The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award
DofE during Coronavirus
To all of our Duke of Edinburgh Award participants. During this difficult time the DofE can have a hugely positive impact on your mental and physical wellbeing. The structure, focus and motivation from the programme can be a benefit at this time – and, now more than ever, our communities need young people volunteering through their DofE to support our most vulnerable neighbours and friends.
We’re here to help
The whole DofE team is committed to helping young people navigate these challenging times.
The DofE has created https://www.dofe.org/dofewithadifference/, where you can find everything you need to keep working towards your DofE award – including a list of home-based activities that you can change to and start doing right now. The DofE will be adding to this regularly in the coming weeks.
- You can change your activities to ones you can do from home.
- You have until you’re 25 to do your DofE.
- You can condense your activity hours to do longer sessions per month, rather than hourly each week. https://www.dofe.org/coronavirus/faqs-participants
Contact us on DofE@stjohns.excalibur.org.uk if you have any questions but for now, students should continue working towards their award and upload as much evidence as possible.
Read about our students’ Lockdown DofE activities here
The DofE Award at St John’s
All St John’s students in Year 9 and above have the opportunity to enrol for The Duke of Edinburgh Award. The programme is introduced to students during assemblies and interested Year 9 students are invited to attend a meeting, with parents, to find out more about how the DofE programme works and what the costs are.
Students in Year 9 can enrol for the Bronze Award, and can continue to the Silver Award in Year 10. Sixth Form students can enrol for the prestigious Gold Award.
A drop-in session runs every Thursday lunchtime, 1:40-2:05pm in F239 where students can come for help and advice.
Check the latest DofE News in the Downloads section at the bottom of the page
The Venture Award – Level 2 (Year 8)
Year 8 students now have the opportunity to take part in The Venture Award. This exciting opportunity has been designed by our Duke of Edinburgh expedition company; BXM Expeditions, who have created The Venture Award to help younger students develop as individuals and build important skills and values. It is also great preparation for those who may want to do the Duke of Edinburgh in later years.
For more information, see the letter “Year 8 Venture Award Letter – Feb 2020” under the blue “Downloads” bar below.
The Expedition element of the Bronze & Silver Award at St John’s is run by BXM Expeditions, an official DofE Approved Activity Provider. The Bronze & Silver expeditions have three parts; a one-day training session, a practice expedition, and an assessment expedition, and it is compulsory that students attend all three parts.
Students are asked to visit the BXM website and view the training videos prior to attending their Training day. These can be viewed at: http://www.bxmexpeditions.co.uk/kit.htm The BXM kit list is also available on the BXM website or in Links below.
If you are unable to provide these items, it may be possible to borrow rucksacks, sleeping bags etc. so please contact us if you have any concerns about the kit.
DofE students have to take part in four different activities; the Expedition, Volunteering, Skill and Physical. Gold Award students also have to participate in a five-day residential. Apart from the expedition, all activities should be organised independently by the students, who have to log their activities, upload any evidence, and then ask someone (not a parent) to write an Assessor Report for them.
The DofE website has a lot of useful information about the types of activities students can count towards their award, and forms and other information are available on the St John’s SharePoint site. The Downloads and the Weblinks sections below contain links to useful information. Please bear in mind the following:
- Volunteering must be for a not-for-profit organisation (the only exception to this is helping in a care home)
- Volunteering does not include helping family members
- Dance/fitness/sport are all considered to be Physical activities and not a Skill
- Each section needs an Assessor. Parents cannot be Assessors
St John’s DofE leader is Mrs Lamport
We recommend that students check with the DofE leaders at St John’s before commencing any activities which may not qualify under DofE regulations. Planning forms can be downloaded from Saber and the DofE website.
If you have any questions please send an email to DofE@stjohns.excalibur.org.uk
If you have any questions about the expeditions, please contact BXM directly through the link in the Weblinks section below.
For the Training Sessions, BXM has requested that students bring their lunch and a drink in a small rucksack/backpack, wear warm clothing and a waterproof jacket. Please do NOT wear walking boots as most of the training will take place indoors.
Dates for 2020-2021
We are excited to say that we have arranged to safely conduct our DofE expeditions; following government guidelines and still meeting the 20 DofE criteria. Current regulations state that students cannot attend ‘residential’ trips so camping overnight is unfortunately not possible, but all other elements are: route planning, walking, navigating, setting up camp, cooking, being self-sufficient etc.
For the expeditions to be successful we will require parents to collect their children and take them home for the night, returning them to the campsite in the morning. Although not ideal, it is unfortunately all we are able to offer to ensure that DofE awards are achieved this academic year. I am aware of so many students working hard in the other sections that it would be a great shame if they do not complete these awards.
The dates for our expeditions are as follows:
- Silver Practice: 26th – 27th September
- Bronze Practice: 20th-21st March 2021 UPDATED OCT 2020
- Silver Assessment: 30th October – 1st November
- Bronze Assessment: 17th-18th April 2021 UPDATED OCT 2020
Further information will follow shortly.
Useful documents and links
Useful documents such as enrolment letters and application forms, kit list and programme ideas are available in the Downloads and Weblinks drop-down sections below.
Note: All PDFs open in a new tab.
Bronze Award update – Rearranged Expeditions – Oct 2020
Suspension of Expeditions – Oct 2020
Year 8 Venture Award Letter – Feb 2020
DofE Informational Presentation PDF
DofE Programme Ideas
BXM Kit List
Programme – 10 Step eDofE User Guide for Participants
DofE Letter & eDofE Programme PDF
Bronze Enrolment Letter to parents – Sep 2019
Silver Enrolment Letter to parents – Sep 2019
Bronze Enrolment Form 2019-20
Silver Enrolment Form 2019-20
Silver Change of Date 2019-20 – Jan 2020
BXM letter to parents re parent email address consent – Jan 2020