The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is an internationally recognised award that invites young people aged 14-25 to realise their ambitions and to change their world. Run in over 130 countries, the Duke of Ed is designed over three levels: Bronze, Silver and Gold. To achieve each level, young people create their own unique program of activities over a set length of time across four Sections:
- Physical Recreation
- Adventurous Journey
Young people challenge themselves by choosing activities that spark their interest in each Section and setting their own goals. The Duke of Ed is about individual choice; young people tailor their Award and develop their career aspirations as they forge skills that go beyond academic success.
Students at Tintern have chosen a range of activities for their skill section of the Award program. Jimmy Cox is a keen farmer in the making and loves to spend his spare time on his family property in Alexandra. He writes the following about lamb rearing:
For my Duke of Edinburgh Silver Award I have chosen lamb rearing as my 6 month skill. Rearing lambs is something that I’m used to because of growing up on a farm. I also enjoy this activity a lot. On my 1000 acre property in Alexandra we run cattle and sheep. The sheep are share farmed by me and my grandfather who is a farmer. The process of rearing lambs starts when you put the rams out with the ewes and then finishes months later when the 5-6 month old lambs are sold at market.
We put the rams out with the ewes in December and we feed the ewes grain so they are in good condition for maxim fertility. 2-3 weeks before lambing we give the ewes pre lambing vaccinations. The ewes are fed all throughout lambing and are constantly monitored. They are assisted if they struggle with lambing or get confused after lambing when a lamb may get lost. If a lamb is weak we may have to give it a bottle of milk to get it going or if it has no mother we will have to hand rear it. The next step in lamb rearing is lamb marking which usually takes about 2 hours and consists of injecting, ear tagging, and tail and ball docking. The last step is when the lambs get sold. Different lambs are sold at different times as the sales are dependent on the size of the lambs.
by Jimmy Cox, Year 10
It is great to see students engaged in such diverse activities outside school. The Duke of Edinburgh Awards allow students to develop interests that would rarely be found in a normal classroom environment. I congratulate Jimmy on his project and look forward to hearing about the final lamb sales and profit margins!
by Anne Bortolussi, Co-ordinator Duke of Edinburgh Program