Duke of Edinburgh’s Award

Barnard Castle School has participated in the prestigious Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme for many years and hundreds of Sixth Form students have gone on to achieve gold awards. The principles, demands and reward of the scheme – physical endeavour, skill-building, helping others, teamwork and personal challenge – complement the ethos of the school and support our aim to develop character in our senior students in readiness for future pathways. Pupils are responsible for organising and planning all aspects of the award, with support and advice from our Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Coordinator, Mr C Alderson.

DofE opens up endless opportunities for students to enjoy new experiences, develop leadership skills and many other talents, as well as creating social opportunities with friends. Completing the award requires considerable commitment and determination and award achievers stand out from the crowd; accomplishing a gold award opens doors to education and employment opportunities.

DofE is challenging and rewarding. Participants have until they are 25 to complete the five elements of the award, and it is possible to complete it before leaving school. Expedition planning, training and assessment takes place within school during the lower sixth year.

The following table shows the structure and timescales involved, and the commitment required, for achieving the five elements of the gold award:

SKILLS One section for 12 months and the other section for 6 months
EXPEDITION Plan, prepare and undertake a 4 day, 3 night venture through wild country
RESIDENTIAL Undertake a shared activity in a residential setting away from home for 5 days and 4 nights

Instruction and information documents on DofE can be downloaded from the Parent Portal or for more information, contact Mr Alderson at cha@barneyschool.org.uk

“Taking part in DofE has given me the opportunity to gain an array of skills such as communication, leadership and teamwork as well as working closely with the local community. The highlight of DofE, for me is volunteering which I have been able to complete through the school's CCF.” Amy, Year 12