They are running this scheme at my school next year and I was thinking of doing it. I will be starting my A-Level courses next year and just wanted to know if anyone else has done the Gold Award during their A-level years (or is doing it at the moment) and how much extra work it adds etc. Thanks for any advice.
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Duke of Edinburgh watch
- Thread Starter
- 03-07-2005 21:49
- 04-07-2005 01:30
Um, I haven't done Gold. But I did Bronze, and 3/4 of Silver (I dropped out at the VERY end of the course!!). Bronze was great fun; good experience and I thoroughly enjoyed it. However, doing Silver I was under immense pressure what with the exams and all, and didn't really enjoy it as much. The expedition itself was harder, but I struggled to keep up with all the Firemen meetings and stuff because I had so much work. But the deciding factor for me to quit was that Uni tutors told me that it's virtually worthless to them. They said if you stick it on your personal statement it makes no difference whatsoever, so I dropped it to concentrate on pure academia instead.
Saying that, there will be some who have done it and say it's great etc. But personally, if I found it hard to fit in GCSE work and the Silver award, I can imagine you'd find it hard to fit in A-Level work and the Gold award, and it does seem like a bit of a waste of time and effort if it's not even that favourably looked upon. So I'd say focus on your A-Levels and get good grades, and use your free time chilling out, instead of learning 8 different types of rope knots, and fire safety routes, how to bandage knees etc..
Also, I do not think it's wise to go straight into Gold if you haven't done either Bronze or Silver (and your post makes it sounds like you haven't). In all honesty, I don't think it should be permitted. If you haven't done either Bronze or Silver, I think you'll struggle big time.
My two cents. Let me know what you decide.
- Thread Starter
- 04-07-2005 10:51
The thing is that it's run at my school and most people are going straight to the Gold award. The leader of D of E in our schol said it will gain UCAS points, which seems logical enough. A lot of the Service part will be made up by doing prefect duty at school anyway. The Skills part will be made up of the Piano, which I already play and therefore will not add anything extra to my timetable. And the expedition (training, practice expidition etc.) is all organised by the school. So I think it should be okay. Thanks for your help anyway
- 04-07-2005 15:13
I've heard DoE looks very good for unis! Has anyone else got information about this?
I'm 3/4 of my way through my bronze. I just need to finish the sport, I've been doing it for ages but never got round to completing it all. I will hopefully finish in the summer..
The expedition, at the time, was a nightmare. I think I put too much stuff in my bag and I had to carry a 70 litre bag for 2 days. I'm not the strongest of girls either and I was ill for a week after, but it was fun... Tip, if you do the expedition, do not carry more than you must! That was our mistake! Agony! But i want to do the silver one next year now. Quite mad, I know. Problem is, don't know if I can fit it in during AS levels.
Problem is, don't know if I can fit it in during AS levels.
- 04-07-2005 17:09
I know what you mean about weight and everything, I carried as little as possible for my Silver; as I was experienced after my Bronze, and Bronze practice. But all I know is that when I've gone to Uni conferences they say the like extra-curricular activities which are closely related to your chosen subject. Everyone I've spoken to said that if people have the D of E award it's just sort of 'good for you', but it's not going to help you in any way. The Oxford tutors especially were very dismissive of it. But go for it if you want. My Bronze certainly was great fun. Everyone looks funny with their back packs!
- 04-07-2005 17:29
The majority of unis see it as a good thing to do and may slightly improve your chances - its just places like oxbridge, Imperial etc. that don't see it as much and don't really care whether you've done it or not.
Plus you gotta remember that going straight into gold means doing service, skill and rec. activity for even longer than people who have done bronze and silver - something like 18 months for two of them? I can't remember.
When I went on my Bronze expeditions (which were great fun) I think a couple of girls went as far as taking pyjamas! That's ridiculous. But Bronze expeditions are no way as difficult as Gold ones, they can be pretty horrible. My suggestion is, if you feel you've got enough time to fit in the extra stuff, definitely do it. Make sure you are fit enough though, too. I did Bronze and Silver, then copped out after going on the Gold expeditions cos I didn't have the time - or maybe I had got bored of it all by then.
- 04-07-2005 19:29
I've just completed my AS Level year, and although i haven't done DofE at any level, one of my friends has done, so my persepective is not first hand but as an 'onlooker.'
My friend and I do the same subjects except one, which are very similar anyway, so the workload is the same. She did Bronze DofE during GCSE's, and was one of only two people in my school to go to Gold this year.
All I know is that my friend, who is very sporty and very hardworking, struggled with it. It wasn't necessarily what you had to do, but in light of her workload from her AS levels, she regretted taking Gold, especially near exam time, when she was of camping and trekking for long weekends (Friday night to SUnday afternoon) for weeks on end when she really needed to revise. She was always pressured.
But if you take it, it undoubtedly impresses: DofE certainly doesn't harm your Uni application, but depending on where you apply and what you want to study, it may or may not benefit you. As long as you are dedicated and committed, there should be few problems...but if you want to use it for UCAS to impress, I'd take it to Gold level - more and more people are doing DofE, many of those only to bronze level, so it may work more in your favour this way.
But personally, if I found it hard to fit in GCSE work and the Silver award, I can imagine you'd find it hard to fit in A-Level work and the Gold award, and it does seem like a bit of a waste of time and effort if it's not even that favourably looked upon. So I'd say focus on your A-Levels and get good grades,
- 04-07-2005 19:42
ps i got time to come to the TSR as well!
going to the D0E improved my confidence and found me friends i could have never known!!!
Everyone I've spoken to said that if people have the D of E award it's just sort of 'good for you', but it's not going to help you in any way.
so go for it if u can.
Remember u got only till the age of 25 to miss a great and valuable opportunity!
- 04-07-2005 22:37
Don't do it. I died.
- 04-07-2005 23:00
i went straight into D.ofE. Gold and am finding it fine. I've just done my AS levels (17 at the moment) and I really recommend it as there's no rush to get it done - you must complete it before you are 25.
it's very highly regarded by many universities, and it's impressive even just to start it and say on your UCAS that you are doing D.ofE. Gold etc.
I'm all for it
- 07-07-2005 18:38
i've just finished my gold award a couple of months ago - d of e was one of the best things I think I have done with my life;
the extra stuff involved doens't really make a difference to your school work because for the most part, it's very fun and social too!
Throughout d of e - i've learnt so many things:
child care course, 1st aid course, sign language, salsa dancing, saxophone playing
plus been on expeditions to jersey, dartmoor, lake district, breacon beacons!
The expeditions were tiring - i'll admit........but fun all the same!
if anyone gets a chance to do it - then take it up!
(When you complete your gold - you even go to the Palace to collect it from the Duke himself!!!!!!)
p.s. it does impress unis a great deal since d of e teaches you sooo many skills as well as independence, time management etc - juggling extra curricular with studies is desirable!!
- Thread Starter
- 08-07-2005 15:57
Thanks everyone! Btw Lau200, did u do the 1st aid course as part of the service section or the skills section? wht about the sign language course?