Duke of Edinburgh Award (DofE)
The Duke of Edinburgh Award is open to Year 10 students and we currently offer the award at Bronze level. It is an internationally recognised qualification which participants gain after completing a programme of activities, decided by themselves, in four separate areas.
Volunteering: Giving up some of your spare time to do some voluntary (unpaid) work for the benefit of others. This may be helping a charity, doing some shopping for an elderly neighbour or helping at a children’s play group. Students at Harris Academy Morden have helped run after school clubs at St Teresa’s Primary School, as well as worked in a local charity shop. An average of 1 hour per week should be spent on this section, this lasts for 6 months.
Skill: Learning a new skill, and showing improvement along the way. This can include learning an instrument, drawing, model making or photography. Students at Harris Academy Morden have done cooking, playing in a band and even studied zoology. An average of 1 hour per week should be spent on this section, this lasts for 3 months.
Physical: This involves taking part in a programme of set physical activity and showing improvement throughout. The activity would be either a team sport or an individual sport. Students at Harris Academy Morden have done table tennis, martial arts and basketball. An average of 1 hour per week should be spent on this section, this lasts for 3 months.
Expedition: Participants are expected to take part in a practice and an assessed expedition, which involves walking approximately 24km along public footpaths using a map and compass. Each expedition also includes overnight camping along the route. Participants are to carry all of their kit and are expected to cook a meal using approved camping stoves. Previous expeditions have taken participants to different areas of the South Downs in both Surrey and Kent.
One of the overriding principles of the Award is that participants are responsible for their progress through it. Whilst the Academy will assist the students, it is they who decide what activities they will do for the three first sections and when it comes to planning the expeditions, they will prepare the routes that they walk along. Therefore a DofE Award demonstrates not only participation in the various sections, but also it shows that participants are responsible and well organised. As participants undertake their activities they record their progress on their profile on the DofE website where it is then approved by their assessor.
Upon completion of the Award, participants can decide to progress onwards to do the Silver and then Gold levels if they wish. The main differences are that the amount of time spent on each section increases.
More information can be found on