The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) is the world’s leading youth achievement award, with over 438,000 young people currently undertaking their DofE in the UK.

DofE is a life-changing experience which offers the opportunity to discover new interests and talents. It is a tool through which you can develop essential skills for life and work, and a recognised mark of achievement that is respected by employers.

14-24 year-olds can do a DofE programme at one of three progressive levels which, when successfully completed, lead to a Bronze, Silver or Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award’s. Windermere School is proud to offer students the opportunity to complete all three awards from Year 9 upwards.

There are four sections to complete at Bronze and Silver level, and five at Gold. They involve helping the community and environment, becoming fitter, developing new skills, completing an expedition, and, for Gold only, working with a team on a residential activity.

Expeditions are organised from school and see pupils travelling to Scotland, Wales, the Yorkshire Dale, and the Lake District. The modes of transport are chosen by the pupils and can be biking, walking, kayaking or canoeing.

What do you need to do?

With assistance from adult Leaders, participants select and set objectives in each of the following areas:

  • Volunteering – undertaking service to individuals or the community.
  • Physical – improving in an area of sport, dance or fitness activities.
  • Skills – developing practical and social skills and personal interests.
  • Expedition – planning, training for, and completion of an adventurous journey in the UK or abroad.
  • At Gold level, participants must do an additional fifth Residential section, which involves staying and working away from home for five days, doing a shared activity.

To achieve an award, the participant must work on each section for a minimum period of time. Each progressive level demands more time and commitment from participants: Bronze 3–6 months; Silver: 6–9 months; Gold: 12–18 months. Participants are required to show regular activity and commitment to the award for the duration of their DofE programme, which is usually at least one hour per week. Participants keep a record of their work through an online profile. This enables students to keep track of their progress and manage their award.

Why do DofE?

As with many things in life you can never stop learning, or learn it all. We hope the skills that you are choosing to develop and practice today create friendships, experiences and memories that last a lifetime.