The Duke of Edinburgh's Gold Award

What is the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Gold Award?

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is a personal programme of activities for young people aged 14 - 24. The programme involves four sections, Volunteering, Physical, Skills, Expedition (and for Gold, a Residential) which when completed lead to three levels of qualification, Bronze, Silver and Gold.

Students may choose what to do for each section so that their programme is full of activities and projects that are exciting and engaging for them. Whilst completing the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is certainly an asset to CVs, Sixth Form and University applications, this should not be the primary reason for undertaking the Award. This is a challenging programme which requires a high level of self-motivation and enthusiasm in order to provide an enjoyable and rewarding experience for students.

Along the way they could find themselves helping people or the community, getting fitter, developing new skills, picking up experiences, friends and talents that will stay with them for the rest of their lives. At St Christopher’s we offer Bronze level to Year 10 pupils, Silver in Year 11 and Gold in the Sixth Form.


Timescales for Gold Award (16+)

Volunteering

Physical

Skills

Expedition

Residential

12 months

One section for 12 months and the other section for 6 months.

Plan, train for and undertake a 4 day, 3 night expedition.

Undertake a shared activity in a residential setting away from home for 5 days and 4 nights.



Volunteering

The aim of the Volunteering section is to inspire young people to make a difference within their community or to an individual’s life and develop compassion by giving service to others.

Volunteering categories include:

  • Helping people
  • Community action and raising awareness
  • Coaching, teaching and leadership
  • Working with the environment or animals
  • Helping a charity or community organisation

Physical

The aim of the Physical section is to inspire young people to achieve greater physical fitness and a healthy lifestyle through participation and improvement in physical activity.

Physical categories include:

  • Team sports
  • Individual sports
  • Water sports
  • Racquet sports
  • Fitness
  • Extreme sports
  • Dance
  • Martial arts

Skills

The aim of the Skills section is to inspire young people to develop practical and social skills and personal interests.

Skill categories include:

  • Creative arts
  • Performance arts
  • Science and technology
  • Care of animals
  • MusicLife skills
  • Learning and collecting
  • Media and communication
  • Natural world

It is recommended that pupils undertake each of their chosen activities for a minimum of one hour per week for the appropriate timescale. This can be an opportunity to take on something new or to gain recognition for activities already being undertaken.

Progression and development in the activity should be assessed by a relevant coach or supervisor, this may not be a parent. If students are undertaking an individual activity such as cooking or jogging, they should take photographs, upload recipes, use mapping and tracking apps to provide evidence and then ask a family friend or more distant relative to complete and sign their assessor’s card.


Expedition

The aim of the Expedition is to inspire young people to develop initiative and a sense of adventure and discovery, by planning, training for and completing an adventurous journey as part of a team.

Training sessions take place after school on Tuesdays (Gold; Lower Sixth). This is not every week of the academic year and a list of exact dates will be provided once pupils have registered for the Award.

In addition, pupils undertake at least one practice expedition as part of their training. This is more closely supervised than the assessed qualifying expedition, which is remotely supervised to develop independence and a sense of personal responsibility.

Expedition dates in 2023 are listed below. Parents and students are asked to consider carefully whether they are able to meet these demands and there is often a decision to be made about clashes with existing commitments such as extra-curricular activities or part-time work.


Gold Expedition Dates 2023

Fri 9th (after school) - Tue 13th June: Practice Expedition

Fri 15th (after school) - Tues 19th September: Qualifying Expedition


Please ensure students are able to make the necessary commitment before applying.


Applications

Students are asked to make their applications by letter, stating clearly and in as much detail as possible why they want to do the Award and why they would be a good candidate to take on the Award.

There are a limited number of places available, 28 for Gold. Unfortunately, we are unable to increase these numbers due to restrictions on resources.The decision as to whether or not students are allocated a place will be based primarily on their letter of application, which will be considered within the context of their level of academic ability.

Letters should be handed to Miss Sutton (Careers Office). At Gold level, prior commitment to the Award will also be taken into account.

The cost of participating in the Award is £220 for Gold, which can be paid in instalments.

If you have specific questions or would like further information on any element of the Duke of Edinburgh programme at St Christopher’s, please contact: Miss D Sutton, Mr W McManus or Mrs B Mulhall on the school number: 01254 232992 or email dofe@st-christophers.org

Find out more about the Duke of Edinburgh Award at the official website here.