In years 9, 10 and 12 students are given the chance to take part in the DofE Award at Bronze, Silver and Gold levels respectively. The DofE Award is a great opportunity to learn new skills, help with the wider community and to make new friends. Weekly sessions usually run on Wednesday after school, apart from Gold, which is part of the enrichment programme.
The DofE at Littleover Community School is run by Mr Toogood, Mr Davis and Mrs Bellamy. Mr Davis and Mr Toogood have been running the Award together since 2011. LCS has been running as a Directly Licenced Centre from 2012. Both Mr Davis and Mr Toogood are trained DofE assessors and have experience of nearly 150 expeditions between them. All expeditions are led by either Mr Davis or Mr Toogood, and they both hold nationally recognised outdoor leader qualifications as well as up to date 16 hour first aid certificates which are assessed by Derby Mountain Rescue.
Mr Davis holds the Walking Group Leader Award which qualifies him to lead groups on any terrain found within Derbyshire and the Peak District, and Mr Toogood holds the Mountain Leaders Award which qualifies him to lead walking groups on any mountainous terrain within the UK. He also leads training for aspirant Mountain Leaders for the Mountain Training Association.
Every year the school enrols around 150 young people onto the Award, which makes LCS the largest Directly Licenced Centre in Derby. The school also has the highest completion rate in the city. So not only do more young people get the opportunity to do DofE here at LCS than any other school, but each young person is more likely to complete the Award here than at any other school in Derby.
An important part of the DofE Award is the expedition section. Participants will take part in two expeditions, one practice and one qualifying expedition. The length of each expedition differs for each level of the Award.
- Bronze – two days, one night
- Silver – three days, two nights
- Gold – four days, three nights
Expeditions are arranged to minimise the impact of taking the participants out of school.
All DofE expeditions are a mixture of remote and direct supervision. The amount of direct supervision reducing with the competence and training of the group in line with the official guidance from the Awarding body. For example the Bronze training walk is directly supervised by their group leader for the first two thirds and then closely supervised by staging regular checkpoints for the last third. The final expedition is always remotely supervised. This means that groups will walk on their own, but staff will see them regularly at checkpoints and are always around the route to ensure safety. Mr Toogood and Mr Davis both train the leaders and assess their competence with groups to ensure that the groups are trained well in all the skills that they require.