Duke of Edinburgh's Award


Senior Member
I've started up a DofE group at our school, in addition to trying to get kids to commit, I'm struggling to come up with Service projects for them to carry out. Does anyone have any experience or suggestions - bear in mind that this is a special needs school - most of our kids have mild to moderate difficulties.

i've no experience of this and i'm not sure what the Service awards requires, but i'm guessing they need to perform a community service. if so...

they could hold an open day for the school to show the local community how it differs from a 'normal' school. most people won't have visited a special needs school. the pupils could help conduct the tours.

would art count? a charity project i worked on before involved schools and a special needs one made models of London landmarks along the Thames. the pupils could do a similar thing for local landmarks. have a word with the local library, or a shop to see if you could get display space.

contact the local council and see if they have any projects that would be beneficial to both sides. helping in a local park would be an obvious one as it would give the council the special needs perspective - often that is overlooked for more 'obvious' disabilities such as wheelchair access, etc. special needs pupils tend to need more tactile playthings - as well as simple signs, etc.

arrange a class visit to another local school - giving those children a chance to see how a special needs school differs and the chance to mix.

erm... that's all i can think of


New Member
PC2K, Craig is currently doing his DofE award at school, and I appreciate the difference between what he may be capable of and your pupils, however given he is currently undergoing this work he may already have had discussions about certain aspects of the course. I will have a chat with him tonight and let you know if he comes up with anything worthwhile.


Started young, and still going.
Try you local volunteer groups. They will have the ideas and the experience to point you in the right direction. Maybe also local Scout packs as they could maybe help with practical advice. The hiking part may present a bit of a problem as your kids have as you put it difficulties, but i am sure that is plenty of guidence out there.

This site may help.http://www.theaward.org/


Senior Member
Thanks folks. A few ideas to follow up there.

BTW, few of the kids I have in the group have physical difficulties (beyond what you would find in any mainstream school) - one is an extremely accomplished dancer and gymnast, one is a really good skateboarder, several are very good footballers. Maybe just an example of how people percieve "special needs"! - more probably my fault for not explaining in detail what my pupil's needs are, and what a broad spectrum "special needs" is.
how about a talent show by the pupils at an open day?

one project i worked on at a former job was the idea of getting artists and the local community to help at at special school to help construct a tactile garden/room. part of the thinking behind it was that most people would never have been to a special school for any reason and, probably, most people tend to ignore them as they're "weird kids". the work special schools do is incredible, i was always really moved when i saw the art projects made by special schools when at that job and artists who went into those schools always found it very fulfilling - more so than those who visited 'normal' schools. the trouble was always finding artists to go.

good luck with it and let us know how it goes.
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