The primary aim of the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award (IA) scheme is to foster a spirit of adventure, discovery and community responsibility. Students all over the world take part and it is a qualification that universities and future employers value highly.
There are three levels of Awards, based on the age of the participants: Bronze (14-15), Silver (15-16) and Gold (16+). Most students in the programme take up the challenge of the Award at the age of 14 (Year 10) with the Bronze level and work through to their Gold Award when they are 16 or older, but in fact students may join the scheme at any level.
At each level, there are four sections for participants to complete: Service, Skill, Physical Recreation and Expedition. The Gold Award also includes a five-day residential project.
Practice expeditions take place in the Kuwaiti desert. Students learn about navigation, camp craft and teamwork. All final expeditions, which are assessed, and the Gold residential, take place overseas. Past and present destinations include expeditions to India, the UAE, Cyprus, Sri Lanka, Oman, South Africa, Thailand and Nepal.
Participation in the IA helps students develop their self-confidence and independence, and broaden their horizons and interests. In order to achieve their awards, BSK’s IA participants have organised fundraising events; taught at local schools and hospitals; helped with building projects in schools and orphanages; and have taken up new languages, new sports and new musical instruments. It isn’t easy, as our past participants will tell you, but it is fun, rewarding and those who are determined will inevitably succeed.
To learn more about the IA programme, please visit www.intaward.org. You may also wish to speak with the International Award Coordinator, Mr Stuart Bailey, or one of the Assistant International Award Coordinators, Mr Bryn Harker or Mr Christopher McGarvie.
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