Duke of Edinburgh (DofE)

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award

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 and parents can access our virtual introductions on this page 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.

Check the latest DofE News and links to forms and PDFs in the Downloads section at the bottom of the page.

DofE during Coronavirus

The DofE has created a “DofE with a Difference” page where participants can find everything they need to keep working towards their DofE award – including a list of home-based activities. See Weblinks below.

Contact us on DofE@stjohns.excalibur.org.uk if you have any questions.


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. See Weblinks below. The BXM kit list is also available on the BXM website or in Downloads 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 sections

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 Miss 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 the DofE website.

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.

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 2019-2020 cohort expeditions are as follows:

  • Bronze Practice: 03rd-04th July 2021 UPDATED MAR 2021
  • Bronze Assessment: 17th-18th July UPDATED MAR 2021
  • Silver Assessment: 22nd – 24th June UPDATED MAR 2021

Further information will follow shortly.

  • Training day:  Saturday 8th May 2021 UPDATED 9th MAR 2021
  • Bronze Practice Expedition:  Tuesday 13th – Wednesday 14th July 2021 TBC
  • Bronze Assessment Expedition:  Thursday 22nd – Friday 23rd July 2021 TBC

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.