Duke of Edinburgh program at Northholm

The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award is a structured development program which aims to empower young people to explore their potential and find their purpose, passion and place in the world. The Gold Award is the highest level a student can achieve in the Award and requires a minimum 18-month commitment from students. Northholm Grammar recently had five students, Lawrence Wen, Lucy Coad, Oscar Henderson, Vanessa Norris and Elouis Wright, achieve their Gold Awards and we congratulate them on this exceptional accomplishment.

As a School committed to producing graduates of character, many of the program’s aims and activities align with Northholm’s graduate objectives. It is our hope that Northholm graduates find a sense of belonging combined with the achievement of their full potential at School, so they can leave as strong independent citizens capable of making ethical decisions and taking on the many challenges that come their way. With the Duke of Edinburgh Award open to any Northholm student from Year 9 onwards (from 2023), the School encourages students to consider how the program can support them in meeting their graduate aims, which are:

Learning through Scholarship, which builds determined, disciplined and resilient critical thinkers and problem solvers. This is closely related to the Skills section of the Award which requires a long-term commitment for self-improvement. Challenging the participants to select a skill and follow through with regular, sustained practice in order to be considered ‘improved’ by an Assessor, requires students to have determination, persistence and be highly organised.

Caring for Others and Self, which demonstrates a deep understanding of and respect for the needs of others and leads to authentic, interested and respectful members of society. Voluntary Service is an important requirement of the Award. At the Gold Award level, students have given their time to volunteer or support a worthy organisation or cause for the benefit of others for at least 12 months. This graduate outcome is also connected to the Physical Recreation requirement of the Award which helps improve the health and self-esteem of the individual, as well as developing skills of teamwork and fair play, through sport and physical recreation.

Living a Faithful Life, which aims for students to become confident, courageous and well-mannered people of integrity who are formed through inclusive, humble and sincere Christian principles.In the Adventurous Journey portion of the Duke of Edinburgh program, participants are taken out of their comfort zone for an exploration or expedition. Not only do they increase their understanding of the environment and/or society, but this challenge helps grow their self-confidence and cooperation skills as they come together to complete the activity as a team. For Northholm students, this is usually completed through a canoeing expedition.

Contributing to the Community, whereby students become charitable, generous and selfless citizens who contribute and lead sincerely outside their immediate sphere. This is not only developed through the Voluntary Service portion of the Award (which is required for all levels of the Duke of Edinburgh Award) but is witnessed significantly in the Gold Residential Project. The Residential Project is for Gold Award participants and requires students to spend at least five days (four nights) with people outside of their usual residential setting, working with them to achieve a common goal. This life-changing experience broadens participant’s horizons and opens their eyes to the greater world, as they serve others through the project. It also assists students in becoming more aware and well-rounded people to serve and lead in the community in the future.

A Northholm Grammar education aims to build these outcomes within all graduates, with the Duke of Edinburgh program having significant impact on participants. Students become part of a global community of young people around the world striving towards achieving their Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards. The School encourages any student who wants to challenge themselves to consider joining the Program, to assist them in becoming even more well-equipped to take on the next stage of their lives beyond Northholm.

Read more about the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award here