The Junior Duke Award is a life skills Award for primary school children. It was created in 2007 by a Glasgow primary school teacher called Dawn Waugh. Initially, it was just for pupils in the one school because so many children seemed unable to turn their clothes around to get dressed after PE! The Award has morphed since then and has become one level per year group for each of the primary school years. Each level has fourteen challenges, from which, the child must complete ten.
In working through the Award, the aim is that children grow in confidence, independence and resilience.
Since an encouraging HMi visit of her school in 2015, then tweaking and a bit of remodelling, Dawn trialed the Award in 8 other schools in 2017. Since 2018, it has been available to all.
Throughout the Award, there are 98 challenges which include life skills like: puncture repair, budgeting for packed lunches, trip planning, fire building, exercise, presentation skills, knot tying, cookery, first aid, swimming etc. A Head Teacher in Dubai, Rachael Wilding, created additional cultural skills aimed at increasing children’s knowledge of their country. These challenges include: learning about the traditions and foods, how to look after your country, learning about neighbouring countries and getting to know the culture of the people in your country.
Most schools expect pupils to work on their tasks at home, therefore not encroaching on the school timetable. Teachers assess by reading self-reflections and looking at photographic evidence. This creates very natural conversation and great links with home. On completion of a level, children earn a certificate and metal badge.
Our vision is to spread the Junior Duke Award around the world, giving every child the affordable opportunity to have a variety of experiences and to learn skills they may otherwise not have encountered.
We are already working with FOBISIA schools in Malaysia, China, Japan, Thailand, Hong Kong and the Philippines.