Duke of Edinburgh's Award

Two pupils navigating their way to camp.The Duke of Edinburgh's Award is a challenging programme of leisure time activities, designed to encourage young people to learn new skills, help others, and experience adventure in the outdoors. There are three progressive levels of programmes which when successfully completed lead to a Bronze, Silver or Gold Award. Pupils create their own DofE programme finding a volunteering, physical and skills activity of their interest, undertake a final assessed expedition after undergoing a training day and practice expedition and, for their Gold only, take part in a residential of their choice. Through participation pupils make new friends, develop social and inter-personal skills and increase their initiative, independence and self-confidence. Completion of the assessed expedition and the whole award gives a great sense of achievement. The award is highly prestigious and is valued by colleges, universities and employers.

Camp during a Bronze practicePupils at the High School of Dundee participate in all 3 levels of the award; Form 3 Bronze, Form 4 Silver and Form 5 Gold. Pupils are to regard the award through the High School of Dundee as a 3 year progressive course. We will not accept direct entrants at Gold level as we work to establish the foundation skills at Bronze and develop them further as pupils progress through the Awards.

To enable us to manage this popular award the school outsources the expedition section of the award to ‘Beyond Adventure’ an outdoor provider near Aberfeldy for the Silver and Gold levels, which enhances the overall experiences of the participants. The Bronze level is managed solely by the school.

Pupils taking part in navigation training during a Gold canoeing expedition.Transport and equipment costs are subsidised by the school to keep them as low as possible. The current charge for Bronze level is approximately £186, Silver £280 and Gold £340. This covers all transport, equipment, any external staffing, record pack, registration costs and the use of Beyond Adventure. For the expedition section at Bronze we walk whilst for Silver and Gold we either canoe or walk. Please note there is an additional cost for canoeing.

The pupils must choose activities for the Volunteering, Skill and Physical sections themselves. At Bronze they must be involved for six months in any one and for three months in the other two. At Silver, pupils must complete six months in two and one for three months in either the Skill or Physical sections. At Gold, this increases to twelve months in two and one for six months in either Skill or Physical. The weekly commitment for each Section is one hour per week and participants are required to record each session.

The following outlines the general school DofE expedition programme:

Bronze

Training Day
Practice Expedition
Final Expedition

1 day in March
2 days in late April/early May
2 days in late May/June

Silver

Training Day
Practice Expedition
Final Expedition

1 day in March
3 days in June
3 days in late August (during school holidays)

Gold

Training Day
Practice Expedition
Final Expedition

1 day in March
3 days in June
4.5 days in mid-August (during school holidays)

Please note the dates are subject to changes.

Canoes on a loch during the Gold practice expedition.As mentioned, Gold Award participants also complete an additional residential week. Five days and four nights are spent working on a purposeful project, in an unfamiliar environment, with people not known to them. Pupils typically choose to complete a project in environmental work, conservation, activity based, learning or service to others.