Duke of Edinburgh’s Award at Abbotsholme

Gold DofE Walk 15 1

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme (D of E) is a highly valued and nationally recognised developmental programme for young people. The prestigious Gold Award is very well respected by prospective employers and university admissions staff. Many Old Abbotsholmians look back on what they learnt and experienced in undertaking the Award with great fondness and appreciation. We actively encourage the Duke of Edinburgh Award as we believe it offers an excellent way for individual pupils to grow and develop, beyond what is learnt in the classroom.

At Abbotsholme School the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme is open to all pupils in Year 9 and above. It is a non-competitive programme and requires commitment and responsibility. It is enjoyable, fulfilling and rewarding and achievable by all.

In Year 9 all pupils participate in the Bronze Award. The majority of our pupils opt to continue their commitment into the Silver Award in Years 10 and 11 and the Gold Award in the Sixth Form.

Each D of E level has four sections with an additional residential section at Gold level.


In the volunteering section pupils undertake service to individuals or the community.

e.g. helping in the junior school or on the school farm.


In the physical section pupils aim to improve in an area of sport, dance or fitness.

e.g. playing hockey or football, learning to climb.


In the skills section pupils develop practical and social skills and personal interests.

e.g. playing a musical instrument, clay-pigeon shooting, drama.


In the expedition section pupils plan and train for the completion of an adventurous journey in the UK or beyond.

During our dedicated OEd sessions pupils learn the necessary skills of navigation, camp craft and first aid to complete this section of the Award with confidence.


At Gold level, participants must do an additional fifth residential section, which involves staying and working away from home doing a shared activity.

e.g. undertaking conservation work, attending a cookery course, participating in an International Round Square conference or completing a tall ships voyage.

The main differences between the levels are the minimum lengths of time required to complete them and the degree of challenge. This is summarised below:


At Abbotsholme, our extensive extra-curricular programme and excellent facilities enable us to offer pupils a very wide range of opportunities to complete sections of their Awards. The farm, equestrian centre, theatre, music department, sports centre, climbing wall and school estate all help us to facilitate pupil achievement in the Award Scheme. Our timetable also contributes to this, too, in our Wednesday afternoon programme and our unique Abbotsholme Expectations (AXs) on a Monday afternoon. However, pupils are also free to use out-of-school activities to complete their award if they so choose.

Our expertise, facilities and contacts in the field of outdoor education also enables us to offer our pupils a range of options for their expeditions. Recent groups have completed ventures by mountain bike in Sweden and by open canoe on the River Spey in Scotland.

Once pupils have completed an Award at Bronze or Silver level, their achievement is recognised with the presentation of a badge and certificate in Chapel by the Headmaster. Once they complete the Award at Gold level their badge is awarded during a special Awards’ Chapel within school and pupils travel to St James’s Palace in London to receive their certificate from a member of the Royal family.

For further information about the Duke of Edinburgh at Abbotsholme School please contact the Duke of Edinburgh Manager Joy Holmes by e-mail, at joy.holmes@abbotsholme.co.uk

For general information about the Duke of Edinburgh please check the website at www.dofe.org


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