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About the Scheme

Mini and Junior Duke Awards

An award scheme for primary-aged children to encourage and develop valuable life skills


We all hope that our children succeed in school, achieve good results and go on to do great things with their lives. However, their general wellbeing and happiness plays a huge part in his or her future success. For this reason, working on helping our children to develop their self-confidence and independence from an early age is crucial.


We often hear in the news that our ‘young people’ are leaving school ill-equipped to manage in the modern workplace (as well as with the ups and downs of early adulthood) and that there is a general lack of suitable life skills. The Mini and Junior Duke is there to help with that by giving children the opportunity to participate in a variety of new experiences. It teaches them that it is good to ‘have a go’ and challenges them to learn new and varied skills from an early age. By enrolling in the award, children will learn that you may not always succeed first time and that is okay. This helps them to develop the resilience they will need throughout their lives.


This Award has been running in schools since 2007 and has helped thousands of children aged 6 to 12 to realise their abilities and, for some, to discover new talents and passions.


I hope that, over the years, thousands more children can achieve new heights and grow in confidence through taking up this Junior

Duke challenge.


Dawn Waugh


Primary Teacher 1994 to date


Life skills awards for primary aged children

Life can be hectic and we are often too busy to allow our children to learn to do things for themselves as it's much quicker, as an adult, to do things ourselves. Many six year olds ARE capable of making toast for their breakfast, they CAN tie their shoelaces and they CAN make it up a hill. Many parents have begun expecting more from their children as they now know their youngsters are so capable!

Children love to do things without help. They simply need the time and space to explore, learn from their mistakes and to learn to be safe. Below are some of the thoughts from children who have completed the challenges featured in the Mini and Junior Duke Awards:


  •  Kids love the feeling of achievement when they have been out in the hills for an adventure.
  •  They feel a sense of being 'grown up' when they have successfully built a safe fire and toasted a marshmallow.
  •  They like to show they can recite a long mobile phone number.
  •  They are likely to be more careful with their buttons if they have learned how tricky it is to sew them back on!
  •  They LIKE rules, and games like Chess are a great way to instil calm and discipline as well as learning good sportsmanship.
  •  Everyone gets nervous making presentations but if you do it regularly from a very early age, it becomes easier each time.
  •  They like having a purpose to each of the presentations.
  •  They like being able to surprise their parents by cooking and baking.
  •  It's really nice to feel you have done something kind or thoughtful for other people or to organise to get something fixed in their local area.
  •  They like talking to the teachers whom they didn’t really know so well about the things they have done.
  •  They know their parents are proud of them when the have completed each level.


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Sign up for September 2021

If you are interested in signing you child up to take part in this award scheme from September 2021 please get in touch for further details.