The Duke of Edinburgh's Award

At Barnhill the DofE scheme is voluntary with pupils able to enter the Bronze award in Year 10 and Gold in Year 12. There is every opportunity for pupils to gain all three awards and perhaps go to Buckingham Palace to accept their coveted Gold Award.

Qualified leaders guide pupils through the various sections of the award and then onto, and often the highlight, the expedition.

Our belief at Barnhill is that if you are participating in the award and each year you take regular physical activity, learn a new skill, volunteer to help in your local community and go on a challenging adventure, then you have gone a long way to making the best of your time at the school.

The main source of information regarding the Award is the D of E website ( and almost all you need to know is discussed there. 


Please click here for the kit list from the D of E website. The importance of adequate kit cannot be overstated. Hiking boots and serviceable waterproofs can make the difference between the experience of a lifetime and a thoroughly miserable 48 hours. 

The School will provide many major items such as tent, stove and fuel, mess-tins, maps and compass and essential emergency equipment. We also have a small store of sleeping bags.

Much equipment can be purchased at very reasonable prices and will provide good service for years to come. Purchasing advice is at the bottom of the list but please contact Mr Williams if you have any queries.

The D of E Award is a rewarding and fulfilling experience. Reward and fulfilment do not, however, come without effort. The expectation, at Barnhill Community High School and nationally, is that young people undertaking their D of E will show initiative and responsibility. Highly trained, professional staff will provide training, guidance, encouragement, resources and safeguarding but ultimately, pupils themselves will be responsible for their own progress.  

The expedition is no exception to the above. Whilst pupils will be fully trained and risk will be managed professionally and to the highest standards, the expedition will be physically challenging. Pupils will not be under permanent supervision and will have to plan and behave accordingly.  


Pupils can start their Bronze D of E at the start of Year 10.

Pupils will then take part in a two-day practice expedition and a two-day assessed expedition. We would anticipate the pupils should be able to complete their Bronze Award by the end of Year 10. Completing the Bronze Award reduces the time needed to complete their Silver Award from 12 months to 6 months.

All enquiries about Bronze D of E should be directed to Mr Williams. 

The timescales are given below:





2 sections for 3 months and one for 6 months

2 days, 1 night


Pupils can start their Gold DofE at the start of Year 12. They have weekly meetings before school to organise their personal programme and to train for the expedition component. Pupils will then typically participate in two training days, a two-day practice expedition and a four day final expedition.

Expeditions and training typically take place on Dartmoor, Devon the Brecon Beacons and in Scotland.

We would anticipate the pupils should be able to complete their Gold Award by the end of Year 13. The Gold Award also contains an additional residential section.

Any queries about Gold DofE should be directed to Mr Williams

The timescales are given below:






12 Months

One section for 12 months and one for 6 months

4 days / 3 nights

5 days / 4 nights

Pupils who have not completed their Silver Award must also spend a further 6 months
on either their volunteering or the longer of their physical or skills section