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Rivington & Blackrod High School


Duke of Edinburgh

Each year we have over 100 pupils participate in the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme (DofE), across the Bronze, Silver and Gold levels.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award represents a huge commitment from the young person, as the award sees them undertake 4 sections (5 at Gold).

The Volunteering Section will see the young person undertake anything from litter picking in their local area or around school, to raising money for charity through various fundraising events, there are endless possibilities that they can do to achieve this section.

The Physical Section sees our young people keeping themselves fit or even taking up a new challenge and pushing themselves to even greater heights. It could be as simple as going for a long walk each week to playing football for a local team.

For the Skills Section, this can be combined into everyday life much easier than our young people first realise, it could be taking up cookery at home and making meals for their entire family or baking as a hobby, it could even relate to a future career they may be considering as they could decide to undertake journalism and write articles for their own website or even try their hand at painting and drawing to improve their artistic skills.

The Expedition Section varies slightly depending on the level of the award but they all have the same core theme running through them. Pupils will learn map reading, cookery, and camping skills in order to be able to undertake a 2, 3, or 4 day expedition at Bronze, Silver, and Gold levels respectively. Our Bronze cohorts undertake their expeditions in the local area around Rivington as our school is nestled in the perfect location for this level of expedition. For Silver, we take the cohort to the Peak District to give them more of an opportunity to put their map reading skills to the test and to broaden their experiences on expedition. Finally for Gold we undertake the challenge of our pupils navigating and walking in Snowdonia National Park, and encourage them to wild camp during this to really push themselves.

There is one section that is exclusive to the Gold Award, this is the Residential Section. Pupils must spend 5 days on location helping with a project, it can be anything from volunteering with the YMCA and staying in their hostels and helping them be renovated, to going to Camp America over the summer and engaging with youth camp activities both night and day for their time there.

In recent years we have had nearly 250 completed awards at all levels, with roughly 200 awards still being completed from the last 2 academic years as pupils can complete these up until their 25th birthday. Some pupils choose to do some of the sections over a longer period of time to fit around their busy schedules. If pupils still wish to complete evidence for their sections after they have left Rivington and Blackrod, they can still submit all of this online through their DofE accounts and this will still get signed off and verified in school, and submitted for approval once complete.

Bronze DofE

It will usually take you at least 6 months to complete your Bronze programme.

– Volunteering section: 3 months
– Physical section: 3 months
– Skills section: 3 months
– Expedition section: 2 days/1 night

You also have to spend an extra three months on one of the Volunteering, Physical or Skills sections. It’s your choice which one and, though you can change your mind later, you should decide which section you want to do for longer at the beginning. Knowing how long you’re going to do it for will help you to choose your activity and set your goals for each section.

Silver DofE

It will take you at least 6 months for Silver if you’ve already achieved your Bronze, or 12 months if you’ve jumped straight into Silver.

– Volunteering section: 6 months
– Physical and Skills sections: One section for 6 months and the other section for 3 months
– Expedition section: 3 days/2 nights

If you didn’t do Bronze, you must undertake a further 6 months in either the Volunteering or the longer of the Physical or Skills sections.

Gold DofE

For Gold, you’ll need to do your programme for at least 12 months if you’ve achieved your Silver Award, or 18 months if you’ve started at Gold level without doing your Silver – even if you’ve done Bronze. The big difference at Gold is you’ll also do a Residential section – staying away from home for five days and four nights doing a shared activity with people you don’t know.

– Volunteering section: 12 months
– Physical and Skills sections: One section for 12 months and the other section for 6 months
– Expedition section: 4 days/3 nights
– Residential section: Undertake a shared activity in a residential setting away from home for 5 days and 4 nights.

If you didn’t do Silver, you must undertake a further 6 months in either the Volunteering or the longer of the Physical or Skills sections.


Any questions or queries about DofE please contact;

Mr Catterall- DofE Lead acatterall@rbhs.co.uk 

Mr Brown- Head of Personal Development abrown@rbhs.co.uk