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Duke of Edinburgh Award

Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme

Thomas Hall School runs the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme. The Award is recognised by colleges, university entrance boards and businesses as an excellent programme for the personal development of young people and will play an important part of our pupil’s development as they progress through the senior school.

Achieving an Award isn’t about competition, it’s about setting personal challenges and pushing boundaries. Through the Duke of Edinburgh programme young people have fun, make friends, improve their self-esteem and build confidence. They gain essential skills and attributes for work and life, such as resilience, problem-solving, team-working, communication and personal ambition. The school will endeavour to make the Award enjoyable, challenging and of the highest quality.

Young people achieve an Award by completing a personal programme of activities in four sections (five if they’re going for Gold). Pupils will find themselves helping people or the community, getting fitter, developing skills, going on an expedition and taking part in a residential activity (Gold only).

The levels are:

  • Bronze – for those aged 14 (or to be within 3 months) and over
  • Silver – for those aged 15 (or to be within 3 months) and over
  • Gold – for those aged 16 and over.

The Sections involve:

  • Service (helping people in the community)
  • Skills (covering almost any hobby, skill or interest)
  • Physical Recreation (sport, dance and fitness)
  • Expeditions (training for, planning and completing an expedition)
  • Residential Project (Gold Award only…a purposeful enterprise with people not previously known to the participant).

Minimum Time Limits for each section.




The 10 Key Principles of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award are :

  • Non-competitive. The Award is a personal challenge and not a competition against others. Each participant’s programme is tailor made to reflect the individual starting point, abilities and interests
  • Available to All. With a commitment to equal opportunities, the Award Programme is available to all young people who choose to take up its challenge.
  • Young people make a free choice to enter the programme and commit their own time to undertake the activities
  • Young people design their own programme, which can be geared to their own choice and personal circumstances and also to local provision. They may enter for which level of Award they are eligible for (those aged 15 could start with bronze or go straight to silver) and may take as long as they want to complete an Award (until the age of 25).
  • By choosing activities from the different sections, participants can undertake a balanced and wide-ranging programme.
  • At each level, the Programme demands more time and an increasing degree of commitment and responsibility from the participant.
  • Achievement focused. Before starting an activity, young people are encouraged to set their own goals. If they aim for those goals and show improvement, they will achieve their Award.
  • The Award demands persistence and commitment and cannot be completed in a short burst of enthusiasm. Participants may want to continue with their activities beyond the minimum time limit requirements set out for each level of the Award.
  • Personal Development. The Award is a programme of personal and social development. The value to young people is dependent on personal commitment, the learning process and the quality of the experience. Taking responsibility for all aspects of the Award programme is something we will encourage at Avanti, however advice and support will be freely given.
  • Young people and helpers should find participation enjoyable and satisfying

Staff at THomas Hall School will give participants an opportunity to undertake expeditions at all levels of the Award. This will either be direct with the school, private expedition companies or other Award organisations in the local area. Staff make themselves available to advise and guide participants covering all sections of the Award.

We expect parents will provide support and encouragement (particularly in the early stages) as your child develops their time management skills. Activities should be undertaken in pupil’s “free” (i.e. non directed) time, which can include lunch times, after school or week-end activities. The Award can fit around school or other work/clubs quite easily. Membership of the Award does provide third party liability but it is parent responsibility to ensure that all chosen activities meet government guidelines for child protection and safety.

To partake in the Duke of Edinburgh programme, pupils need to be 14 or older and have a sense of drive and ambition.

It is our intention that participants will have every opportunity to complete at least the Bronze Award before they leave school at the end of Yr 11, however they can continue with the Award up to the age of 25 through University or the Open Award Group.

Progression though the Award is now monitored by a web based system called eDofE which allows for innovative ways of recording progress through the Awards sections and a more colourful, printed reminder of successful completion of each level.


The Award at Thomas Hall School will cost Bronze £25 or Silver £25, however there will be an additional cost for the expedition. This amount will depend on where the expedition takes place and the charge of the campsites/assessors travelling fees.


Generally your son/daughter can start DofE at any time (as long as age requirements are met), however the expedition training (practice walks, expedition training w/e and the qualifying w/e) will be done in the summer and first half of autumn terms.

There is a lot of choice of activities, more so at the moment that can be done when at home because of the current national restrictions. Details of these can be found by following this link.

If your son/daughter is keen to start DofE please complete the form attached (with the enrolment fee) and return to Mrs A at school.

For more information about Duke of Edinburgh at Thomas Hall School, please contact our school reception for further details. 

Kit needed for practice walks

The following MUST be provided for the first few walks

  • Waterproofs (jacket and preferably trousers)…to be carried in a rucksack if not needed.
  • Hat, gloves, sunhat
  • Face mask. Hand sanitiser and tissues
  • Suitable footwear (ideally walking boots, but please do not go and spend money)
  • Trousers (to wear…..not shorts and no jeans)
  • T-shirt (to wear….preferably a wicker one) and fleece
  • Snacks (for after school walks……not just chocolate/sweets….pizza slices good Please NO nuts)
  • Drink, in a suitable container (preferably water, can be flavoured but NO fizzy drinks)
  • Food, Drink and “emergency rations” (for day walks….more info given when needed)


Contact Us

Thomas Hall, Cowley Bridge Road, Exeter EX4 5AD

T: 01392 757371