29.10.20 By Arran Templeton

The DofE in your school: Drummond Community High School

Running the DofE following the onset of COVID-19 and the subsequent restrictions was challenging for schools in Scotland; young people were sent home for a period of lockdown, along with sports and youth clubs shutting down.  

 In response to many activities being cancelled or disrupted, the DofE developed #DofEWithADifference, offering temporary programme flexibilities and suggesting activities that could be safely completed for the programme sections whilst following Government guidelines.  

 With schools in Scotland open again, DofE volunteers across the country are adapting to the ‘new normal’, and supporting young people to sign up and do their DofE 

 We caught up with DofE Leader Kevin Barrie, from Drummond Community High School, who shared with us how he is managing to deliver the DofE at his school during the coronavirus pandemic. 

 “At the start of the pandemic everything was up in the air but regular emails from DofE and linking up with our DofE Operations Officer, Connor Gibson, kept us informed of the many flexibilities that are available, such as altering sectional activities and recognising effort and commitment with the new Certificate of Achievement. 

 To make sure that all participants are kept up to date with the latest information, Kevin set up a DofE Teams channel. “I feel constant communication is the key and it needs to be kept positive! It’s very easy to get down in the current climate but learning new skills does make you feel better. 

 We know that DofE volunteers have more demands than ever on their time as schools adapt to the ‘new normal’. For Mr Barrie, teamwork is key. “Luckily, I have several other members of staff all keen and willing to help share the workload. Otherwise, it could easily get out of hand!” 

 Using the temporary expedition flexibilities that are currently available, Drummond Community High School are planning their Bronze expedition. “We plan to go on a day walk around the Water of Leith at the end of the month which for some will be the first time they will have had to carry a heavy rucksack and eat using a Trangia! Should be fun!” 

 If you are a DofE Leader or Co-ordinator, please get in touch with your area’s DofE Operations Officer or contact [email protected] if you require any support or resources to help run the DofE in your school.