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Duke of Edinburgh Award

The Duke of Edinburgh Award is many things to many people, supporting generations to successfully navigate adult life.

14-24 year-olds can do a DofE programme at one of three progressive levels which, when successfully completed, leads to a Bronze, Silver or Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.

There are four sections to complete at Bronze and Silver level and five at Gold. They involve helping the community/environment, becoming fitter, developing new skills, planning, training for and completing an expedition and, for Gold only, working with a team on a residential activity.

Any young person can do their DofE – regardless of ability, gender, background or location. Achieving an Award isn’t a competition or about being first. It’s all about setting personal challenges and pushing personal boundaries.

Through a DofE programme young people have fun, make friends, improve their self-esteem and build confidence. They gain essential skills and attributes for work and life such as resilience, problem-solving, team-working, communication and drive, enhancing CVs and job applications.

Basic Information and FAQ

Basic information and FAQ

During this difficult time, DofE have put together some resources to assist all its participants.


Hollywater School and the DofE

At Hollywater, the pupils complete the Duke of Edinburgh Award as part of the Personal, Social, and Health education programme.  The award promotes independence, personal skill development and working as a team.

Pupils will be organised into teams (no more than 7 and a minimum of 4) taking into account their levels of independence and personal skills.

Most pupils will complete their Bronze award in YR10.  Some pupils will complete their Bronze award over 2 years during YR10 and YR11.  This is to allow them additional time to practise key elements and skills for their expedition section.

Those pupils achieving their Bronze award in 1 year, will continue on to their Silver award in YR11.

Pupils work with their class teachers to complete the four sections:

  • Volunteering
  • Skill
  • Physical
  • Expedition

Pupils are involved in the discussion about their aim and work within their teams for each section as part of their curriculum.  The sections take either 3 or 6 months to complete and are assessed by their class teachers or other Duke of Edinburgh leaders within school.  Silver teams may be assessed by an external assessor for their Expedition section.

The Expedition section includes night(s) away and the training for this continues all year, through extended walking activities which require some kit, purchased at the beginning of the year.

Initial costings:

  • walking boots
  • rucksack (minimum 30 litre)
  • waterproof jacket and trousers

If there are any issues in purchasing this kit for the start of term, please speak to your child's class teacher as soon as possible.

Bronze Teams

This years' Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Teams organised fund raising for 3 different charities in the Autumn term.  The first event was for the McMillan Coffee Morning.  Your child was able to choose a cake and donations were made an online using our JustGiving page, see below

The next fundraising event was for Breast Cancer Awareness PINK Day.

Your child came to school dressed in PINK!  They took part in PINK activities during the afternoon.

Their final fundraising event was BBC Children in Need.

Your child came to school dressed in Spots and Stripes!  They took part in activities throughout the day, following the theme for this year.

The total raised for this years fundraising exceeded £300 - thank you all who donated.

For their skill section, the Bronze team completed the St John's Ambulance Schools first aid programme.  They have learnt to complete a primary survey, use the recovery position and give CPR.  They also completed units on burns and scolds, minor bleeding and fractures and sprains.

Silver Team

For their volunteering, the Silver team worked alongside the Deadwater Valley Rangers at Bordon Inclosure, Hogmoor Inclosure and Deadwater Valley Nature Reserve. 

For their skill section, the teams had art workshops run by The Phoenix Arts Centre and the local Bordon Community Centre.  The pupils learnt how to make and decorate clay masks.  The pupils then continued the study of creative arts at college, completing units of work on tribal art and different photographic techniques.

Both Bronze and Silver Teams completed watersports for their physical sections, focusing on kayaking.

Duke of Edinburgh and Further Education

The Duke of Edinburgh Award is run at all three levels of Bronze, Silver and Gold within Hollywater FE and each section of each award is completed within school in teams of 4 – 7 students. 

The Skills Section has involved working in the FE Café as part of a mini-enterprise project making bacon rolls for staff within the school.  Students have worked in teams rotating through different skills needed to run the café. Each week there is a team on food preparation, another on cleaning, and a third on deliveries and payments.  The café is very popular and the students are able to make a small profit that goes towards their activities.

The Physical Section is undertaken at Bordon Leisure Centre in the Everyone Active Gym.  Students visit the gym weekly during the Autumn and Spring terms, accessing the equipment and undertaking individual fitness programmes.

The Volunteering Section is part of the South Western Railways Station Adopters programme.  The FE students have ‘adopted’ Farnham Station which they visit every week in order to keep it clean and tidy through litter picking and reporting any damages to the Station Master.  The students thoroughly enjoy collecting the litter and there is often some friendly competition between the teams as to who can collect the most.  SWR provide official railway hi-viz vests for everyone to wear when out on site.

The Expedition Section requires the teams to undertake a practice and assessed expedition each year.  These vary slightly in duration depending on the level of award the students are working on but range from 2 days/1 night for Bronze up to 4 days/3 nights for Gold. 

Expedition training allows the teams to practice the skills they need to undertake their expedition and journeys.  Training includes putting up tents, packing rucksacks, cooking on trangias, and mastering the skills for the journey they have chosen.  Journey skills are not always just hiking, students have also undertaken training in cycling and canoeing in order to complete their expeditions using these forms of transport.

For 2022/23 our expeditions are taking place in the New Forest where hiking, cycling and canoeing form part of the 3 days there, and on the Avon & Kennet Canal where they are traversing the locks on an adapted barge.  Plans are already underway for even more adventurous expeditions in 2023/24 as we have a number of students going for Gold!

The Residential Section is only a formal requirement for Gold Award teams, 4 days/5 nights away working with people they do not know.  However, Bronze and Silver do not miss out as they come along too!  We are currently in the planning stages for our next residential which should take place in Wales at a very special school.  Our previous residential, at Avon Tyrell, was hugely successful and greatly improved the independence and life skills of the students.