St. Catherine’s School runs the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award at Bronze, Silver and Gold levels.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (D of E) is all about helping pupils along the path to a productive and prosperous future. As many of our participants say: it’s life-changing. Achieving an Award gives pupils skills, confidence and an edge over others when applying for college, university or a job.

The Bronze Award is run in Year 9 in conjunction with the expedition provider Activ Adventures; enrolment takes place in the last term of Year 8.

The Silver Award will be run in Year 10 in conjunction with Activ Adventure from 2020 onwards; enrolment takes place at the end of Year 9.

The Gold Award is run in Year 12 and is currently run in conjunction with Hampton School; enrolment takes place at the end of Year 11.

What is the Duke of Edinburgh Award?

It is a chance to learn new skills, gain more more self-confidence, as well as develop the ability to work in a group and within the community. The minimum age is 14 and the maximum is 24. There are three levels: Bronze, Silver or Gold.

An Award is achieved by completing a personal programme of activities in four sections which involve helping people or the community, getting fitter, developing skills and completing a practice and assessed expedition.

Further information is available at the web address:

What does it involve?

There are three sections to a Bronze Award:

Volunteering – helping someone, the community or the environment (e.g: working in a charity shop or old people’s home).
Physical – becoming fitter through sport, dance or fitness activities (e,g: playing in a school team).
Skills – developing existing talents or trying something new (e.g: learning an instrument).
Expedition – planning, training for and completing a practice and assessed expedition.

Several people discover that they are already doing many of these sections. All sections MUST be completed in order to gain the award.

How long does it take?

A minimum of three months must be spent on each of the volunteering, physical and skills sections and six months must be spent on one of them. There is an expectation that at least an hour a week will be spent on each section. Training for the expedition takes place in school time. Gold participants also have to complete a residential placement for a week.

Where do the expeditions take place?

Bronze Practice and Assessed  – Surrey Hills

Silver Practice – Swanage

Silver Assessed – The New Forest

Gold Practice – Snowdonia

Gold Assessed – The Lake District

What equipment will be needed?

  • Walking boots with ankle protection must be worn
  • 60 litre plus rucksack
  • Three season sleeping bag
  • Sleeping/Roll mat
  • Waterproof trousers and jacket with taped seams
  • All food and drinks

All other equipment will be loaned by the activity providers or the school. The D of E provide advice on the kit needed at


Attendance is expected at all training sessions run by Activ Adventure or the school in order to successfully gain the award. Whilst the course is designed to be fun, challenging and enjoyable, a full commitment to learning and respect for others is required throughout. Anyone failing to do this will be asked to reconsider their actions or be asked to leave.