Upon entering Year 9 at DHFS, all students are offered the opportunity to enrol in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award – a programme designed by Prince Philip himself, in 1956, for 14-24-year-olds. Involving three main sections to complete, as well as an expedition, it is guaranteed that you will make life-lasting memories throughout every step of the way, while helping others around you.
Levels, Sections and Timescales Involved in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award
At each level, each participant must individually complete three sections, as well as an expedition. These sections are:
- Physical: taking part in physical activity for over an hour per week. Some ideas of physical activities include cycling, cheerleading, yoga, or Tai Chi.
- Skill: Practice a skill, or learn a new one, for at least an hour per week. Some ideas of skill activities include playing an instrument, coding, beekeeping, or pottery painting.
- Volunteering: complete one or more hours of volunteering per week. Volunteering is classed as unpaid work, doing tasks which would not normally be paid for, and some ideas include helping a neighbour with gardening, youth work, coaching, or helping at a local Scout Hut.
At Bronze level (Year 9), each participant must complete each of the above sections for three months, as well as a further three in either Physical, Skill or Volunteering – it is down to the participant which one this is. There is also a 2-day, 1-night expedition to complete (arguably the best part of each level!), which will be planned by the group of participants themselves.
Assuming the participant has completed Bronze level, the Silver level (Year 10) includes six months of Volunteering, and either six months and three months of Physical and Skill respectively, or vice versa – again, it is the choice of the participant which one they do. As well as this, there is a 3-day, 2-night expedition to complete.
If the participant has not completed Bronze, but would like to enrol in Silver, they will have to complete a further six months of either Volunteering, or the longer of the Physical or Skill sections (whichever of the two that they choose to do six months of).
At Gold level (new for 2021 to DHFS!), assuming Silver level has been completed by the participant, there is twelve months of volunteering involved, and either twelve months of Physical and six months of Skill respectively, or vice versa.
The expedition at Gold is four days and three nights, in an unfamiliar location to the participants. There is also a Residential section at Gold, involving a four-night stay in a residential setting with people they do not know. This level starts at Year 12.
If the participant has not completed Silver, but would like to enrol in Gold – even if they have completed Bronze, a further six months of either Volunteering or the longer of the Physical or Skill must also be completed.
Sections of each award level can be completed simultaneously.
Duke of Edinburgh at DHFS
If the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award sounds like it’s for you, then it would be great to have you as part of the group! Mrs Hollings (Science Teacher) is the DofE Centre Manager for DHFS, so feel free to get in touch with her if you want to enrol! There will also be an introductory assembly at the beginning of Year 9 for the whole year group, where more information can be obtained.
For Bronze participants, as well as Silver or Gold participants who have not completed Bronze or Silver respectively, weekly meetings will be held after school, which will cover all necessary training for the expedition at each level, as well as providing an opportunity to plan and prepare for the expedition.
What Our Past Participants Have to Say
“It was a chance to meet like-minded people, learn new skills and develop my personal qualities, such as my independence, teamwork, and leadership.”
“DofE is a challenging experience that everyone should aim to get involved in. The memories left are filled with laughter, friendship, and self-discovery.”
“Despite the challenge, a rewarding experience allowing you to grow and develop skills that are applicable to many situations yet often overlooked.”
“DofE is very fun and you will create of memories and friendships.”
Written by Louie Wilson, Y12
More information can be found at www.dofe.org
“Youth Without Limits” – DofE’s Manifesto for the COVID-19 Recovery