D of E

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE)

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE), founded in the United Kingdom in 1956 by HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh is the world’s leading youth achievement award, giving millions of 14 to 25-year-olds the opportunity to be the very best they can be. There are around 300,000 participants annually in the UK and 144 nations operate the Award.

Pupils at St. Richard’s have the exciting opportunity to enrol onto The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE). They will be working towards achieving their Bronze and Silver Award by completing a personal programme of activities. These are:

    • Volunteering – helping someone, the community or the environment
    • Physical – becoming fitter through sport, dance or fitness activities
    • Skills – developing existing talents or trying something new
    • Expedition – planning, training for and completing an adventurous journey

The length of time spent on each section depends on the level of programme they are doing.  The pupils will choose what they do and along the way they will develop skills, friends and talents that will stay with them for the rest of their life. The table below gives you an overview of the timescales involved for each level of the Award.  Please note that the sections can all be completed simultaneously which means the total minimum time for completion at both levels is 6 months. Those pupils doing their Bronze Award are expected to finish it by the end of Year 9 and the Silver by the end of Year 10.

Taking part in the DofE will give the young person skills, confidence and a view on life that everyone is looking for, from employers to colleges and universities. They also receive recognition for doing things that they want to do (and may even be doing already) … Additionally, they will make a difference to other people’s lives and the community, be fitter and healthier, make new friends and have memories that will last a lifetime.  Most importantly it is fun and enjoyable.

At St Richard’s, we begin enrolling pupils onto DofE in Year 9.  Mr Harwood is the school DofE Manager and will send out further details regarding enrolment to all pupils and parents during the first term. If you are interested in finding out more, take a look at the official DofE website https://www.dofe.org/do/. For those pupils already enrolled, you can find lots of information to help you complete your Award on the Links and Resources section on page 4.


Pupils who successfully complete their Bronze Award in Year 9 are offered the chance to continue and complete their Silver award. They can start this as soon as they have completed the Bronze sections. The Silver expedition will take place in the Autumn term of Year 10, usually in October. Once pupils leave St Richard’s and go to colleges and universities, they will be in an excellent position to begin their Gold Award should they wish to do that as well!


This is only a part of completing the Award but is probably the part most associated with doing DofE. It is certainly the part where participants gain a huge amount of experience and confidence and are challenged to push their limits both physically and mentally. All our expeditions are now run by School of Outdoors and their team of qualified instructors. They take place in various locations, usually in an area of the South Downs National Park not too far away. The plan for each level of the Award is shown below. Generally, the expeditions happen on weekends during term time between April and July for the Bronze Award and in October for the Silver Award. Because Silver expeditions happen over a three day period they will involve either a Friday or Monday out of school as well. 

Once expedition dates are announced It is vital that these are put into diaries as missing any of the days will result in a participant not being able to complete their Award. 

Bronze Expedition Outline:

  • Training day at St Richard’s covering route planning, navigation, using stoves, meal planning, first aid, teamwork, kit selection and packing, the countryside code and what to do in emergencies.
  • A one night, one day practice expedition to further hone the skills gained on the training day
  • A two day, one night qualifying expedition where teams will be assessed by instructors. 


Silver Expedition Outline:

  • A three day, two night practice expedition that includes an extra day of training with instructors out in the field, literally in the field!
  • A three day, two night qualifying expedition