At Dannevirke High School we offer this fantastic programme for young people. This award programme exists in over 130 countries worldwide and in New Zealand, we have just celebrated 50 years of the award here. The programme is about young people using their leisure time in a constructive and positive manner. In particular, it encourages community participation. Doing our best, achieving personal challenges, working with others and serving our communities are all important to a thriving community. It is these things that underpin the award programme and values that we regard as important at Dannevirke High School.
Students at Dannevirke High School are invited to sign up to the programme when they are 14. Students begin at Bronze level and can progress through Silver to Gold. At each level, there are four sections or tasks.
Students undertake some type of service in Dannevirke. Some of our students are currently involved with helping at the SPCA, local rest homes, the Cancer Society, helping with environmental projects and recycling.
This is all about getting active which is easy for students at our school as we have a very good participation rate in team sports. For those Duke of Edinburgh students who don’t play team sports, they get involved in activities such as swimming, dancing and personal running or fitness projects.
This section is about learning a new skill. At Dannevirke High School our students often learn to play a musical instrument but others get involved in the choir, undertake gardening at home or learn something really different such as how to fly fish.
This section is all about being outdoors. Students have to undertake some training about being, and surviving, in the great New Zealand outdoors. They then undertake an adventurous journey which is usually tramping. At the Bronze level, we go into the Ruahine Ranges, but beyond that level, we have students tramping all over the county: Tongariro National Park, Lake Waikaremoana, The Tararuas, Whirinaki Forest and more.
Once students reach the Gold level the award becomes really challenging with the tramps lasting 4-5 days plus the extra section; Residential Project. Here students must go off and stay for a week with people they don’t usually associate with. This could see them attending OPC, take a voyage on the Spirit of Adventure and much more.
This is a fantastic scheme which enriches the lives of those students who get involved. They learn new skills, they serve our town and they end up with something on their Curriculum Vitae that is very well regarded across the country.