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To unleash your talents and broaden your personal interests and skills.

With so many hobbies and interests to choose from, the Skill Section of The Duke of Ed allows young people to explore and discover talents within themselves that they may have only hoped for or dreamed about.

In some ways, this is the broadest Section of The Duke of Ed, as it offers so many choices based on individual interests and passions, whether artistic, creative, musical, academic, technical, cultural or some other area. By trying something entirely new, or undertaking an existing activity with renewed purpose, Participants will stimulate new interests or improve existing ones.

Get inspired by some great Stories on Skill related activities here!

Because the Skill Section is so broad, Participants not only have the opportunity to take part in an activity that truly interests them, they can also find themselves developing skills they previously thought out of their reach. Activities chosen should be enjoyable and the goals set realistic so that at the end of the Section, Participants feel a real sense of achievement.

Some of the benefits you may want to discuss with your Participants include:

  • It’s personal and it’s fun: You can choose a non-physical activity you want to improve in, or one you have always wanted to try.
  • You might surprise yourself: Sometimes it’s easier to think you won’t be able to do something, rather than actually trying to do it. Get out there and give it a go – you may discover a new passion!
  • You can do it with your friends, and you might make some new ones along the way: Whether you choose an individual or a group activity, chances are you’ll meet other people who have similar interests.
  • You can unleash your interests: With so many things to choose from, whether artistic, musical, academic, technical, cultural, you will discover talents within yourself you never realised you have.
  • Boost your confidence: With a sense of achievement comes a belief in yourself. By trying something and succeeding your self-confidence will blossom.
  • Connect with people and make new friends: Want to do something none of your friends are doing? By trying a new skill you will meet new people and make some great new friends on the way.
  • Experience a sense of achievement: By setting realistic goals and working towards them, you will achieve your goal.

For this Section, Participants must:

  1. Undertake an activity regularly which develops or improves on a desired skill, for the required length of time depending on the Award level chosen.
  2. Meet the minimum time requirements depending on the Award level chosen.
  3. Show regular commitment, progress and improvement in their chosen activity.
  4. Understand that regular commitment means at least one (1) hour per week, two (2) hours per fortnight or four (4) hours every four weeks.
  5. Undertake activities substantially in their own time. This means that whilst some activity may take place within school, university or work hours, most of it should occur outside of these scheduled times.

Please note that goals should be realistic and achievable within an individual’s ability. Like all Sections of The Duke of Ed, choosing a Skill is a personal choice. Each Participant should choose a Skill that interests them. This could be something new, or something they are already doing and want to improve in.

Some Participants may feel comfortable ‘going it alone’ and choosing something no one in their peer group is doing. Others may want to choose an activity that they can do with their friends, with the group dynamic offering the inspiration and motivation needed to get through.

The important thing is for Participants to choose something they enjoy, to measure their own personal effort, and to undertake an activity which helps them broaden their abilities and feel a real sense of pride and achievement. All Skill activities must be unpaid.

• Art and architecture appreciation
• Ballet choreography
• Calligraphy
• Choir member
• Choreography
• Drama
• Drawing
• Directing
• Music appreciation
• Mosaics
• Painting
• Photography
• Playing an instrument
• Pottery
• Printing
• School play/production
• Screen printing
• Sewing
• Singing
• Stage help/lighting and sound
• Theatre appreciation
• Candle making
• Card making
• Ceramics
• China painting
• Cooking
• Cross stitch
• Doll making
• Embroidery
• Fabric printing
• Furniture making
• Jewellery making
• Knitting
• Macrame
• Metal/plastic work
• Origami
• Tapestry
• Toy making
• Weaving
• Woodwork/carving
• Computing (IT)
• Electronics
• Film production
• Languages
• Public speaking
• Reading/ writing
• Sign language
• Video making
• Website design
• Amateur radio
• Astronomy
• Bird watching
• Boat building
• Bush survival skills
• Car mechanics
• Chess
• Coaching
• Coastal navigation
• Cooking
• Cycle maintenance
• Debating
• Dog training
• Dressage judging
• Fishing
• Gardening
• Junior fire brigade
• Map making
• Map reading
• Model construction
• Pet care
• Public speaking
• Puppetry
• Research
• Umpiring

Can I use dancing as a Skill?
No. Dancing is considered Physical Recreation because you are improving your fitness and general physical performance. However, you can study the history and theory of dance and improve your knowledge – which could then be used as a Skill.

I’ve looked at a graphic design course that I’d love to do for my Skill, but it doesn’t fit the time requirements of the Award I’m undertaking. How can I extend this activity to satisfy time requirements?
You can use the class as the basis of your Skill, and then continue the activities outside of the course. For example, you can set yourself a series of graphic design projects in your own time that increase with difficulty over the course of time. There are also many online tutorials on a virtually endless number of topics that can help guide your development as you work towards your goal.