Duke of Edinburgh Award

About the Award

A D of E programme is a real adventure from beginning to end.  It doesn’t matter who you are or where you’re from.  You just need to be aged between 14 and 24 and realise there’s more to life than sitting on a sofa watching life pass you by.

It offers an individual challenge and encourages young people to undertake exciting, constructive, challenging and enjoyable activities in their free time. Just over 7% of those in the UK aged 14-17 participate in the Award, through Award Groups in youth clubs, voluntary organisations including, Open Award Centres, schools, colleges, and businesses.


Students across Helenswood and William Parker academies can complete three levels within the Duke of Edinburgh Programme: Bronze, Silver or Gold Award.

Students in the 6th Form will start with the silver award with the possibility of beginning the gold award in school and completing either in year 13 or at university.

Students in year 10 will begin with the bronze award progressing to silver in the 6th form.


You can do a Bronze D of E programme once you’re 14 (or nearly 14, which sometimes happens when you and your friends decide to start your adventure together. 

A Bronze D of E programme has 4 sections, Volunteering, Physical, Skills and Expedition.  You must do a minimum of 3 months activity for each of the Volunteering, Physical and Skills sections, and plan, train for and do a 2 day (2 night) Expedition. 

You also have to spend an extra three months on one of the Volunteering, Physical or Skills sections.  It’s your choice which one and, though you can change your mind later, you should decide which section you want to do for longer at the beginning. Knowing how long you’re going to do it for will help you to choose your activity and set your goals for each section.
It will usually take you at least 6 months to complete your Bronze programme

Silver (6th Form Students)

The next step up from Bronze... you need to be at least 15 to start doing your Silver D of E programme A Silver D of E programme has 4 sections, Volunteering, Physical, Skills and Expedition.  You need to do at least 6 months Volunteering and a minimum of 6 months on either Physical or Skills and 3 months on the other. It’s up to you which one you do for longer.

If you did Bronze, you can choose the same activity for Silver, but you need to show development in it.  It's best to try something new! 
The Expedition section involves planning, training for and doing a 3 day (2 night) expedition.

If you start your Silver without doing Bronze first you’ll have to do an extra 6 months volunteering or doing whichever of the Physical or Skills sections you have spent more time on.  Though you can change your mind later, you should decide which section you want to do for longer at the beginning.  Knowing how long you’re going to do it for will help you to choose your activity and set your goals for each section.

It will take you at least 6 months for Silver if you've already achieved your Bronze, or 12 months if you've jumped straight into Silver.

Why do your D of E?

Good question! Because, from the first day to the last it’s a real adventure.  Every section gives you something different - that's the fun of it!

You’ll enjoy loads of new experiences, discover talents you never thought you had, challenge yourself and meet loads of people just like you.  Plus you’ll do things you love and get a kick out of.  It’s a real buzz!

Then there’s all the other stuff…

…achieving an Award will give you skills, confidence and a view on life that everyone is looking for, from employers to colleges and universities. 

...you're getting recognised for doing things you want to do (and may even be doing already).

...you’ll make a difference to other people’s lives and your community, be fitter and healthier, make new friends and have memories to last you a lifetime.

And above all, it's a great laugh - the question should really be why wouldn't you bother!

Doing your D of E really does give you the skills for life and work. 

 UCAS states:

Activities before higher education

Extra-curricular activities are great for demonstrating skills on your UCAS application. Maybe something sporting, creative or musical – possibly with key skills like teamwork. Maybe paid work or volunteering, or an activity resulting in a grade, certificate or accreditation. There's so much available – something for all ages and backgrounds:

  • clubs, societies and employment in your local area
  • higher education taster courses
  • science, technology, engineering and maths activities
  • skills development – e.g. The Duke of Edinburgh's Award, National Citizen Service, Young Enterprise etc.
  • volunteering

How to register to take part

So you're interested in starting your own programme and achieving an Award?  Congratulations, you're about to start an adventure you’ll never forget!

You will need to complete an enrolment form and pay a fee which covers the enrolment and camping fees (plus possibly a small extra charge for admin and support, added by the D of E centre - they should tell you what this is). 

Letters and application forms will be made available from 1st October. Year 10 students will have forms at the Upper School site, 6th Form students will receive forms through the enrichment staff. The letter will explain the process and expectations, also directing you to articles on the school website.

Please direct your enquiries to Mr N Burchell, Assistant Principal at Ark William Parker Academy.

What happens next?

You will receive a Welcome Pack with lots of helpful info and your DofE Reward Card.

eDofE is where you log your progress through your D of E programme, and is what your Leader checks and approves when you've completed your activity in each section.

When you achieve your Award you'll receive a badge and certificate.  You can also use your evidence in eDofE to create an Achievement Pack.