Supplement your formal curriculum by helping young people grow inside and outside the classroom. The Award focuses on the development of the whole person, encompassing physical fitness, skill development, community service and adventurous journeys. These activities encourage critical thinking, problem-solving, teamwork, leadership, time management and communication skills. This holistic approach nurtures well-rounded individuals who are resilient, adaptable, self-confident and better equipped to navigate the complexities of the world.
The Award framework allows participants to explore their passions, interests and talents through various activities beyond the curriculum. Whether it’s sports, arts, technology, or social causes, participants have the freedom to choose activities that align with their interests, discover hidden talents and find a sense of purpose and identity. This exploration helps them develop intrinsic motivation that fosters personal growth and self-discovery.
The Award framework encourages participants to engage in physical activities, develop hobbies and focus on personal growth. Engaging in recreational activities and pursuits can reduce anxiety, depression and burnout, fostering mental resilience and emotional stability. Furthermore, the social connections formed through experiential learning activities create a sense of belonging and support, reducing feelings of isolation and promoting overall well-being.
The Award offers numerous opportunities for students to develop leadership skills and work collaboratively with their peers. Whether it’s leading a project or working together as a team while planning and executing a journey, students learn to communicate effectively, make decisions and develop interpersonal skills. By taking on responsibilities outside of academics, students learn to manage their time effectively, set goals, delegate tasks, motivate their peers and lead by example. These experiences cultivate essential leadership qualities that are transferable to various academic, life and professional contexts.
Participation in Award activities is typically done outside the normal classroom, and fosters learning by engaging and doing. Motivation to continue the experiential learning pathway is provided through external recognition of achievement. These activities help students to develop problem-solving, reasoning, critical and creative thinking, communication, resilience and collaborative abilities. The Award also encourages involvement in school and community events, engagement with peers and mentors, and helps to develop a sense of being involved in one’s own education. These skills are directly transferable to the academic arena, and it is shown that students who get involved in other areas of student and community life are more likely to have a positive outlook on school and future study.
The Award provides a unique opportunity for young people to step out of their comfort zones, develop progressive habits and engage in new experiences. Participants are encouraged to challenge themselves physically, mentally, emotionally and interpersonally, which exposes them to diverse cultures, perspectives and environments. This exposure broadens their horizons and fosters empathy, leading to a more enriched and well-rounded understanding of the world.
The Award fosters commitment, passion, leadership, initiative and teamwork which are highly regarded by post-secondary institutions and employers around the world. Completion of the Award demonstrates a strong ability for individuals to shape their own future by continuously setting and achieving personally challenging goals. The Award helps young people stand out, by providing them with an internationally recognized accreditation and by becoming world ready.
In the future, people will need far greater flexibility, resilience, capability, capacity to adjust, problem-solving and communication skills to deal with fast-changing times, constant innovation and ever more unpredictable circumstances. We have known this for some time, though perhaps many of us remain surprised, even shocked, at the pace it has come upon us.Dr Howard Williamson Cvo Cbe Frsa Fhea, Professor Of European Youth Policy At The University Of South Wales. Trustee Of The Duke Of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation