The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award

Senior school > Co-curricular > Duke of Edinburgh’s Award

All pupils can participate in The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme, which in Year 9 and 10 is dove-tailed with being in the Combined Cadet Force (CCF). The DofE is a programme which focuses on encouraging personal achievement and teamwork while developing pupils’ own interests and building links with the local community.

In addition to carrying out expeditions, participants pursue physical recreation, take on a hobby or skill and undertake a service activity, often contributing to the local community. Pupils also receive specialist instruction in outdoor pursuits such as map-reading, camp-craft and navigation, with ample opportunity to put these skills into practise in real-life situations.

Foot expeditions form an integral and highly popular component of our DofE scheme, with a range of student-led outdoor excursions allowing pupils to put their outdoor training and self-sufficiency to the test. Pupils enrol for the bronze level in Year 9 and participate in expeditions throughout Norfolk and Suffolk and older pupils pursuing Silver or Gold Awards do their expeditions in the Peak District, Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District.  For those who have not had the opportunity to do the award previously are able to enrol for direct entry Gold in the Sixth Form.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme aims to promote a balanced approach to life and learning, helping students to develop and enjoy their existing strengths while cultivating new abilities and confronting fresh challenges.

Examples of DofE Volunteering:

Helping to deliver food boxes in the community
“I have been volunteering for my community by delivering boxes of vegetables and food from my local farm shop to elderly people who are unable to go shopping. I have delivered to Fakenham, Foulsham, Lenwade and Wood Norton. I leave the boxes of vegetables at their door and make sure they receive it.”

Helping elderly neighbours
“I have continued to help my elderly neighbours by collecting prescriptions, buying food and baking them lemon drizzle cakes. I have bought them lots of different types of fresh fruit and vegetables from Holt because they cannot leave their house and have been continuing to collect their prescriptions from the doctors.”

Producing masks during first lock-down
“I have created a Facebook group for my local area to help provide face shields for local hospitals and NHS workers. The face shields have proven to be very useful for the community and I now have over 20 people 3D printing masks. I take them to two hospitals, over 20 different care homes and over 500 district nurses and have delivered over 2,500 shields. To fund the raw materials for the masks, I created a funding page and I have raised around £2,300 so far.”

Residentials, quotes from Assessor Reports:

Conservation work in the Peak District National Park
“Throughout Eva’s time carrying out her residential in the Peak District National Park, Eva was friendly, enthusiastic, and a hardworking member of a group of young people participating in in a variety of practical conservation projects.”

Plan My Gap Year, Volunteering in India
“Fenella participated in our medical programme in Faridabad, India with Plan My Gap Year, an international volunteer organisation. During her time here, she engaged in numerous projects such as the slum school clinics, medical camps and hospital clinics.”

Cadet Centre for Adventurous Training – Ski Course
“Thomas attended the Cadet Centre for Adventurous Training (CCAT) Intermediate Ski Course in Bavaria. During this time, he was coached over to Southern Germany with 35 people from the ACF that he didn’t know before arriving. During the week Thomas learned to ski to a competent standard including off-piste.”


Matthew Dickinson

Tallis, 1979

“My Gresham’s experience was enriched hugely by the opportunities for climbing and adventure. I was lucky to join the school mountaineering expedition to the High Atlas mountains in Morocco and have fond memories of many other challenging activities which were character building and great fun. Today, Gresham’s continues this tradition through many initiatives and projects such as the awe inspiring Bourdillon Tower and the continued participation in the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme. I was fortunate to be invited to St James’ Palace to present the Gold Awards alongside HRH Prince Philip some years ago and it was heart-warming to chat to the Gold Award pupils.”