The Duke of Edinburgh's Award
The DofE Bronze Award
Is offered to students in Year 9 and taken up by approximately 40% of the year group. We launch the DofE Award in the Autumn Term with an assembly to the whole cohort, and an information evening for parents. Participants generally start their activities in January which provides enough time for the award to be completed by the end of the academic year.
The DofE Bronze Award consists of 4 sections; Physical, Skill, Volunteering and Expedition, with students taking responsibility for identifying opportunities to complete these. The DofE team will support participants by highlighting opportunities in the local area and within school.
Students will choose how to structure their award; from the Physical, Skill and Volunteering sections one must last for six months, the other two for three months each. Students that successfully complete the award make pre-existing enrichment activities fit their award structure.
The expedition section is delivered by the school DofE team and our AAP. Our training weekend usually takes place in early June with the practice and qualifying expeditions following in late June and July each year.
2022 Expedition dates: TBC
Bronze Award Introduction (Video)
Bronze Award Activities (Video)
The DofE Silver Award
The DofE Silver Award is offered to students from Year 10 onwards and also has four sections, Volunteering, Skills, Physical and Expedition. The timescales are longer for some of the sections, it will take you at least 6 months if you’ve already achieved your Bronze, or 12 months if you’ve jumped straight into Silver.
The DofE Silver Award at a glance:
- Volunteering section: 6 months
- Physical and Skills sections: One section for 6 months and the other section for 3 months.
If you didn’t do Bronze, you must undertake a further 6 months in either the Volunteering or the longer of the Physical or Skills sections.
Students are entitled to carry on activities from their Bronze award but we do encourage them to try something new. This is particularly relevant as they begin to consider future employment or training in a particular field. All students are expected to manage their DofE participation by regular use of their eDofE account.
As with Bronze, the expedition section is delivered by the school DofE team and our AAP. Our Silver training day usually takes place in May with the practice expedition following in the June of each year. Qualifying expeditions take place either at the end of July or the start of the autumn term when students are in Year 11.
- Training: 1 day at school
- Practice Expedition: Forest of Dean, 3 days/2nights
- Qualifying Expedition: Wye Valley, 3 days/2 nights
Silver Award (Video)
The DofE Gold Award
At The Cottesloe school, the Gold Award is offered to students in Year 12 and just like Bronze and Silver it has the Physical, Skill and Volunteering sections that sit alongside the expedition. The big difference at Gold is you’ll also do a Residential section – staying away from home for five days and four nights doing a shared activity with people you don’t know.
For Gold, you’ll need to do your programme for at least 12 months if you’ve achieved your Silver Award, or 18 months if you’ve started at Gold level without doing your Silver – even if you’ve done Bronze. This is why at Cottesloe we start the award at the beginning of year 12 so it can be spread over the two years of Sixth Form study.
- Volunteering section: 12 months*
- Physical and Skills sections: One section for 12 months and the other section for 6 months*
- Expedition section: 4 days/3 nights
- Residential section: Undertake a shared activity in a residential setting away from home for 5 days and 4 nights.
The Cottesloe expeditions are spread over Years 12 and 13 to lessen the impact on academic study. The practice expedition usually takes place in the Cambrian Mountains, Mid-Wales in July. The Qualifying expedition in Northumberland is timetabled at the beginning of Year 13.
*If you didn’t do Silver, you must undertake a further 6 months in either the Volunteering or the longer of the Physical or Skills sections.
For your residential section you need to undertake a shared activity or specific course with people you don’t know, in a residential setting away from home and in an unfamiliar environment. Evenings are often as much a part of the experience as daytime activities.
This section must be done with an organised group, registered charity or Approved Activity Provider. You must join it individually and not with an existing group of friends or as part of a school or youth group trip. You will be staying away – anything from an activity centre or camp to a boat or barge – but you cannot stay with friends or relatives.
The residential activity should normally take place over at least five consecutive days with a minimum of four nights spent away. In exceptional circumstances, and at the discretion of your Licensed Organisation (please speak to Mr Curtis), this commitment can be spread over two weekends. However, it must involve at least four nights away within a 12-month period, during which you do the same activity.
For more information please use the following link, Residential Section Checklist
Gold Award Celebration Events
All young people who achieve their Gold Award are invited to a celebration event at a Royal Palace, attended by a Member of The Royal Family.
Students who achieve their Gold Award with us will visit London with the celebration taking place at either St James’s Palace or Buckingham Palace Gardens.
Trips Expedition Schedules
Year 9 Bronze DofE
- Training | 8th to 9th June 2023
- Practice Expedition | 19th to 20th June 2023
- Qualifying Expedition | 2nd to 3rd July 2023
Year 10 Silver DofE
- Practice Expedition | New Forest - 16th to 19th October 2022
- Qualifying Expedition | Forest of Dean - 20th to 23rd March 2023
Years 11/12/13 Gold DofE
- Cambrian Mountains, Mid-Wales | 11th to 16th July 2023