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 Post subject: Duke of Edinburgh
PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2019 12:06 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 19, 2019 6:27 am
Posts: 2
Hi,
New to the forum. I have a non 11 plus related question.

I have heard of the Duke of Edinburgh award and have been told it is a very good thing for children to do. Is this something children can do through school or should it be arranged independently out of school? Which year should the children start doing it? Year 9, 10?

Apart from providing benefit for the child, does it have a big importance for University applications as an extracurricular activity or any other way?


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 Post subject: Re: Duke of Edinburgh
PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2019 12:22 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:45 pm
Posts: 6546
Welcome to the forum!

Some people do the DofE through the school, some through Scouts etc, I believe.
My understanding is that doing the DofE will have no effect on university admissions, however some of the skills it teaches you may be something that can be discussed in relation to the course in the UCAS statement. Extra curricular activities should never be undertaken just because of UCAS, but because a child actually wants to do them. They may be of use if they are directly related to the course the student wants to study.
The Gold award would maybe make someone stand out. To be honest most children applying to uni (except mine!) will probably have done Bronze DofE.


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 Post subject: Re: Duke of Edinburgh
PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2019 12:35 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 1:05 pm
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Location: Reading
My DD has not done any DofE stuff and it hasn’t really appealed to her. Very few of her friends have done it either. The school doesn’t offer it. It doesn’t seem to harm their uni applications.


What probably is important, and DofE can be a part of that, is extra curricular activities in general. Be it sport, music, volunteering, work, NCS, DofE etc. Children need more than the academics.

When at an Uni open day last year, at the admissions talk, the speaker said that when writing your PS, “don’t tell us why you want to study ****, show us why you want to study xxxxx”. Meaning, show us what you do and what you have done that makes you a good choice for a place.


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 Post subject: Re: Duke of Edinburgh
PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2019 3:27 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:44 am
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Location: Reading
My DD has really enjoyed DofE. Her school did not offer it, as they did cadet force instead, so she found an outside provider for Bronze and Silver. A change of school for 6th form means that she is doing Gold with school - she has managed to find volunteering and residential opportunities that will be useful for her uni applications so it has worked well.


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 Post subject: Re: Duke of Edinburgh
PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2019 5:03 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 21, 2013 7:59 pm
Posts: 5623
Bramblebee wrote:
Hi,
New to the forum. I have a non 11 plus related question.

I have heard of the Duke of Edinburgh award and have been told it is a very good thing for children to do. Is this something children can do through school or should it be arranged independently out of school? Which year should the children start doing it? Year 9, 10?

Apart from providing benefit for the child, does it have a big importance for University applications as an extracurricular activity or any other way?


Just as a point of reference - my son did not do any DoE, although 95% of his year did the Bronze Award and a few went on to do Silver and even fewer Gold. He organised his own work experience and volunteering for a year and had 4 offers for Medicine. He knows people who did the DoE who have had no offers for Medicine - it is not the DoE that makes the difference to a university application - it is the experiences a person has and their ability to relate that to the skills needed for the course being applied for.


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 Post subject: Re: Duke of Edinburgh
PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2019 10:04 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 13, 2016 10:02 am
Posts: 207
My team employs an intern every year, they spend third year of University with us on a paid placement.

Every year we have over 100 applications for one placement. This year it was 135 and we got down to two excellent candidates, impossible to separate them. At the end of to the process the two final candidates were given to me to make a decision. I had 15 minutes on the phone with each of them. One had done the Gold DofE, and that won out. Someone who is prepared to pursue the challenge over a long period of time develops some very useful skills for our industry.

We often offer full-time roles to past interns when they graduate, so in this case it really could be a difference to their long-term career.

I won't hesitate to encourage my girls to do DofE ideally all the way to Gold.


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 Post subject: Re: Duke of Edinburgh
PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2019 10:10 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 21, 2013 7:59 pm
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sportsforall wrote:
My team employs an intern every year, they spend third year of University with us on a paid placement.

Every year we have over 100 applications for one placement. This year it was 135 and we got down to two excellent candidates, impossible to separate them. At the end of to the process the two final candidates were given to me to make a decision. I had 15 minutes on the phone with each of them. One had done the Gold DofE, and that won out. Someone who is prepared to pursue the challenge over a long period of time develops some very useful skills for our industry.

We often offer full-time roles to past interns when they graduate, so in this case it really could be a difference to their long-term career.

I won't hesitate to encourage my girls to do DofE ideally all the way to Gold.


I would cautiously suggest that it is NOT the DoE at Gold that got them the place, but the skills they learned. It would be an EXTREMELY short sighted employer who, when faced with two candidates where one had gone out of their way on their own - not part of a recognised scheme - to arrange voluntary work experience, learn a new skill, do something for their community etc and think they were not worthy of consideration.

I am not negating that Gold DoE is more worthwhile than Bronze or Silver, (and have always advised that the Bronze is a tick box, the Silver less so and the Gold the only really worthwhile one, now that the vast majority of schools put all or nearly all their children through it) just that if a student goes out and does the stuff, unfettered by the requirements/structure/support of the Award, that is possibly more impressive!


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 Post subject: Re: Duke of Edinburgh
PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2019 10:18 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 13, 2016 10:02 am
Posts: 207
I agree but with some caveats.. the DofE is easily recognisable. Consider a spreadsheet with 135 candidates in it - you scan down to decide which 10 you will interview, DofE Gold would stand out. The process we use may not be perfect, but I suspect it is the process many employers use when you get that many applicants. I don't look at each of those CVs and covering letters.


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 Post subject: Re: Duke of Edinburgh
PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2019 10:37 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 21, 2013 7:59 pm
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I suppose it depends on how many of those 135 have DoE. As it is becoming such a routine rite of passage nowadays, the candidate without it will stand out. I know that universities have become very wise to the DoE thing and most now do not rate it or award UCAS points for it because it has become so routine - with the exception of Gold, maybe. And certainly for those courses like Medicine/Dentistry etc (highly competitve and usually offers via interview, rather than just via algorithm) they are more interested in the skills learned than just "oh you've done Gold DoE, ergo you must be better"...

Kids should do it if they are interested in it but don't do it if you think it is going to give you a leg up at uni or in industry - not if you go out of your way to arrange experiences that you can speak confidently about and your references can support.


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 Post subject: Re: Duke of Edinburgh
PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2019 6:14 am 
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Its important to differentiate between UCAS and employment applications.
The PS for university is not the same as a PS for a job ( including internship) application.

An employer will be much more likely to be interested in transferable skills, personal attributes etc.

If one has successfully completed the D of E gold award it will provide examples of many of the skills required by employers but much more importantly, it will provide opportunities for the individual to actually develop those skills.
How the award is achieved is important. If one does it at a centre ( often school) where everything is laid on then the benefits are greatly reduced.

As for graduate applications ( assuming D of E is completed pre university), one should also have some more recent evidence of the required skills and attributes.

In my experience the Gold expedition is the aspect that really tests the participants. In some centres this is pretty much laid on but for those who take responsibility for it themselves it is an almost unique learning experience at that age. Some of my DCs have completed it and I have supervised quite a few others. It never fails to be a emotional experience when they complete it. Not sure the pubs where we treated them to a slap up meal at the end were always so elated :)


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