The DofE and excellence in HMI inspections

The refreshed narrative of the Curriculum for Excellence provides an opportunity for the DofE charity to re-state how our programme compliments the 4 contexts for learning;

– Opportunities for Personal achievement
– Interdisciplinary Learning
– Ethos and life of the school as a community
– Curriculum area and subjects

With input from senior colleagues across the Education Sector, The DofE in Scotland has pulled together a document which aims to demonstrate how the programme, and its management across a school, can provide evidence as part of the inspection process.

The DofE difference

Inspectors look closely at how well schools are able to impact on their learners and, specifically, build their confidence, resilience and knowledge so they can keep themselves mentally healthy.

They’ll look at whether schools promote an inclusive environment, help pupils become active, responsible citizens and prepare them for their next steps in life.

If you’re involved with the DofE, you’ll see the parallels already.

The DofE takes young people outside their usual circles, giving them new skills, amazing experiences and a positive approach to overcoming challenges.

They choose their own activities and set their own goals, helping develop commitment, self-motivation and an ability to reflect on their actions and choices.

They learn teamwork, grow in confidence and, by volunteering, joining teams or clubs or travelling for their expeditions or residential — gain a deeper understanding of beliefs, experiences and perspectives beyond their own.

What young people and teachers say

In our survey of more than 14,500 Award holders and alumni in 2017;

– Three quarters said doing their DofE helped them understand their strengths and weaknesses better.
– 85% said it improved their teamwork skills, and 76% said it boosted their communication skills, and two thirds said it improved their motivational skills.
– 77% said volunteering helped them feel more responsible and two thirds kept doing it after achieving their Award.
– 61% said they were fitter as a result of their DofE.
– and 64% said it helped them understand others better.

But giving all students the chance to do their DofE doesn’t just benefit them – it boosts teacher-pupil relationships, school life and the wider community.

When we surveyed DofE Leaders working in teaching, 78% told us running the DofE had improved understanding and respect between teachers and students, more than half said it had improved the way students responded to them in lessons, and 70% said it had improved their job satisfaction.

The DofE often features positively in HMI reports — and it’s mentioned in the new handbook as an example of a high-quality extracurricular opportunity.

87% of All Scottish Secondary Schools currently operation the DofE programme.

Read more about the links between the DofE and the HGIOS4 Inspection Framework.

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