The Duke of Edinburgh's Award is a voluntary program of activities for individuals between the ages of 14 and 24, which does not involve any competition.
At St Edmund's, we have embarked on our first year of completing the Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award, and we intend to introduce Silver awards for our current Year 9 cohort (2023). Throughout their participation in the program, our students have engaged in various activities, such as team building exercises, first aid training, orienteering and tent building, packing kit bags, and working with Trangia Stoves.
Pupils need to complete three aspects independently followed by a two day expedition in the South Down's/New Forest:
For 2023-24, we will be taking on pupils for Bronze (This will be open to current year 9's) - If interested speak to Mr Hughes or complete this interest form.
Silver Practice Expedition October 2023
During the October half term, a group of year 11’s including myself set off on our practice silver expedition for DofE. We got there in the school minivan, driven by an eager Mr Hughes, who got us there speedily thanks to his experience playing Mario Kart. However, the IT teacher came into a problem when he attempted some off-roading, which lead to us and a very determined Mr Graham pushing the van out of the muddy field. Once we set up camp, we enjoyed a warm dinner of pasta before turning down for bed.
We woke up after very little sleep to a chilly morning with then sun rising over the fields. Stavros then decided to cook his breakfast which was noodles before taking a cheeky picture with the cows. Shortly after we packed everything we needed for the day, we set off in our groups. We trekked through many fields, footpaths, and bridleways, which were covered in mud after a night of heavy rain. Fortunately, Keiran started singing which gave us the strength to carry on. We were met by members of staff at several different checkpoints, allowing us to refill bottles and pause for a break. ‘Nearly there boys!’ – Mr Hughes would keep on telling us. On our penultimate checkpoint, my group shopped for the evening’s dinner, which was hotdogs. At around 4 o’clock, we finally reached the campsite, where we settled down for our meal we bought prior.
Following a chilly night, we awoke to the final day of our practice expedition. Stavros again broke out his beloved noodles for breakfast before we took down our tents. Keiran and Xander made light work of this, watching the rest of us fail miserably. When we finally were finished packing, Mr Hughes gave us a much-needed run through of our route. Before soon, the dark clouds that were once in the distance now hovered above us, drenching us and making us miserable before we had even started walking. Mr Graham set us off with our group and left us to walk to the first checkpoint. The rain continued to pour from the sky, and the group’s moral diminished. Keiran observed this and got his crackers out ‘This will keep us going!’ – Keiran.
Eventually we ran out of crackers, but luckily, the torrential rain had momentarily stopped. By this time, we had reached the first checkpoint, where we were greeted by Mr Commerford, who was thrilled to be spending the rest of the day with us. Despite a few wrong turns, the middle of our walk went well, and we made good progress under clear skies. We eventually met Mr. Hughes and the staff in a village before embarking on the toughest part of our journey. After climbing a vast hill, we were yet again drenched by a colossal storm. We staggered against the strong winds which slowed us down, meaning we had to be picked up by Mr Hughes a few kilometres before the checkpoint. We got to experience Mr Hughes’ rally driving skills once more before heading home. Overall, despite the endless downpour, I found the experience very enjoyable, and has allowed me and my group to prepare for our real expedition in November in the New Forest. - Luca L (Year 11)
Bronze Expedition July 2023
On a dreary Saturday morning, eight groups of pupils departed from Soberton Village Hall in the Meon Valley, embarking on a two-day journey covering a distance of 20 miles. The expedition culminated in a glorious sunny day in West Sussex.
Day 1 saw the pupils walking amidst the picturesque beauty of the Meon Valley, ascending Old Winchester Hill. They then set up camp just south of East Meon, showcasing their culinary skills by preparing dinner. One notable student, Chaminuka, demonstrated remarkable resourcefulness by bringing along a frying pan to cook fried eggs. In the evening, the pupils engaged in games and a thrilling game of rugby, which brought delight to all, particularly a group of children from a visiting family.
As the new day dawned, tired but determined faces emerged from their tents. By 6 am, everyone was ready to depart from the camp, bracing themselves for the most challenging part of the expedition: Butser Hill. Each group pushed themselves to the limit, successfully navigating up the hill and descending into Queen Elizabeth Country Park. With the park behind them, the pupils felt the end of their journey drawing near.
Although thoroughly exhausted, all the pupils displayed an immense sense of accomplishment to the staff and parents eagerly awaiting them at the finishing point. They truly demonstrated their outstanding character and brought great credit to the school.
We also had some amazing reviews from pupils and members of the public:
All you need is to give your participant’s eDofE ID number, your Award level (Bronze, Silver or Gold) and the section you are want assessed to them for (Volunteering, Physical, Skill).
Please ask the young person you have been supporting for these details. The young person must have entered their section details in eDofE before you can submit your report.
Your comments automatically go to the participant’s DofE Leader for approval before being added to the participant’s account. We ask for your email address and phone number to enable their DofE Leader to contact you should they wish to discuss your assessment with you and so we can send you a copy of the report you submit.
You can complete the assessors report here.
- Has the young person completed the appropriate timescales for each section?
- Does each activity meet the aim and principles of the section?
- Does each activity meet the sectional requirements?
- Has the young person set themselves goals which are challenging and achievable?
- Does the report contain details of the participant e.g. name of the participant?
- Has the Assessor included their own name?
- Has the Assessor included their own contact details – email address and/or phone number?
- Has the Assessor confirmed the participant’s activities?
- Has the Assessor confirmed the dates of the activity and do these match the dates in eDofE?
- Has the Assessor confirmed how frequently the young person is taking part in the activity
"I greatly enjoyed completing the Duke of Edinburgh Bronze expedition over the weekend. While the walk itself was quite the challenge, I had a lot of fun navigating the route and map-reading with my group. When we arrived at the campsite, we set up our tents and cooked dinner together, we also toasted marshmallows and petted the cows there. The teachers were supportive throughout the trip, so no one got too lost! I look forward to doing the Silver expedition later this year."
Olivia - Year 10 (22-23)
"I have been volunteering as a swimming teacher’s assistant and have been helping kids learn to swim. My main goal of this was to be able to improve my communication skills with young children and be able to become more comfortable in a role with more responsibility, and I definitely think I have achieved both of those aims. During my skills section I have been vlogging my plant care and how I look after my plants and this has helped me find out what things are best for my different plants, such as how much sunlight, how often to water them and with what amount of water. During my physical section I aimed to improve my stamina over a range of different types of sports and I have definitely noticed an improvement in how long I can continue physical activities for. I have really enjoyed it all and I learned so much!"
Abbie - Year 10 (22-23)
"I have, so far, very much enjoyed completing my Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award, as it has been a great opportunity for me to develop new interests and skills. I completed my 3 months volunteering at my old primary school by helping run an afterschool coding club. I’ve been exercising weekly for the physical part, and working on creating a movie with my friends for the skill section, which has been a lot of fun. I can’t wait for the expedition in July, that we are currently preparing for in a variety of afterschool sessions – in which we have learnt first aid training and about different plants we could use when out on our expedition."
Olivia - Year 10 (22-23)
"The Saturday practice walk was such a great experience because for once i was able to connect with nature and be in a peaceful environment with no distractions and secondly i was able to have a laugh and walk with my friends whilst going on this 14km adventure in the woods. I think this really helped us physically and mentally to know how to overcome the big expedition that coming up in July! this was a really fun day and a really calm experience to see nature in its finest with the quietness and beauty."
Maya - Year 10 (22-23)
"The Duke of Edinburgh practice walk has given me the opportunity to really grasp what the whole experience is about. It has allowed me and my group to gain the skills necessary for orienteering throughout our route and to experiment with finding grid references and locations to be able to recognise where we are. By going on this practice walk, it has allowed my group to grow closer together and realise our own individual strengths. It has also boosted mine, and many others' confidence as we now have an overall idea what the expedition is all about. Also, it has increased my excitement for our expedition in July and to be able to say I've completed bronze DofE."
Eleanor - Year 10 (22-23)
"The practice walk for DofE was enjoyable: the forest scenery was peaceful, and interesting. I enjoyed most navigating without an adult – it gave a sense of thrill that made everybody more eager to find the right path, even though some of us were tired. I also found out about dock leaves, which grow near stinging nettles and can be used as an anaesthetic when stung, which I did. Additionally, I learnt more about navigating using a map, which is a valuable tool when a person becomes lost (and has a map on them). Overall, it was fun although exhausting, but experiencing the serenity of a forest is always a good reason to go out."
Teresa - Year 10 (22-23)
"The Duke of Edinburgh award is something I feel that allows students to involve themselves in such an opportunity being given. I find myself being able to independently work towards the award and being able to develop skills in various areas. On the practice walk we took part in, for Duke of Edinburgh, we were able to explore aspects within nature and navigation. This being something that will help us for the expedition. The walk was highly enjoyable and I look forward to completing the expedition in July and to say that I have completed the Bronze award."
Imani - Year 10 (22-23)
You will make known to me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.