Dear Parent and Carers,

I’m pleased to let you know that St Mary’s Catholic College offers the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE).

The DofE is a great chance for your child to broaden their horizons, discover new interests and talents, have fun with friends, develop essential skills for their future and achieve an internationally renowned Award.

As St Mary’s DofE Manager, I wanted to send you some information about what a DofE programme involves, the benefits for your child and how they can sign up.

Has my child passed their Bronze award?

Some of your children may have signed up for their bronze Duke of Edinburgh during the year 2020/2021, however, as a result of the pandemic they missed out on their final expedition. We do however still believe they should be rewarded for the efforts they put into volunteering, gaining a skill and completing their physical requirements. Therefore any Student who wishes to progress to the Silver level will automatically pass their Bronze Award.

What if my child’s never signed up but wants to now?

If your child has never signed up to DofE before, do not let this stop them from starting now. Extra provisions can be made if they want to start their Silver Duke of Edinburgh and if this is the case please encourage them to come and speak to me! We want every student to partake in this fantastic opportunity.

About the DofE

To achieve their Silver Award, participants must complete four sections: Skills, Volunteering, Physical and their Expedition.

Every young person’s DofE programme is personal to them – they can choose what they’d like to do for their Skills, Volunteering and Physical sections, and most activities can count. We will provide guidance and support, and students can either choose to continue an activity they already do or discover something completely new.

During and in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, participants who complete their Skills, Volunteering and Physical sections will also receive a DofE Certificate of Achievement – a formal recognition, by the DofE, of their efforts at this extraordinary time.

Activities for each section take a minimum of one hour a week over a set period of time, so they can fit around studying, hobbies and social lives.

What’s next?

We have advertised the programme to all of Year 11 in form time and assembly and have asked them to see me if they are interested. The cost of taking part in the DofE is initially £24 per participant. This covers your child’s participation place and Welcome Pack, which will be sent to their home address and includes their personalised DofE Discount Card. In addition to this, a further £64 will need to be paid towards expedition costs at a later date. We understand some of you may have also already paid a cost towards an expedition that did not take place. This will be taken off any extra cost that may be needed to partake in the 3 day expedition.

If your child would like to take part, please complete and return the enclosed enrolment form, and a payment can be made via Parent Pay.

If the cost of taking part is prohibitive, please speak to me as there may be financial support available to you.

Many thanks for your support and we look forward to helping your child to achieve through their DofE.

Any further information can also be found on our school web page using the following link:

Yours faithfully,

Miss Unwin

DofE Manager