The Duke of Edinburgh Award is a charity, voluntary, non-competitive, programme of activities, for people aged 14 - 25.
There are three levels to the scheme. Starting with the Bronze Award in Year 9, moving onto the Silver Award in Year 10, and ending with the Gold Award in Years 12.
There are four sections to each Award:
Aim: To encourage service to individuals and to the community.
The Principles: This Section is based on the belief that members of a community have a responsibility to each other and voluntary help is needed. Young people should identify the voluntary service required to gain some knowledge of the needs of those they are assisting and then receive briefing and training in the skills required to provide that service.
DofE Website Link: DofE Volunteering Page
Aim: To encourage the discovery and development of practical and social skills and personal interests.
The Principles: This Section should encourage young people to pursue activities within a wide range of practical, cultural and social environments. The Skills Section offers young people a wide choice depending upon their personal preferences, abilities and the opportunities available. The skill may be an existing interest or something entirely new.
DofE Website Link: DofE Skills Page
Aim: To encourage participation and improvement in physical activity.
DofE Website Link: DofE Physical Activity Page
Aim: To encourage a spirit of adventure and discovery by preparing and carrying out an adventurous journey as part of a team.
The Principles: All Qualifying Ventures involve preparing for, planning and undertaking an unaccompanied, self-reliant journey with an agreed aim. Ventures must be completed by the Participants’ own physical efforts with minimal outside intervention.
DofE Website Link: DofE Expedition Page
To achieve your Gold Award, you need to complete this extra section
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. It should normally take place over at least five consecutive days with a minimum of four nights spent away.
Your activity can be anything that provides you with an opportunity for broadening your interests and experiences.
DofE Website Link: DofE Residential Page