Duke of Edinburgh
Duke of Edinburgh

At Abbey Gate College pupils taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award are introduced to the Bronze Award in Year 9 culminating in the highly prestigious Gold Award in the summer of the Lower Sixth for Sixth Form pupils.

When committing to the award, pupils can expect:

  • Qualified Mountain Leaders prepare pupils for their forthcoming expeditions supported by college staff at all levels.
  • The College provide all equipment in regards to tents, rucksacks, trangia stoves and training using Memory Map in route card design for all expeditions.
  • The Award adventure starts by logging onto e-DofE, a web based log book where all of their experiences are recorded.
  • The Award allows pupils the opportunity to upload all their activities and information once an enrollment form is returned.

In 2016, 44 pupils Year 9 completed the Expedition phase of the Bronze Award; 27 pupils in Year 10 also successfully navigated and completed Expeditions for the Silver Award. 13 Lower Sixth students also completed their Gold Expedition successfully. Also in 2016, The College celebrated the Diamond Anniversary of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award with a visit for Centre Manger Mr Chris Cutler and Headmistress Mrs Pollard to collect a commemorative plaque in the grounds of Buckingham Palace. Read more about this here.


The benefits of completing the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award

  • You’ll enjoy many new experiences, discover talents you never thought you had, challenge yourself and meet a lot of people just like you. Plus you’ll do things you love and get a kick out of. It’s a real buzz!
  • Achieving an Award will give you skills, confidence and a view on life that everyone is looking for, from employers to colleges and universities.
  • You will be getting recognised for doing things you want to do (and may even be doing already).
  • You make a difference to other people’s lives and your community, you will be fitter and healthier, make new friends and have memories to last you a lifetime.
  • Young people do their Duke of Edinburgh to have fun, and that the support offered by Leaders and friends keeps them engaged.


Awards and Levels of Participation

  • Bronze Level (Year 9 or for those aged 14 and over)

A full day of training in school with Mountain Leaders with an overnight camp in the grounds of the college with a day’s walk in Delamere Forest to develop the all-important navigational skills. Route card sessions follow for both Practice and Assessed Expeditions. The Practice Expedition in North Wales is then undertaken in the early summer with the Assessed in mid June.

  • Silver Level (Year 10 or for those aged 15 and over)

In Year 10 pupils have the opportunity to progress to the Silver Award after a further day of training in the Berwyns in North Wales plus route card planning to prepare for the Practice Expedition in Llangollen and Glyn Ceiriog. Successful pupils are then put forward for the Assessed Expedition on a north-westerly route from Moel Famau to Prestatyn.

  • Gold Level (Lower Sixth or for those aged 16 and over)

In Lower and Upper Sixth students have the opportunity to progress to the Gold Award, with the Practise Expedition and training over five days in Snowdonia to fine tune skills for the Assessed Expedition in the Brecon Beacons.


Being given the honour of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award includes much more than the practical side. Pupils will also be expected to fulfil the following criteria:

  • Service (proven to have helped other people in the local community)
  • Expeditions (training for, planning and completing a journey on foot, horseback, boat or cycle)
  • Skills (covering almost any hobby, skill or interest)
  • Physical Recreation (sport, dance and fitness)
  • Residential Project (Gold Award only) (a purposeful enterprise with people not previously known to the participant)

Numerous opportunities are available in school in the Volunteering section to assist with clubs and activities as well as part of extra-curricular events to complete the Skills and Physical Recreation Sections of the Award.

Being part of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award process is not just about gaining the award itself but rather provides skills and experiences that many pupils benefit from in the longterm future such as:

90% of young people said doing their Duke of Edinburgh has given them opportunities to help others.
82% noted their Duke of Edinburgh has made them want to continue with volunteering/voluntary activities.
62% feel that doing their Duke of Edinburgh has helped them make a positive difference to their local community.
74% of young people said they developed self-esteem.
64% feel that as a result of Duke of Edinburgh they are better at sport or physical activity.
74% of young people said it allowed them to try activities they would never have tried before.
71% of young people identified improved self-belief.