St Catherine’s runs the Duke of Edinburgh Award at Bronze, Silver and Gold levels. The Bronze award is open to students in Year 10 with enrolment beginning in Year 9. Silver and Gold Awards are available for girls in Year 11 and the Sixth Form.

The course offers a chance for students to do something a bit different and face a new challenge.

Some Questions Answered.

What is the Duke of Edinburgh Award?

It is a chance to learn new skills and gain 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, normally Silver and Gold are done in Sixth Form.

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, going on an expedition

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 peoples 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 an adventurous journey. This is run through the school.

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 Take?

A minimum of 3 months must be spent on each of the volunteering, physical and skills sections and 6 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.

What equipment will be needed?

Sensible walking shoes are a ‘must’, as well as a walking rucksack, a sleeping bag and roll mat, wet weather gear and food and drinks.

How much does it cost?

The school charges £50.00 which covers the costs of trangias, tents, maps and compasses. There are no other charges for the expedition section although parents may be asked to pick students up and drop them off.

The Richmond Award Centre charges £16.50 for the record books and administration costs.


Attendance is expected at ALL sessions in order to successfully gain the award. Whilst the course is designed to be fun, challenging and enjoyable, 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.

Key Dates

The following events will take place in Year 10.

  • Introduction to the Award: There will be a talk about the nature of the award and what is involved. There will be a representative of Cotswold Outdoors to discuss appropriate equipment purchases.
  • Training Day: This will take place over one morning at the school. There will be sessions on map reading, tent construction and cooking using a trangia.
  • Navigation Training Day: This will involve a morning’s map reading in Bushey Park, Teddington.
  • Weekend Training Day: A weekend walking and navigating in the Surry Hills in small groups and camping overnight in Bently Copse near Dorking.
  • Assessment Weekend: The girls will be assessed by an independent assessor on the navigation, group work and camping skills. This will take place over a weekend in the Surrey Hills.
  • Presentation Evening: The successful girls are invited to attend a presentation of their certificates at Hampton School.

Course Organisers

Mrs Saddler – Awards and Expedition
Mr Rock – Administration