Duke of Edinburgh's Award

“The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award has helped countless young people on their sometimes difficult path to adulthood.”

HRH The Duke of Edinburgh KG KT

For the past seven decades, the DofE Charity has inspired and transformed the lives of millions of young people from all walks of life. From volunteering to physical activities, life skills to expeditions, achieving a DofE Award is a passport to a brighter future, valued by employers and universities alike.

The benefits of achieving a DofE Award at any level are endless. It’s difficult to list them all here, but you should definitely know how much fun you’ll have, how pushing yourself to do new things will help you to grow in confidence and develop useful skills. Why meeting new people will inspire you and lead to lasting friendships. And how a DofE Award can give you the edge when you apply for college, university or a job.

Put simply, the DofE is about helping you along the path to a productive and prosperous future. As many of our participants say, it’s life-changing.

(From the DofE Award Website)

Duke of Edinburgh Award

The Duke of Edinburgh's Award at Birchwood

We run the award at both Bronze and Gold Levels. DofE meet every Friday in B11, 15.30-16.30. The DofE Coordinator is Mr Morton.

If you have any questions, please email DofE@birchwoodhigh.org.uk or wmorton@birchwoodhigh.org.uk

We run the award with Year 9 students in to Year 10, this allows students to complete their Bronze award without affecting their GCSE studies. The award starts in January and students attend weekly meetings on DofE meet every Friday in B11, 15.30-16.30, to carry out the training needed for the expedition, in their own time students are expected to complete the Volunteering, physical or skills sections. These can be done in school but must be completed outside of lesson time.

The Gold Award is now also being run in the 6th Form. We aim to create a truly student-lead DofE Centre with our ‘Gold Team’ of students taking a real lead and, with support, being responsible for everything; from planning and organizing expeditions, to recruiting and training Bronze Participants. The DofE Gold Award consists of five sections: Volunteering, Skills, Physical, Expedition and Residential. The Award requires participants to maintain their commitment to various activities over an extended period and will take around 18 months to complete. Hence starting in September of Year 12, students should finish their award during the summer of Year 13 and will complete expeditions at this stage.

Students will be given support and guidance throughout their award and will also be providing support and guidance to others. They will be expected to find their own activities to complete for the Skills, Residential and Physical sections. The Expedition section, consisting of two four-day Expeditions, will be organized by participants and (we hope) they will be running the DofE for other students as part of their Volunteering section; this will include everything from delivering training on meal planning to budgeting and buying kit.

Latest News

Bronze DofE

At the end of Year 9, we decided to do our Bronze DofE award! We have to say it was one of the best camping experiences we’ve ever had!
We were taught so much by Mr Morton and the “very” helpful Sixth Formers every Friday where after school we planned our routes and learnt the basics of what we would need to know for our expedition in October. We did this for many weeks alongside the physical, skill and volunteering aspects of the award too. All in all, it took us just over six months with a lot of disagreements and bickering - however it all ended up going, just about, to plan!
In July we ventured off on our practice exped, walking for miles upon miles - or what felt like it - around Essex and Hertfordshire and eventually ending up in a field somewhere near Epping. Then all of a sudden it was October and we were a day away from our real expedition! In this we walked around and near Newport and camped over night in Audley End. We are pretty sure most people would say that we had a fab time apart from being far too cold!
Over all, DofE has been a great experience and has definitely taught us a lot about camping, putting up a tent and getting along with other people when you are incredibly grumpy from getting no sleep!
Scarlett and Tabitha Gray (Year 10).


Bronze Awards

Following their successful DofE Bronze Expeditions, seven groups of students gave presentations to staff, students and parents about their expeditions. This was somewhat nerve wracking for many of them as presenting to an audience of 50 is not something many 14 year olds have to do!

Presentations ranged from Video Blogs through to PowerPoint presentations and booklets tracking their expeditions and their completion of their aims. The effort they had gone to, both during the expedition and in preparing for the event was really obvious and made for some very entertaining presentations. For some participants this was the final aspect of their DofE awards and so they will be getting their certificates early in the New Year!



Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award

Getting involved in the Gold Duke of Edinburgh's award was one of the most rewarding and enjoyable experiences that I have got engaged with as a Sixth Former; it has opened up so many doors for opportunities that I never thought were there and has given me the confidence to take part in activities which I previously would have opted out of.