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Duke of Edinburgh Awards




The school offers all three levels of the Duke of Edinburgh Award – Bronze, Silver and Gold. The Award Leader is Miss K Scott:  She is assisted, at Bronze Level, by Mr C Cowley: There are also a number of qualified staff and volunteers.

At each level students students have to complete four distinct sections: volunteering, physical, skill and an expedition. These activities, which vary in length depending on the level of the award,  help students to develop a range of qualities and skills which are of benefit to them at school and beyond.  We place a high value on the awards and the uptake by students is exceptionally high at all three levels.

A charge is made for registration onto the award and for the expeditions.  This can be made in installments over a period of time. Our online payment system is the most efficient way to pay and allows parents to keep track of the required balance.  Payments can be made as and when convenient as long as the final deadline date is adhered to.

Over the past few years we have built up the number of Duke of Edinburgh volunteer helpers, training them to the highest level.  We now have an impressive cohort of trained and experienced adults to accompany us on our Gold and Silver expeditions. We no longer need to employ the services of an external provider, except in the planning and map reading skills training for our Bronze students.  Not only are we able to keep the cost of our expeditions down to a minimum, but it also allows us maximum flexibility in terms of where and when we run our expeditions.


The Bronze Award

The Bronze Award is open to students who are in Year 9. It is introduced in October with a parents’ information evening, at which the requirements of the award are explained.  Following this, students who wish to take part can apply.

Before the practice expedition we hold a series of training sessions that comprise map reading skills, route planning and rucksack packing.  They also learn how to use a meths trangia, erect tents, gain some knowledge of essential first aid and understand the Countryside Code.  Both the practice and assessed expedition take place locally, over two days, with an overnight camp in between.

Alongside the expedition, students work independently towards achieving the volunteering, physical and skill elements of the award. A wide range of activities are open to them and there is something to suit all tastes.

In total the Bronze Award usually takes between six and nine months to complete.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our Bronze Award Co-ordinator, Mr Cowley:


The Silver Award


At Silver the length of time taken for each activity  increases and the expedition is extended from two days to three. The Peak District, Exmoor and the North Devon Coast or The Welsh Borders are our preferred destinations for this award. In total the Silver Award usually takes around twelve months to complete. Students start it on completion of their Bronze Award in Year 10 and complete it in Year 11.


 The Gold Award

The Gold Award carries with it a high level of prestige.  It shows committment, endurance, social skills and tenacity and is highly regarded by universities and employers. Many of our Year 12 students continue on from Silver towards Gold. For those who did not take up the option in previous years, it is also possible for students to start at Gold as direct entrants. In this situation they are required to undertake an additional training expedition and complete their volunteering activity for eighteen months, which is six months longer than those who have achieved their Silver Award.

The expeditions, which extends over four days with a minimum of eight hours of walking, may also involve one night of wild camping.  Here at Burford, we usually walk in the Yorkshire Dales or the Brecon Beacons.


In addition to the volunteering, physical, skill and expedition sections, the students also have to undertake a residential stay of at least four nights. They can do this with one individual whom they know, but all other contact must be with people they are unfamiliar with.  In total the Gold Award usually takes around eighteen months to complete.

The significance of achieving the Gold Award is reflected in the invitation to visit St James’s Palace, to receive their award. This is a fitting culmination to a challenging, but rewarding, venture.



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