled session a fortnight. They will get instructions in all the skills required to undertake two self-sufficient, canoe and camping expeditions. A 3-day Practice in April and a 5 day Assessed in May. They will need to attend a full day of canoe training often during September or October with our provider, Adventure Beyond.
Residential – Students are required to complete a 5-day/4 night residential undertaking a shared activity or specific course with people they do not know away from home in an unfamiliar environment. We have found that the National Citizen Service (NCS) provides the ideal opportunity.