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With a background that includes: going to a sometimes extremely stressful Japanese high school, 3 international marriages in the family in three very different areas of the world, my university degree from the US,  and my chosen path as a teacher for the last 25 years plus, I am quite interested in education, especially where teenagers are concerned.


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 Have you heard of United World Colleges? a global network of schools with the shared mission of “making education a force to unite people, nations and cultures for peace and a sustainable future.”


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How about Gordonstoun in Scotland where the recently deceased Duke of Edinburgh, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II, was educated?


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And have you heard of the Duke of Edinburgh Award? It is a youth awards program that recognizes young people for completing a series of self-improvement exercises?


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They were all founded or inspired by Kurt Hahn, a German educator. He wanted to create a school designed to help children discover their interests and passions, not just prepare them for tests.


Hahn believed that schools should help students prepare for life, by developing resilience and the ability to experience both success and failure.


Today I would like to talk about the Duke of Edinburgh Award, founded in 1956 by Duke of Edinburgh.


 By the way, did you know the root of the word “Duke” goes back to Latin “ducere” or ‘duc, ’which means ‘to lead’ or ‘ a leader’?

ところで、皆さんは ‘duke’ という言葉の語源をご存知でしょうか?この言葉はラテン語の “ducere” or ‘duc,に遡り、 「導く、リーダー・・・」という意味です。

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award programs take between 1 and 4 years to complete with 300,000 complete the programs annually.

 You have to be between 14 and 24 years old.

 The programs have three progressive levels: Bronze, Silver, or Gold.



There are 4 sections to complete.


  • Physical
  • Skills
  • Volunteering
  • Expedition
  • At Gold level, an additional fifth Residential section.
  • Physical: Try a new physical activity or one you already do:


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  • Skills: Develop new or existing skills


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  • Volunteering: participate in activities


Screen Shot 2021-05-20 at 11.33.07 ・Expedition: a journey on foot, by bike, canoe, wheelchair, sailing boat, or even on horseback…


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  • Residential (for Gold only) : which is a purposeful experience with people who you don’t know, working towards a common goal!


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To complete: You have to:


  • commit one hour a week,  6 months commitment for 1 section with 3 month commitments for each of the other two.
  • choose to do these sections simultaneously or at different times.
  • set goals for each section
  • ask someone to be your assessor
  • show evidence of progress to your assessor who will then write you a report in the end




Why would you want to participate in the Duke of Edinburgh Awards?


  • To learn about teamwork
  • To be good at problem solving
  • To gain independence
  • To gain confidence
  • To become a better version of yourself





The DofE is a wonderful program because it is flexible and everyone gets something different out of it.


I believe that the most important task of grownups is not just to teach children how to build successful lives for themselves, but also to show them how to nurture their inner duke and let them realize: “there is more in them.”

 大人たちの役割というのは、子供達のうちにあるduke に気づかせ、いろいろな体験を通して彼らには素晴らしい可能性があるのだということを気づかせることだと思います。










Today we celebrated the birthday of our amazing manager Nami!

Her hard work, dedication, and contribution are greatly appreciated by all staff members at Estaminet English School!





Happy birthday Nami! Wishing you a new year filled with joy!

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The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. — Eleanore Roosevelt


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