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D of E Award

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is a voluntary scheme that is run in over 50 countries for young people between the ages of 14 and 25. The Award involves practical activities such as map work, walking and voluntary help within the community. The Award takes around one year to complete and there are people all around the world taking part all the time.

The Award consists of three levels:

  • Bronze (14 and over)
  • Silver (15 and over)
  • Gold (16 and over)

At each of the three levels involves of the Award, participants are involved in the following four sections:

  • Volunteering – Helping people in your local community
  • Physical – Developing an area of sport or physical exercise
  • Skills – Covering nearly every hobby, skill or interest that you may have
  • Expeditions – Taking part in expedition training and completing a series of planned journeys
  • Residential Project – This only has to be undertaken at Gold Award level The four sections all need to be successfully completed in order to pass the level of award at which you are participating.

The Award at Saint Aidan's

 At Saint Aidan’s we run the Bronze level of the Award. Students are invited to join the award towards the end of the summer term as they transition from Year 9 into Year 10. We aim to support them to complete the award by the end of Year 10 which leaves Year 11 free for students to concentrate on their final GCSE exams. Should they not manage to achieve this, all students can continue to work towards completing their award whilst they are at school.

What is involved?

Award participants are expected to commit to attending a variety of sessions at school as well as spending their own time completing the different sections of the award.

In the early stages of the award students attend sessions at school designed to help them decide what challenges they are going to undertake as part of the volunteering, physical and skills sections. They are then required to spend three or six months worth of time, one hour per week completing each of the sections. More information is available on the Duke of Edinburgh Award website.

As we move towards spring of Year 10 students begin to prepare for the expedition section. Many of the sessions are held at lunchtimes with a Saturday being used to deliver expedition training. During this day students learn how to pitch tents, cook on camping stoves, plan walking routes and pack rucksacks. All students then undertake a two day practise and final expedition, both again running over a weekend.

Useful Links

The websites below provide participants with a range of general information for each of the four sections of the Award and could be useful at any of the award levels.


The official Duke Of Edinburgh’s Award website. The site has information and advice for participants and parents. The site also contains and ideas bank for each of the sections of the award to help inspire participants about activities they may choose.


Is a very useful website offering advice on map reading and map symbols. Participants may find this site useful when planning expedition routes and topping up on their map reading skills before and expedition.

Outdoor Clothing and Equipment

Below are two companies that offer advice on equipment that participants may wish to purchase for the expedition part of the award. Please note that we do not expect participants to buy all of their own equipment for expeditions. Participants may loan out equipment such as tents, rucksacks, stoves and waterproofs from the expedition company that we use.

Cotswold Outdoors


Cotswold Outdoors have a wide range of outdoor clothing and equipment suitable for the expedition part of the award. They are also official partners of the award and offer a 15% discount. They have a suggested kit list on their website. (n.b. although knives are listed on the DofE kit list we do not allow award participants to bring knives of any kind on expeditions or to training sessions).

Go Outdoors


Go Outdoors is not an official partner of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme however the company website does have a recommended kit list for participants. Prices at Go Outdoors are competitive.