Duke of Edinburgh

What is the Duke of Edinburgh Award?

The Duke of Edinburgh (D of E) award was founded in 1956 by the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Phillip. The award recognises adolescents and young adults for completing a series of self-improvement exercises. The DofE is many things to many people, supporting generations to successfully navigate adult life. It is a recognised mark of achievement; respected by employers.

14–24-year-olds can do a DofE programme at one of three progressive levels which, when successfully completed, leads to a Bronze, Silver or Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. There are four sections to complete at bronze and silver level and five at gold. They involve helping the community/environment, becoming fitter, developing new skills, planning, training for and completing an expedition and, for Gold only, working with a team on a residential activity.

The D of E award is suitable for any young person, regardless of ability, gender or background. The great thing about the award, is that participants can complete within their own time frame which includes setting personal challenges and self-development. Further to this, it is an amazing opportunity for the young person to gain essential skills and attributes for work and life such as resilience, teamwork, communication, problem-solving and motivation.

This award is a great way to enhance CV’s and open up opportunities to colleges, universities and the world of work for our young people.

The first award is the bronze award that can be started from the age of 14 which is typically for our year 9 students of the academy.

To complete the award, students will need to select an activity of their choice for each section:

  1. Volunteering
  2. Physical
  3. Skill

Each activity must be attended regularly for a minimum of 3 months, with one activity of their choice, being completed for an extended period of 6 months.

The final section of the bronze award is the expedition. This is for two days and one night which is typically completed in June. Here at OCA, this is undertaken in the West Pennine Moors near the Rivington Pike area. This is a beautiful spot that enables the students to take in the countryside whilst working cooperatively with their peers to complete the two day-walks using their navigational skills. The overnight stay challenges the students to be self-sufficient with their campcraft skills they have obtained through training.

deally, students undertake their silver award once they have completed at bronze level which for our OCA students, is in year 10. However, this is not the only way to enrol on this award, as many students may choose to not complete bronze and begin entry at the silver level. For this, it will require further commitment of an additional 6 months to one of the sections.

To complete the award, similarly to the bronze level, students will need to select suitable activities in the following sections:

  1. Volunteering
  2. Physical
  3. Skill.

At silver level the volunteering section needs to be a minimum of 6 months. The physical and skill must be divided into one at 6 months and the other at 3 months in which the young person regularly commits their time towards.

The expedition section of the award is three days and two nights. The students will be expected to be self-sufficient during their expedition where they will work together as a team to navigate routes, problem-solve, cook, carry their equipment and essentials and basic campcraft to pass this part of the award. At OCA, the expedition is completed in the Llangollen area which offers a greater challenge than the bronze routes completed the previous year to enable participants to see progress and develop their abilities. Prior to the qu

The gold award can be accessed once the participant has successfully completed the silver award and when participants are 16-years old and above. For this reason, this award is not offered at secondary school level but is something that students can enrol upon when they embark on their post-16 options at college or sixth form.

All levels of the Duke of Edinburgh Award require students to select a suitable activity for each of the sections. The activities selected must meet the requirements set by D of E which can be accessed through these links:

Activities chosen must be completed on a regular basis for the set duration outlined to meet the expectation for the level they are working towards. A regular basis is generalised as once a week minimum for approximately. 60 minutes each time. However, the D of E acknowledge that there may be slight deviations to this recommendation. All activities must be entered on to the eDofE application/website where the assigned D of E leader can approve, query or support participants to meet the requirements.

To ensure a participant can pass each section, they must accumulate suitable evidence in the form of pictures, written up logs, or other appropriate pieces of evidence which too can be uploaded onto the eDofE platform.

At the end of the allotted time for an activity, the assigned assessor will complete a written or electronic assessor report which confirms the participant has committed regularly to their chosen activity. This will then be approved by the D of E lead.

Once all sections and the expedition has been successfully approved, the participant will be put forward for external verification for completion of the award.

The fourth section of the D of E awards are to complete a suitable expedition for the level that a participant is enrolled upon. The number of days and nights increase from bronze, to sliver and finally, on to gold. The gold award at post-16 level will also include the added element of a residential.

The participants will be expected to undertake mandatory training to have the skills required to ensure they can be self-sufficient with navigation and campcraft. Within the skills training, students will develop their map reading, compass work, navigation as well as their outdoor cooking, first aid and ability to set up and put away their tents.

At bronze level, there will be two day walks and one overnight stay. Whereas, at silver level there will be a two day and two nights practice expedition, followed by their qualifying expedition for three days and two nights at a different location to the practice expedition.

Participants are organised into groups of 3-7 students for their expedition in which they are expected to demonstrate leadership, teamwork, communication, problem-solving and initiative to be self-sufficient throughout the expedition.

All students will be assessed on their qualifying expedtions based on the skills taught by a qualified assessor that is impartial to the delivery of the award and was not involved at the practice expedition.