Below you'll find some top tips to engage each of the different groups connected to DofE activities in your school. If you have any other tips to share, please do send them through to [email protected].
You (DofE Leader/Co-ordinator/Manager)
These activities can be split amongst more than one member of the team.
PUBLICISE Add any positive DofE press stories to your DofE noticeboard and in your school's press cuttings book (or visitor booklet) and don't forget to share them with your headteacher and governors.
PROMOTE Publicise your DofE achievers in the wider school end of year celebrations - to recognise achievements and promote the DofE to younger students, colleagues and parents.
DROP-IN Invite participants to drop-in sessions to support them on capturing their eDofE evidence and uploading their Assessor's Report and producing their expedition presentation.
CELEBRATE Host a celebration event or activity for your DofE achievers. Engage your Award holders and ask them how they'd like their achievement recognised. It could be through an assembly, a prom-style evening or party or maybe a small outing as a group. By rewarding and recognising their achievement it will add value to their Award and they will be encouraged to consider the next level - it will also build interest from those not currently participating.
PROGRESSION Hold a meeting for your recent achievers to introduce them to the LifeZone. This will help them recognise the value of their Award and discover how they can use it in the future. Introduce them to the next level of programme so that they can get started over the summer holidays.
RECOGNISE ACHIEVEMENT Hold a special presentation evening to hand out certificates and badges. Ask some Award holders (or current participants) to demonstrate the skills they've learnt through their programmes e.g. a musical skill, cookery or art. Use it as a publicity event for next year's potential participants - invite them along with their parents to see what it's all about.
COMMUNICATING ACHIEVEMENT Include an update on DofE achievement in the parents' newsletter or end of term report. Ask one of your recent Award holders to write about their experiences. Don't forget to include lots of photos too.
CELEBRATE Invite parents along to the DofE celebration event so that they, and their young person, can see the importance of what has been achieved. Introduce them to the next level of programme for their young person and offer suggestions for potential activities to get them started.
For your DofE volunteers/helpers/support
THANK YOUS Personally thank your volunteers for their support and, if possible, ask your headteacher to thank them as well. This will help them to feel valued and might convince them to continue supporting you next year! Demonstrate to your headteacher the value of their support and gather quotes from them and your participants.
For teachers, colleagues and student mentors
CHASING COMPLETIONS Work with form tutors to use form time to chase those participants who are close to completion. Share with tutors the solutions to overcoming the most common barriers to completion and the answers to regularly asked questions so that they can act as additional support.
For the headteacher and senior management team (SMT)
SHOWING APPRECIATION Invite your headteacher and the senior management team to your DofE celebration event and ask them to contribute their personal thanks to the young achievers and your volunteers (this could be done face to face or as a letter or even with the gesture of a free item of clothing or expedition equipment). Not only will this help your young people and volunteers to feel valued and have their achievement recognised it will also help your headteacher and SMT to understand the time commitment, resources and challenges involved with delivering DofE programmes. Building a positive image of the DofE and its impact in the school will ensure it maintains a good reputation and that your provision is supported for years to come.
For governors and the PTA
PERSONAL THANKS Invite governors along to the celebration event to give it a sense of occasion and importance. Ask them to contribute their personal congratulations to the young people and offer their thanks to your volunteers, perhaps even by saying a few words.
For the wider community
SPREAD THE NEWS Invite local press to the celebration event (or send them a press release and photos afterwards) to help raise awareness in the local community of your work and create a positive image of the school and its pupils. Invite notable figures in the community along or an inspirational speaker (consider local councillors, celebrities, sports people or business figures) to help give the event a sense of importance. This might pave the way for their future support with your DofE activities.