Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme
At Mayflower High School, we are committed to providing students in Years 10 to 13 with access to the Duke of Edinburgh's Award scheme.
The Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme is a voluntary non-competitive programme of practical, cultural and adventurous activities. It is designed to support the personal and social development of young people, regardless of gender, background or ability. It offers an individual challenge and encourages young people to undertake exciting constructive, challenging and enjoyable activities in their free time. What's more many organisations such as employers and universities take a good view of the Award and what it says about the person who has achieved it.
There are three levels, Bronze, Silver and Gold and for each one you need to complete activities in four different sections, Volunteering, Skills, Physical and Expeditions. At Gold level, you also take part in a residential project
On successful completion, you will be presented with a badge and certificate and at Gold level you are invited to a presentation ceremony at one of the Royal Palaces.
For further details about the Scheme, please click on the link below:
We hope you find this website a useful source of information but if you want more details please see one of us.
Frequently Asked Questions
I’ve not done D of E before and would like to start with my friends who are doing silver. Is this possible?
Yes! You can be what is known as a “direct entrant”, provided you meet the age requirements (15 for Silver; 16 for Gold). However, it will mean you doing extra time on some sections of the award.
Who can sign my book for my activities?
Anyone who is appropriate. This means they should not be related to you, must be over 18 and should have a good level of skill/knowledge about the activity you are undertaking. But don’t just assume someone will sign your book. Before starting the activity have a conversation with them, agree your aim and explain how long you will take to complete it.
I’m not sure what is a 'Skill' and what is a 'Physical' how can I find out?
It can be unclear because often “Physical” activities can be quite skilful and some skills can be very physical. The best thing to do is check in your award pack or on the web (see links page). There are lists of which activities fall into which categories. If this doesn’t answer your question please ask one of the award leaders for further guidance. Generally all sports are physical and therefore cannot be used in the skill section, the only exception is fishing.
I’m doing my Silver, can I carry on something I started at Bronze for my Skill, Physical or Volunteering sections?
Yes, however, be very clear about what your aim is. Your activity should show progression. So for example for Bronze Skill you may have completed your grade 1 Piano exam. Silver may then see you move on to Grade 2.
I’m really unfit can I still do the D of E?
Yes! In terms of the Physical section there is no set standard you must meet it is just about showing improvement, so you might take up running and aim to get from running one mile in 20 minutes to running it in 12 minutes. That’s just as valid as someone who is running a mile in 7 minute and wants to improve to 6 minutes. Similarly at Bronze level the expedition requires 6 hours of planned activity with a minimum of half being travel. There is no distance requirement so if you are slow it doesn’t matter.
I don’t have any kit, will I need to buy it and is it expensive?
Students undertaking the award at Mayflower are lucky enough to be able to borrow tents, stoves, sleeping mats, maps, compasses and waterproofs. However, you will need to provide everything else (see kit list). Perhaps the two most significant items being walking boots and sleeping bag which can be purchased from around £70 and upwards. If you have problems supplying these things please see us.
Will doing the D of E Award help me with employment or university applications?
Definitely! An employer or university may not care that you can use a compass or put up a tent but they will be keen to see that you are someone who can stick at a task, is self motivated, can work in a team, has helped others in the community, is resourceful and can deal with difficulties and is keen to improve themselves.
I’ve lost my book what can I do?
Your award book is the essential evidence required to pass the award. If it gets lost tell your award leader as soon as possible so that you can get another one ordered. Alternatively your assessor can provide your report using your personalised ID number as going to edofe.org/assessor.
I hate camping do I have to camp?
Yes, as this is the chosen method for our award group, other providers may choose a different procedure. We would however organise other accommodation should a particular situation or weather event dictate that.
Can I fail the award?
Yes, although the D of E is not an exam or a test, if you fail to meet the award conditions then it is possible to fail a section of the award and be defered to try again. One example is if you accepted a lift or got a bus instead of walking part of your expedition, you may be required to re-do this section of the award. For more information see the Award conditions sheet on this website.
I’d love to do the award but can’t afford it, is there any help I can get?
At Mayflower we try to make the award as affordable as possible, however, this does not mean it is cheap. Unfortunately we are not in a position to discount the trips however, we are happy to accept payment in instalments, and where a group wish to reduce the cost fundraising suggestions can be provided. If there are still issues please speak to us regarding your situation.
I’ve signed up for the award but I don’t know what to do for my skill, physical and volunteering section. What should I do?
Firstly, don’t ignore it, explore the DofE webpage dofe.org, talk to your friends, leaders or parents to get inspiration. Participants at Mayflower are also very lucky that there are a wide range of activities that may be used for D of E that the school already offer including:
Skills – Musical instrument lessons; Sports Leaders
Volunteering – CHIPs; Prefecting; School Council; Library Assistant; Sports Leaders.
Physical – numerous PE clubs before and after school.
In addition many of our staff are happy to help with specific projects – just ask!
I’m really busy with school work how much time will it take up?
You should expect to commit an average of one hour a week to each section of the award, however, they do not all need to be done at the same time, so you could do three months of skill then three months of volunteering etc. However, please be aware you must attend the training for the expedition which is organised and on the dates provided in your original letter. Other meetings will be added to focus on route planning. (see this year’s programme).
Here's what some previous participants in the Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme thought about the award:
“Amazing, brilliant, first class, challenging, fun”
“It was a challenging experience and well worth it. I am more than prepared to go on to Silver”
“The Duke of Edinburgh Award is a great way to develop many of life’s essential skills”
“The D of E was a brilliant experience. I had a lot of fun and it was extremely rewarding”
“Duke of Edinburgh is a challenging award that tests you in every way, shape and form”
“It’s not any walk; it’s a walk that will make you see a new, challenging experience!”
“Exciting new challenges; it teaches you how to organise a team and look after yourself …. I look forward to Silver.”
“It brought me closer to friends and teachers and we experienced it together”
“It was a challenge, but I had fun”
“It is an adventure and should be done by all”
“The Award was a challenging, character-building experience – sometimes you have to get stuck in and work through the pain.”
“It was long; it was wet; it was Wales!”
“If you do it in the future, realise that it is harder than it looks!”
“The Award was a challenging experience that improved me as a person and has given me more determination in life…. Oh and don’t listen to crazy farmers – you can get through ferns!”
“The award was very challenging, but has shown me that I can do more than I think.”
Links to other websites that you may find useful.
Duke of Edinburgh Award
National Site: www.dofe.org
Essex Specific Site: www.awardessex.org