Duke of Edinburgh

At Dorothy Stringer we currently run the Bronze Duke of Edinburgh award which is split into four sections: Expedition, Physical, Volunteering and Skills. For more information on each section please read below. 


The Principles

All ventures involve self-reliant journeying in the countryside or on water, conceived with a purpose and undertaken by the participants’ own physical efforts, without motorised assistance. The venture must present the participants with a challenge in terms of purpose, planning and achievement with minimum external intervention.


The following requirements are for all types of venture:

all qualifying ventures should have a clearly defined purpose
on completion, participants review the venture and give an account or presentation related to this purpose
unaccompanied ventures should take place between the end of March and the end of October
ventures involve joint planning and preparation by all members of the group
groups consist of between four and seven young people
accommodation will be by camping and all equipment must be suitable for the activity and environment in which the venture is to take place
participants are to be trained in the skills necessary to undertake their planned venture participants must undertake sufficient practice journeys to ensure that they are able to journey safely and independently in their chosen environment
all ventures must be supervised and qualifying ventures assessed by suitably experienced people

Expedition Season

The expedition season for unaccompanied ventures is between the end of March and the end of October and, although specific dates are not prescribed, this period coincides approximately with British Summer Time. This does not preclude appropriately-led training opportunities and practice journeys outside these dates.

Group Composition

The minimum number in a group at all levels of Award and for all modes of travel is four and the maximum seven. It is not necessary for the entire group to be undertaking the Award or to be under assessment but all must be trained and properly equipped to the same standard as the participants.

Accommodation and Catering

Accommodation is by camping. A different campsite must be used each night for Expeditions. At least one substantial meal should be prepared under camp conditions each day. The group must carry all equipment and food to be used during the venture. All individuals must always carry their personal emergency equipment.

Aim of the Physical Recreation Section: Encourage participation and improvement in physical activity.

The Principles

This Section offers a wide range of programmes in the belief that:

involvement in some form of enjoyable physical activity is essential for physical well-being
a lasting sense of achievement and satisfaction is derived from meeting a physical challenge
sports are enjoyable in themselves and can lead to the establishment of a lasting active lifestyle
young people should have the opportunity to make a choice, then discuss and agree a personal programme of participation and achievement


Assessed participation in an activity and achievement of individual progress.

achievement should be measured by regular participation and improvement in personal performance over the minimum period of months
each participant should discuss and agree their programme with their instructor or assessor, including the content and appropriate goals. A means of measuring performance and/or progress could be the attainment of a national governing body award or standard
participation should be undertaken in accordance with any national governing body safety requirements and, where possible, through clubs or organisations approved by the relevant governing body.                  


The Physical Recreation Section offers young people a wide choice depending upon their personal preferences, abilities and the opportunities available. The young person may already be involved in the activity or the choice could be something entirely new.

Aim of the Volunteering Section: To encourage service to individuals and to the community.

The Principles
This section is based on the belief that members of a community have a responsibility to each other and voluntary help is needed. Young people should identify the voluntary service required to gain some knowledge of the needs of those whom they are assisting and then receive briefing and training in the skills required to give that service. The value of participation in the Service Section comes from training, giving practical service and appreciating the needs of the community.


Participants are required to train for and give service to others. Consideration should first be given to the proposed form of practical service to be followed and then to the training required so that the service can be undertaken with competence and insight.

Depending on the form of service chosen, this training could range from an outline briefing session to a specialised training course or qualification.

The time requirements for this Section are set out in Timescales. 

There is flexibility as to how the hours are spent within the total time span, as long as there is regular involvement throughout, averaging at least an hour a week for forms of service requiring a training course or qualification, the minimum time requirements include the time spent in training and the time spent in practical service


Participants can use the following list of ideas or, alternatively, they can develop their own programme to meet community needs. Participants are encouraged to explore and pursue different and interesting initiatives.

The choice of service should reflect a young person’s individual interests, talents and capabilities but also be challenging and may build on previous experiences. Service programmes are currently available on the Award website www.theaward.org

The minimum age to start the three awards is 14 years old, so you need to wait until Year 9. At the start of the Summer Term in Year 9 you will be given an assembly which will tell you what you need to do next.

Your Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Coordinator is Sam DeBanks-Hirst.

 Year 9
  • You need to be 14 to start the Bronze Award (You can enrol before your 14th birthday)
  • Listen to D of E assembly
  • Attend registration meeting
  • Independently start Skill/Physical Activity/Volunteering
 Year 10
  • When you are 14 you can start the expedition
  • Attend expedition training sessions
  • Complete practise expedition
  • Complete assessed expedition

Over the last three years, approximately 840 students have enrolled onto a DofE Bronze programme at the school.  This includes a dual enrolment year as we have brought the programme back into Year 9 in 2018/19 in line with all the other schools in Brighton and DofE’s national strategy.

The three years before this, 590 students enrolled (not including the dual enrolment year) so numbers have increased by about 80 and the programme is as popular as ever.

Whilst enrolment is great in the three years prior to 2016 only 119 completed the programme, compare that to the last three years and this has shot up to 330!!  About 177% increase! This is due to an increased focus on the other sections of the Award other than the expedition and increased training of the staff in the school on the online eDofE system.

Measuring the benefits of personal development programmes isn’t easy, statistics do not really work here but for the school to know approximately 170 students every year wish to engage in programme of new activities and volunteer in their community speaks volumes of the aspirations of the students at Stringer and the ethos within the school. For those who succeed in completing all four sections we know from our participant surveys valuable skills such as commitment, resilience, responsibility, organisation and compassion are developed. Qualities which will not only enhance learning and academic achievement but are also important within the fabric of a school community.

Impact of DofE in the local community  

If we look at volunteering, over three years approximately 4,000 hours of volunteering has taken place. By using the minimum wage for under 18’s we can put a social value to this of just under £17,000. This is the difference DofE students at Dorothy Stringer are making in their community.

Celebrating Success

As Year 11 come to their final few weeks at school, approximately 100 of these students will be being awarded their DofE Bronze certificate and badge in the forthcoming weeks.

Well done to Team Stringer!