Duke of Edinburgh’s



What is the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award?

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) is a youth achievement award open to young people up to the age of 24. The award is recognised throughout the UK and Commonwealth, and is thriving at Canbury, where all of Year 10 are expected to undertake the award. The award has now been running for over 5 years, and Canbury School is a Directly Licensed Centre, meaning we hold our own licence to deliver the programme.


The DofE consists of three levels, Bronze, SIlver and Gold. At Canbury we offer Bronze level to Year 10 and Silver to those students who wish to progress and challenge themselves. At Bronze and Silver there are four sections: Physical, Volunteering, Skills and Expedition, and all sections need to be completed in order to achieve the award. Gold Award is delivered by ‘Open Expedition’. Students over 16 years old can register with Canbury School for the award but will need to organise their own expeditions outside of term time. We will oversee the volunteering, physical and skills sections but will play no part in planning and expedition delivery.


In Year 10 parents will be contacted with more information about how the award works, and instructions on how to register your child.

You will see all kinds of new talents bloom in your child as they achieve their Award including:

  • Self-belief
  • Self-confidence
  • A sense of identity
  • Initiative
  • A sense of responsibility
  • A real awareness of their strengths
  • New talents and abilities
  • The ability to plan and use time
  • The ability to learn from and give to others in the community
  • New friendships
  • Problem solving, presentation and communication skills
  • Leadership and teamwork skills

The Volunteering Section

Volunteering is simply about choosing to give time to help people, the community, society, the environment or animals. The Volunteering section of a DofE programme is often the most rewarding, uplifting and memorable part of a young person’s DofE adventure. For the volunteering activity students will need to choose to give time to do something useful without getting paid. 


The Physical Section

For the physical activity students need to choose any sport, dance or fitness activity – in short, anything that requires a sustained level of energy and physical activity. For example, playing a sport regularly and showing personal improvement would count, such as a school club, gym sessions or out of school sports club.


The Skills Section

For the skills section students need to choose an activity that will allow them to prove they have broadened their understanding and increased their expertise in their chosen skill. It should not be a physical activity, for example horse riding, as this counts towards the Physical section, however, students could choose to learn about caring for horses. Other activities like learning to play a musical instrument are also suitable skills.

Students normally need to undertake these activities for about one hour a week. Two of the sections are carried out over three months, one over six months (and students choose which section to be over 6 months). 


The Expedition

This is often the section that the students are most looking forward to! For the Expedition section, students will need to plan, train for and complete an unaccompanied, self-reliant expedition with an agreed aim. We make use of an Authorised Activity Provider (AAP), called Ben Bullen Adventures, to support us on the expedition. This allows us to benefit from extra training, support and experience. We have been lucky enough to also have had the same instructor for the last 4 with whom we have developed a fantastic relationship.  The students will have training sessions, training walk and an assessed qualifying expedition.

The expedition must be completed by the students own physical efforts with minimal external intervention and without motorised assistance, though some modifications are available, for example students with mobility issues walking using a day-bag rather than a full rucksack.

Currently the Bronze Expeditions are either in the Blackdown Forest or the Surrey Hills, and our training walk usually takes advantage of Richmond Park. 

We provide a kit list of equipment that is required for the expeditions and there is a discount at several outdoors shops when using a student DofE Card. This card is included in the students’ welcome pack when signing up with DofE.

The official DofE Kit list can be found here and some equipment is can be borrowed by students through our AAP.