About the Duke of Edinburgh's Gold Award

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) develops young people for life and work.  It helps you to fulfil your potential and have a brighter future.  For many young people, the impact can be life-changing.

At Birkenhead Sixth Form College, we offer a programme tailored towards achieving your Gold Award.  Gold candidates are aged 16+.

At Gold level, each DofE candidate has five sections to work towards, and there are hundreds of activities you can choose for each of the sections:

  • Volunteering: From helping at a kids’ club or running an awareness campaign to raising money for a charity or working on a recycling project - you can get out and help others.  The College can help you arrange a volunteering placement. Speak with the Student Engagement Officer to find out more.

  • Physical: From football to yoga, swimming to skateboarding, participants take part in a sport, dance or fitness activity, showing improvement over time.  College has a multigym which all students are welcome to sign up to use. Speak with the multigym supervisors to arrange a fitness improvement plan.

  • Skills: Participants learn a new skill or develop existing talents.  With choices from DJing and science to drama and zoology, the sky’s the limit!  Why not look at the clubs and societies you can sign up to at the College?

  • Expedition: At regular Thursday sessions, we thoroughly prepare for expeditions which we take in July and August.  These are adventures through Snowdonia National Park, North Wales, helping you develop initiative, practical and personal skills outside of the classroom. These preparations and training activities are the main focus of your DofE meetings after College on Thursdays.

  • Residential: Candidates arrange to take part in a shared activity away from home, with people they don’t know.  Great examples include: Tall Ships voyages, cookery courses, assisting in delivering a Scouting/Guiding camp away from home - there are hundreds of possibilities.

What am I signing up to?

You’re signing up to attend regular Thursday sessions for around an hour after College.  These are usually from 4.20pm and will usually finish by 5.20pm.  During these sessions you will get all of the theoretical and practical training needed including map and compass work, working with tents and cooking skills.  We also advise you on activities you could try for your other sections which you will complete independently.

You’re also signing up to take part in two expeditions in the Snowdonia region of North Wales.


What will it cost?

There are two main costs:

  • eDofE: £30

eDofE is your registration fee, paid to register you as a Gold candidate.  This gets you an online profile used to record your progress in each of the sections.  If you want to do DofE, you have to have the eDofE.

  • Expeditions: £300

The fee for going on two expeditions. This covers all campsite fees, transport and staffing.  Each expedition is five days / four nights in the Snowdonia area of North Wales.  To complete the expedition section, it is essential that you complete both expeditions.  So book these off work and/or let people at home know the dates for holiday planning!


Expedition Dates:

Practice Expedition: Friday 3rd July - Tuesday 7th July 2020

Final Expedition: Tuesday 25th August - Saturday 29th August 2020


How long does it take?

A Gold Award takes a minimum of:

12 months (if you have completed Silver Award level)

18 months (if you have not completed Silver Award level)

Each individual section has a timescale which must be met, assuming you start all of your longer sections together. These are the shortest possible completion times.


Why should I do DofE?

When you do DofE, you’ll develop the skills and attitudes you need to help develop as rounded, confident adults.  These are qualities that universities and employers are attracted to.

Some of the qualities you will develop include:

  • Self-belief and self-confidence

  • A sense of identity and responsibility

  • Initiative

  • A real awareness of your strengths

  • New talents and abilities

  • The ability to plan and use time effectively

  • The ability to learn from and give to others in the community

  • New friendships

  • Problem solving, presentation and communication skills

  • Leadership and team-working skills


Are there any other costs?

Yes, you will need to make sure you have all of the appropriate kit for completing the expeditions.  However, the DofE at the College has a store of kit you are able to borrow including:

  • Rucksacks

  • Tents

  • Cooking equipment

  • Sleeping bags

  • Sleeping mats

  • Waterproof jackets and trousers

  • Walking boots

You will also need to provide your own food to eat on the expeditions, but don’t worry, you’ll receive full training in the types of foods to bring.


I want to sign up!

There is a volunteers fair held at College during your first month which will be the perfect chance to sign up, or drop in to see the Student Engagement Officer any time.

To secure your place, you will be given details on how to pay your non-refundable deposit/eDofE fee at your first meeting.


I want to speak to someone to find out more!

Ok then! Paul Moore is the DofE Lead for the College. You’ll find him in the IT and Computer Science Department on the F Corridor or email at pmo@bsfc.ac.uk