The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award has become the most sought after non-academic qualification in the UK by universities and employers. This is not surprising as to gain an award participants have to develop a vast array of skills and attributes which purely academic study does not cover. At The Abbey we have known this for a long time and our ‘DofE Award’ programme is one of the leading examples of the ‘DofE Award’ in the country, both in terms of number of participants and in terms of award completions. The ‘DofE Award’ has become an important part of the culture of the school rather than an ‘add on’ and most staff will be keen to discuss activities and progress with girls.

The ‘DofE Award’ seeks to inspire, guide and support young people in their self-development and recognise their achievements. To achieve an award girls have to take on activities under the following headings: volunteering, skill, physical, expedition and residential. To achieve their award girls will need to show motivation, organisation, commitment, a willingness to try new things, meet new people and overcome challenges. It is therefore no surprise that to complete a ‘DofE Award’ is seen as such a worthwhile achievement. Such is the recognition of achieving a Gold Award that Gold Award holders are presented, often by the Duke of Edinburgh himself, in a ceremony at St James Palace.

The expedition section, which often provides memorable moments and tall tales of adventure from the participants, dovetails into The Abbey’s wider Outdoor Education programme. Our DofE Expedition programme is regarded as one of the best in the country. We often run canoeing and overseas expeditions as well as walking in the UK. Examples of locations used in the past for Abbey DofE Expeditions: New Forest, River Severn, Snowdonia, Morocco.

The Abbey provides opportunities to enrol on the Silver and Gold levels of the programme. Usually over 90% of UV enrol on Silver and approximately 50% of LVI enrol on Gold.

The Abbey is a Directly Licenced Centre, meaning that we have the expertise to licence our own programme of activities under the ‘DofE Award’ heading.