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DofE Silver Award

(24 Posts)
Horsemad Wed 04-Dec-13 09:43:35

DS1 brought the letter home, wants to do it - he hasn't completed his Bronze yet, has shown zero interest since he did the expedition. hmm

I've said I'm not giving consent for him to do the Silver until he's finished the Bronze. He has form for leaving stuff unfinished, so I don't think it's an unreasonable request! He doesn't agree!!

TeenAndTween Wed 04-Dec-13 10:33:49


What is his argument for starting Silver before he has finished Bronze?

If he doesn't do bronze he has to do the other sections for longer anyway, so he is better off finishing Bronze first.

If it is just the expedition stuff he likes, would he be better joining scouts intead?

Horsemad Wed 04-Dec-13 11:08:22

I think he wants to be able to put it on his Personal Statement for uni.
He does very little (no p/t job, no hobbies/clubs) so will be struggling for stuff to write about.

He aaid he 'only needs a signature to get it completed', so I told him to get the required signature & I'll sign it! grin

adeucalione Wed 04-Dec-13 12:49:20

Did he complete the other sections of the bronze award - volunteering, skill and physical? If he did then he probably does only need the signatures as proof, along with the presentation and personal log of course. But if he's only completed the expedition element then it will be incredibly difficult to achieve the outstanding elements before the March deadline.

At our school he wouldn't be allowed to do silver if he flunked bronze.

MrsBright Wed 04-Dec-13 12:58:35

Plenty of kids (especially from non-private schools) have no opportunity to do DoE so Uni Admissions staff (like me) dont take much notice of it on a UCAS form. He shouldnt see it as a 'if I do this I'll get into Uni' deal breaker and therefore it isnt worth wasting hours of potential study time to do it.

If he wants to do the next stage up because he enjoys it, fine, go ahead but in itself Bronze or Silver or Gold DoE wont mean anything on his UCAS application unless he can clearly explain what he got out of doing it in terms of skills/experiences he gained - either relevant to the course he's wanting to do or leaving home/going to Uni in general.

MissMilbanke Wed 04-Dec-13 13:03:51

thats interesting MrsBright do you treat it as a negative thing then <worried about all time effort and money has been a waste>

OP are they allowed to do silver if bronze is outstanding ? You might find school or wherever he is won't agree to him starting it anyway ?

Horsemad Wed 04-Dec-13 13:35:39

I'm not entirely sure what is outstanding tbh. He used to do ATC and said that would count for his volunteering, and he said he needs a signature from someone at the gym, so once he gets that I'll sign him up to the Silver.

Not sure if school will let him do it if Bronze is incomplete, but he brought the letter from school.

Ijust feel he should finish one project before starting another.

goinggetstough Wed 04-Dec-13 13:41:06

I totally agree about having to finish one project before you start the next. However, many schools have limited places so if he doesn't sign up soon there may be no space for silver for him. This fact could also be used to encourage him to "get a move on!"

Horsemad Wed 04-Dec-13 13:46:57

Yes goinggetstough, the letter says it's a first come first served basis. Hopefully that will spur him on!

secretsantasquirrels Wed 04-Dec-13 15:08:59

I think it's a myth that universities place any importance on DofE, or other extra curricular stuff for that matter. Partly because of what Mrsbright says and partly because it's irrelevant to how well they perform in their subject.
They want good grades. That's what counts.

LIZS Wed 04-Dec-13 15:10:35

do you get UCAS points for D of E ?

Middleagedmotheroftwo Wed 04-Dec-13 15:18:50

I doubt the fact that he "used to do" ATC will count towards the volunteering section. That's not really volunteering, unless he was there in a helping/leading capacity, rather than as a boy member, if you see what I mean.

We've had a couple of girls help out at Brownies for DofE, but being a Guide or Ranger wouldn't count.

And my DD was told that all the sections ought to be new activities - so, for example, learning the piano wouldn't count as learining a skill if you already play the piano.

secretsantasquirrels Wed 04-Dec-13 15:19:59

As far as I know the only reason anyone does it is to put something worthy on their personal statement.

TeenAndTween Wed 04-Dec-13 18:01:46

We have encouraged DD to do DoE (Bronze).

Not 'to put something worthy' on her personal statement but to:
- encourage her to be physically active (she's quite sedentary)
- take her out of her comfort zone (expedition)
- make a regular commitment to someone/something else (volunteering)
- keep her busy

So not for the personal statement, but for personal growth.

Kleinzeit Wed 04-Dec-13 18:35:28

We have encouraged DS to do DofE Bronze and we are encouraging him to do Silver for the same reasons TeenAndTween listed. I never wanted to do D of E myself but DS has enjoyed it so far. I do consider it a contribution to his future career but not because it will help him tick a box on a form, just because it is helping him to develop and grow up. Like your DS, his main motive is wanting to go on the expeditions, but he had to do the other things to go on the expedition and that's good for him too.

In your place I would sign the consent form whether he’s finished Bronze or not. The group will have its own rules, so let him sort it out for himself smile My DS’s group wont let them sign up for Silver while they are still doing Bronze. Some kids who haven’t started Bronze are signing up directly for Silver but they have to do more to qualify.

For my son’s D of E, the skill does not have to be brand new, he just has to set some new goals to show his skills are developing. He put his music lessons towards his award, learning more difficult pieces and taking a grade exam. Groups may vary and sometimes kids get the wrong end of the stick too!

Leeds2 Thu 05-Dec-13 22:22:16

I very much doubt that his school will let him do silver, if he hasn't completed bronze. I would use that as encouragement to get him to get the missing bronze sections signed off.

At my DD's school, they only do bronze and gold. Silver is reckoned to be a waste of time during important exam times. No idea how true that is.

MrsBright Sun 08-Dec-13 13:56:41

No, you only get UCAS points for relevant academic achievement.

What top Unis are interested in is :
1. consistently high grades - actual or predicted
2. demonstrable interest in the planned subject beyond the A level syllabus
3. ability to write interesting, readable and coherent English

LeBearPolar Sun 08-Dec-13 14:14:49

Just asked DH about DofE and uni applications: he agrees with MrsBright. He says that really, the only advantage of DofE as far as uni applications goes is that it develops the qualities of the individual student - the skills they need on DofE (teamwork, time management, the ability to see something through even though it requires a sustained commitment) are the kind of things that help them become more successful students.

But they can gain these qualities in other areas of school life too through a whole host of extra-curricular stuff. Is your DS really academic and interested in the subjects he wants to study? Because if he's naturally academically motivated and really focused on his subject then I don't think he needs to worry about padding it out with stuff he's not interested in.

(and if he couldn't complete Bronze, he really won't bother to complete Silver. Have seen it loads of times...)

BonnieWeeJeannieMcCall Sun 15-Dec-13 21:59:48

Mrs Bright, if a kid from a bog-standard comprehensive school has got their silver DofE, and is working towards their gold, would you notice that?

DD has an unconditional offer for Uni, and we assumed that the D of E had helped, though her grades are excellent too.

We thought the D of E has been brilliant for DD, giving her a breadth of experience over the past three years. She did it because she enjoyed it, not for her personal statement.

DaveBussell Mon 16-Dec-13 08:44:24

I was glad to see the comment from MrsBright - I asked ds' school about DofE because it was the one active thing ds said he would be interested in doing but the school said they haven't got any staff willing to take on the responsibility. sad

EBearhug Mon 16-Dec-13 09:13:22

I think DofE can gain you useful skills - I ended up with swimming teaching and lifeguarding qualifications as a direct result of DofE, which not only meant I could earn significantly more than waiting tables, but helped with my confidence and assertiveness - but I'd have probably ended up with at least the lifeguarding in any case.

There's very little on DofE you can't do without it being part of DofE - it just gives a structure to activities. It's worth doing because it's fun. But it won't suit everyone, and if you're doing it just because of UCAS, then it's probably not worth bothering.

If you are doing it, and can get your expeditions out of the way by the time you finish school, that can make it easier - I took years to do my last skill and sport sections and wasn't far off the upper age limit when I did.

There are some courses where some voluntary service related to your course may be helpful, but it doesn't have to be part of DofE - and it doesn't sound that your son has that clear a focus about what he wants to do yet (though I might just have misread things.)

goinggetstough Mon 16-Dec-13 09:16:37

Dave D of E awards are also run through groups other than just schools e.g. scouts, guides CCF and also the local authority.

D of E even if it doesn't give you an advantage for your UCAS application I think it is still favourably viewed when applying for jobs. I was speaking to a Recruiter and he said that if he sees someone has a D of E gold award he doesn't immediately think of how useful they have completed an expedition, or can play the recorder.... But that they have have stamina and commitment as they can start something and complete it. The shortest time for completing a Gold award is 12 months (if you have done silver) and 18 months if you enter at the Gold award level. Obviously there are other activities that can show stamina but for those who don't do that sort of thing the D of E Award can provide a framework.

DaveBussell Mon 16-Dec-13 09:22:48

Thanks goinggetstough, I did find a local group through the council operating from a youth centre.

Trouble is, firstly, the organiser said they are still trying to get numbers together and secondly, ds is not at all confident in going into groups where he doesn't know anyone so I couldn't persuade him to go.

That's why it would have been ideal to take part in school - he could have developed his confidence as he went along.

MinesAPintOfTea Mon 16-Dec-13 09:53:35

My parents wanted me to do it to develop people skills. I actually did it because now-dh was doing itblush clearly worked. .

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