The aim of the Award is to provide an enjoyable, challenging and rewarding personal development programme. It takes in almost all aspects of extra-curricular school life. Participants also head out into the local community to fulfill the Service part of the Award and so it provides a great balance between bringing together your own skills within the various activities and expedition training offered at Biddick School and using your new skills to help others.
The Award is non competitive, voluntary and open to all over 14 years of age. It demonstrates commitment to various activities over a long period and is a marathon, not a sprint. The idea is to set your own personal goals and then strive to meet them.
There are three levels of Award: Bronze, Silver and Gold, each requiring increasing commitment and responsibility. Bronze is now run with year 9 and 10 students and takes a minimum of six months to complete. Silver (anyone over 15) takes approximately a year and Gold is for those over 16 and takes approximately 18 months to complete.
There are four sections of the Award with an extra section for Gold.
Expedition training runs each week throughout the year covering important things such as how to read a map, how to pitch a tent, how to use a stove, what to put in your bag, what to wear, what to eat and first aid. Each level does a practice expedition (two for Gold) and it all leads toward the qualifying expeditions in the summer. We go on expeditions to the Lake District and Northumberland and for most is the highlight of the year. At the end of their expedition participants have to produce a report about the experience.
Community service is a fantastic opportunity to learn from and give to others in the local community. Biddick School participants have helped out at the local wetlands centre or at Brownies, they've helped with reading, art or singing at local primary schools, and helped in stables. The Service section is excellent at developing leadership skills and self confidence as well as a sense of responsibility.
The idea of this section is to keep active and healthy, not really a problem at Biddick School! However the Award is voluntary and must be done in your free time so participants have to pick an extra sport activity on top of their usual sessions. Sometimes this can be additional training or participating in a new sport. It can be an excellent opportunity to try something completely different such as running, dancing, sailing or swimming. We encourage and help participants to find a local club if Biddick’s extensive activity programme doesn't offer their choice of sport.
So many students at Biddick are musical that this is often the natural first choice of skill. The skill must be practiced over many months and improvement shown so passing music exams or taking part in concerts or pipe band performances fits the bill perfectly. Other popular choices of skill include debating, drama, horse riding, or art. Then of course there is the opportunity to take up an entirely new hobby, the list of skills is endless!