Duke of Edinburgh Award (DofE)

Saddleworth School are very pleased to offer our students the opportunity to undertake the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award programme.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) is a personal development programme for 14- to 24 year olds. The award is designed to be enjoyable whilst learning a wealth of new skills, such as self-reliance, teamwork and leadership. The award also helps students to push themselves physically, help others and explore new territories.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is a recognition of a young person’s successful journey of self-discovery and development, the benefits of achieving an award at any level are endless. It’s difficult to list them all here … but students should know that they will have fun and will push themselves to do new things that will help them to grow in confidence and develop useful skills. A DofE Award can also give students the edge when they apply for college, university or a job.

Saddleworth School offers the DofE Award at two levels; Bronze and Silver. It is a personal challenge available to all students however it does require students to commit some of their own time to undertake their selected activities. Each level of the award has four sections to complete, Volunteering, Skill, Physical and Expedition. Activities for each DofE section take a minimum of one hour per week over a set period of time, so that they can be fitted around students’ studies and life outside school. Students will also need to participate regularly and show that they’re committed to their DofE during this time.

The Expeditions are run on behalf of Saddleworth School by an Approved Activity Provider (AAP), Karos Adventure.

DofE Explained

A life-changing experience. A fun time with friends. An opportunity to discover new interests and talents. A tool to develop essential skills for life and work.

We are here to empower young people; to support them as they learn new skills, overcome obstacles, and build confidence and resilience. We are here for the challenges, the frustrations, the triumphs, and the laughter. We are here because we believe in youth without limits.

Created together with young people, the DofE welcome film sums up exactly what makes DofE so special – in just a few minutes. It has been designed to help you set the scene, and to inspire young people to find out more. It shows why DofE is a skills-building, confidence-boosting, life-changing opportunity – and it makes clear that DofE is open for everyone.

Introducing DofE’s new strategy.

From Award levels, timings, and costs to what is involved and why doing DofE can really make a difference in your life. Read everything you need to know about doing your DofE.

Basic information and FAQs

Volunteering, Physical, Skills and Expedition – what will you choose for each of your four activities? Design your programme here and do DofE your way.


It is their journey, but you are coming along for the ride! Find out how best you can support a young person doing their DofE. If you are new to DofE, check out the FAQs in this section and get a parent’s perspective by watching the films below. If your child is already signed up, read our advice and guidance for more support.

Parents and carers

We signify your amazing achievements with a Bronze or Silver Award. Here is how to achieve your Award, continue your DofE journey, or help others starting out on theirs.

Award achievement

The Volunteering Section

The Volunteering Section

Volunteering is simple. It is about choosing to give time to help people, the community or society, the environment, or animals. The Volunteering section of a DofE programme is often the most rewarding, uplifting, and memorable part of a young person’s DofE adventure. For the volunteering activity students will need to choose to give time to do something useful without getting paid (apart from expenses). It can, however, sometimes be hard to find a suitable volunteering opportunity for those under the age of 16.

Here is a collection of ideas and opportunities that participants might like to think about for their Volunteering section.

Programme Ideas – volunteering

Volunteering ideas for under 16s

The Physical Section

For the physical activity students need to choose any sport, dance, or fitness activity – in short, anything that requires a sustained level of energy and physical activity. For example, playing a sport regularly and showing personal improvement would count, such as a school club, gym sessions or out of school sports club. It is not only excellent for students own personal health but also a good training regime for the expedition.

Here is a collection of ideas and opportunities that participants might like to think about for the Physical section.

Programme Ideas – Physical

The Skills Section

For the skills activity students need to choose an activity that will allow them to prove they have broadened their understanding and increased their expertise in their chosen skill. It should not be a physical activity, for example horse riding, as this counts towards the Physical section, however, students could choose to learn about caring for horses.

Here is a collection of ideas and opportunities that participants might like to think about for their Skills section. Programme Planner – Skills

The Expedition

This is often the section that the students are most looking forward to! For the Expedition section, students will need to plan, train for, and complete an unaccompanied, self-reliant expedition with an agreed aim. Students must do the correct training for their level and mode of travel (walking), a practice expedition (Silver only), a qualifying expedition (the one that is assessed) and a final presentation (Silver only) to complete the section.

The expedition must be completed by the students own physical efforts with minimal external intervention and without motorised assistance.

Students must adhere to the expedition requirements as set out by the DofE organisation and to the Saddleworth School Code of Conduct.

All our Expeditions take place in the Peak District National Park.

The official DofE Kit list can be found here, which lists all the personal kit that is required to take part in a DofE Award expedition. There is a discount available at several outdoors shops when using a student DofE Card. This card is included in the students’ welcome pack when signing up with DofE.

Training for and supervision of the expeditions are done on behalf of Saddleworth School by Karos Adventure an Approved Activity Provider (AAP). Pastoral care of the participants on the campsite is provided by volunteer staff from Saddleworth School. All our staff should be always treated with respect. Group kit (Tent, Trangia stove, group first aid kit, maps) are provided by Karos Adventure. The Karos website has several factsheets and training videos accessible through this link Karos Adventure Factsheets & Videos

Logging Evidence

Once participants are registered on to an award, an edofe account will be created for them. This is where every aspect of their award is monitored by their DofE Leader. Once a participant has decided what they are doing for each section, they fill in the detail in the relevant section of their edofe account. This is then submitted to their leader who checks that it meets DofE criteria and then will either approve or query it. Once approved the participant can then start the section activity. Evidence of taking part in section activities is regularly uploaded by the participant and checked/approved by their leader. eDofE Support

Assessor Reports

Once a section has been completed the participant will need to ask their section assessor to complete an assessor report. This is done through the DofE website at Assessor’s Report portal.

Each participant has a unique participant ID number. The assessor types in the ID number, chooses the level and the section they are assessing. The detail for that section should then appear. The assessor must then fill in their personal detail (name, job title/position, email address) and then answer the questions in the text boxes. Once everything is complete press the submit button and the report is sent to the DofE Manager at Saddleworth School for checking and approval of the section.

How to submit an Assessor’s Report via the Assessor’s Report portal

Writing Assessor Reports – Volunteering

Writing Assessor Reports – Physical

Writing Assessor Reports – Skills

Expedition Code of Conduct

Students and parents are required to indicate their acceptance of the conditions below by signing a copy of this code.  Refusal to sign will result in the offer of a place on our expeditions being withdrawn. Failure to adhere to any part of this code of conduct will result in removal from the expedition.

  1. Students are expected to always conduct themselves in a considerate and courteous manner and to behave responsibly.  School rules regarding behaviour and conduct apply as you are representing both the school and Duke of Edinburgh Award.
  2. Expedition leaders will be respected at all times. Any disrespect shown by students or parents to Saddleworth School staff Leaders or Karos Adventure Leaders may result in your place on the expedition being withdrawn without refund.
  3. During in-school training days students will confine themselves to those areas designated by supervising staff.
  4. Students must carry out all instructions given to them by all staff, in particular relating to their own health and safety and that of other team members.
  5. Tents and campsite facilities should be kept tidy and due respect paid to the owners and residents/visitors to the campsites.  Individuals will be charged for any damage caused due to misuse or inappropriate behaviour.  Accidents should be reported at the earliest opportunity.
  6. Male and female students will not be allowed to share a tent under any circumstances.
  7. Students will respect the privacy of others by not entering tents that they are not occupants of at any time. 
  8. Male and female students are not to enter the opposite sex tents or campsite facilities in any circumstances.
  9. Students should be in their tents and quiet between 10pm and 6am (campsite quiet hours unless otherwise directed by Saddleworth Staff Leaders).
  10. No electrical items are to be taken on DofE except for cameras and watches.  Anyone found with any electrical items will have them confiscated and may be deferred. Saddleworth School staff or Karos Adventure Leaders will not be responsible for damage to confiscated items.
  11. Students will use mobile phones only to contact supervising staff (call or text) for safety or emergency purposes (for example, for calling 999).  Students will hand their mobile phones to a Saddleworth School Staff Leader for safe keeping whilst on the campsite (phones will returned to students before they set off in the morning).
  12. Contacting / texting parents or others is not permitted, including the use of social media.  Allocated phones (those not expected to be used by supervising staff for contact), should be switched off to save battery.  Students will have phones confiscated until they are collected by a parent at the end of the expedition and may be deferred if they are found to have breached these rules regarding mobile phone use. Parents can be contacted to arrange pick up details towards the end of the expedition if directed by a Saddleworth School staff leader.
  13. Students will familiarise themselves with the agreed emergency procedures and implement these when necessary.
  14. Students may not purchase or consume alcohol, energy drinks, tobacco or vapes.  Any attempt to smuggle such items into rucksacks will result in the student being deferred and collected by parents. 
  15. Students must not wear inappropriate clothing during the expedition irrelevant of weather conditions (no jeans, strappy tops, revealing shorts or cropped tops).