Duke of Edinburgh Award at d'Overbroeck's

DofE at d'Overbroeck's

The Duke of Edinburgh’s award scheme was started to support young people in their development through extra-curricular activities and service in the community. The programme has three different levels, Bronze, Silver and Gold, and consists of four sections: Volunteering, Skills, Physical and Expedition, with an additional residential section at Gold level. Students can choose whatever they like for their Volunteering, Skills and Physical so the programme is highly individual to each young person. At d’Overbroeck’s we take pride in letting our students express their individuality and we have an excellent culture of personal development, so we embody what the DofE award sets out to achieve. All three of our school sites take part in this fantastic award scheme. We offer the Bronze and Silver award at our Years 7-11 site, Gold at our Sixth Form site and Bronze at the International School. Students gain extra life skills necessary to become a well-rounded person through their activities and give back to their local communities through the volunteering component. Our students decide to take on this award primarily to try new things and to achieve something that they never thought that they could. All levels of the award also look great when applying for universities both in the UK and abroad. Students do not have to start at the Bronze level and work their way up, they can start their DofE at any level, it only affects how long they do each section for. We offer Bronze at Year 9 or any year for students at The International School, Silver at Year 10 and Gold at Year 12. We use an expedition company that employs highly qualified mountain leaders to run all expeditions which ensures student safety and enjoyment


Volunteering section: 3 months – Physical section: 3 months – Skills section: 3 months – Expedition section: 2 days/1 night Students also must spend an extra three months on one of the Volunteering, Physical or Skills sections.
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 a student does not do Bronze, they must undertake a further 6 months in either the Volunteering or the longer of the Physical or Skills sections.
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 a student does not do Silver, they must undertake a further 6 months in either the Volunteering or the longer of the Physical or Skills sections.

DofE at d'Overbroeck's

*Images from DofE Gold expedition in March 2022

Typical activities

  • Skills: computer programming, playing a musical instrument, pet training, learning a language outside of academic study, gardening, bird watching.
  • Physical: any sport, dancing, ice skating
  • Volunteering: working with the school library, helping out in local care homes, churches, St. John ambulance, charity shops, litter picking, neighbourhood watch, tutoring.
  • All activities must be done for at least 1 hour per week for the number of months relevant to each award.
  • Currently, we only have cross site mixing at TIS and Years 7-11 who do the bronze award. We have had in the past some sixth form DofE students volunteer down at Years 7-11/TIS activities.

DofE Fast Facts:

  • 23 students who are currently doing their Gold award in the Sixth Form (mix of Y12 and 13)
  • 32 students at 7-11 doing their Silver award (mix of Y10 and 11)
  • 75 students doing their Bronze award; 6 from The International School and 69 from Years 7-11 (the 7-11 students are a mix of Y9 and 10 students).
  • Between April 2020 and March 2021 d’Overbroeck’s students volunteered for a total of 663 hours, which equates to £3016.65 of social value. Doubly impressive given the pandemic.
  • We have 18 other members of d’Overbroeck’s staff who help out with running DofE, mostly in helping to run the expeditions.

I have been running DofE at d’Overbroeck’s for 2 years now and had heavy involvement with the delivery of DofE for another 3 years on top of that both at d’Overbroeck’s and at my previous school. I never got the chance to do DofE whilst at school, so I am pleased that I have the opportunity to help students achieve tremendous things outside of the classroom environment. I greatly enjoy the outdoors and believe it is important to show students different environments around the UK and get them enjoying our wonderful countryside. This award is so important for their personal development and I cannot be prouder of our students when they complete their DofE awards.

– James Burroughs, DofE programme lead

Interested in finding out more about DofE at d’Overbroeck’s? Contact James Burroughs, who leads the programme.

See the wide range of Co-curricular options at each of our sites: