Duke of Edinburgh

The Duke of Edinburgh award has been running at St Albans School for over 25 years and has become a prominent part of school life. The concept of the DofE is simple – anyone aged between 14 and 24 can take part in a programme at one of three progressive levels which, when successfully completed, lead to a Bronze, Silver or Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. Here at St Albans School we offer Silver and Gold DofE programmes.

There are four sections at Silver level and five at Gold.

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 doing a shared activity.

Each section must be done for a minimum period of time. It must be monitored and then assessed by someone with knowledge of that particular activity to achieve an Award. Each progressive level demands more time and commitment from participants.

Participation in the DofE is seen as an important component of the broader education that is offered at St Albans School. We are an Independent Operating Authority for DofE and we have an experienced staff team of DofE Leaders.

Friday afternoon activities and school sports can all contribute towards a DofE Award. School provides training and assessment opportunities for the Expedition section too. At Silver level that occurs locally usually and at Gold level we have used the Arran, the Brecon Beacons, Snowdonia, Northern Spain and the Pyrenees.

  1. Non-competitive: A DofE programme is a personal challenge and not a competition against others. Every participant’s programme is tailor-made to reach their individual starting point, abilities and interests.
  2. Achievable by all: A Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is achievable by any young person who chooses to take up its challenge, regardless of ability, gender, background or location.
  3. Voluntary: Whilst DofE programmes may be offered within school, college, work time, custody or extra-curricular activity, young people choose to do a programme and commit some of their free time to undertake their activities.
  4. Personal development: A DofE programme inspires personal and social development. e value to young people is dependent on personal commitment, the learning process and the quality of the experience.
  5. Personalised: Young people design their own programme, which can be tailored to suit their personal circumstances, choices and local provision. They start at whichever level suits them best and they can take as long as they wish (within the age limits) to achieve an Award.
  1. Balanced: The aim is to ensure that participants experience development of the whole person; mind, body and soul. By undertaking activities focusing on at least four different aspects of development, young people complete a balanced and wide-ranging programme.
  2. Progressive: At each level of engagement, a DofE programme demands progressively more time, commitment and responsibility from the participant.
  3. Achievement focused: Before starting an activity, young people are encouraged to set their own challenging goals. If they aim for these goals and show improvement they will achieve a Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.
  4. Demand commitment: A DofE programme demands persistence and commitment and cannot be completed with a short burst of enthusiasm. Participants are encouraged to continue with activities and to maintain their interest beyond their programme requirements.
  5. Enjoyable: Young people should find participation enjoyable, fulfilling and rewarding.

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