Duke of Edinburgh Award


Empowering young people; supporting them as they learn new skills, overcome obstacles, and build confidence and resilience.

Any young person can do their Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) Award – regardless of ability, gender, background or location. Achieving an Award is not a competition, or about being first. It is all about setting personal challenges and pushing personal boundaries.

What is the DofE?

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. A recognised mark of achievement; respected by employers.

The DofE is many things to many people, supporting generations to successfully navigate adult life.

14-24 year-olds can do a DofE programme at one of three progressive levels which, when successfully completed, leads to a Bronze, Silver, or Gold DofE Award. St Mary's does not currently offer the Gold Award.

Through a DofE programme young people have fun, make friends, improve their self-esteem and build confidence. They gain essential skills and attributes for work and life such as resilience, problem-solving, team-working, communication and drive, enhancing CVs and uni and job applications.

Why do the DofE?

For the hundreds of thousands of young people who take part each year, the benefits of achieving a DofE Award at any level are endless. DofE is about helping you along the path to a productive and prosperous future. As many of our participants say, it’s life-changing.

Achieving an Award will give you skills, confidence and an edge over others when you apply for college, university, or a job. Beyond your academic achievements, universities want to see evidence of so called ‘soft skills’ that you have developed through extra-curricular activities, such as communication, commitment, leadership, and teamwork. Your DofE Award is a fantastic way to demonstrate and evidence these skills in practice.

You will also make a difference to other people’s lives and your community, be fitter and healthier, make new friends and have memories to last you a lifetime.

Our participants also tell us that doing their DofE gives them character traits like confidence and resilience, that can boost their mental health and wellbeing and help them face and overcome personal challenges.  

How old do I need to be?

– Bronze – for those aged 14+ years

– Silver – for those aged 15+ years

– Gold – for those aged 16+ years

If you are not 14 yet but are in the school year in which your peer group turn 14, you may be able to start a Bronze DofE programme. The same principle applies for doing the Silver and Gold DofE programme – check with your DofE Manager, Miss A Mullins, who can be found in the Science Department.