Pupils take up the Duke of Edinburgh scheme and work toward their Silver Award in Year 10, progressing to Gold in Years 11 and 12. The DofE award is widely recognised by employers and universities as a valuable co-curricular qualification that builds confidence and personal development.

Pupils hone important life skills of service and leadership. They develop an understanding of teamwork, dedication and organisation. And they learn much about themselves and their connection to others along the way.

The Award improves not only pupils’ future prospects, but also their personal development in the shorter term. The teamwork, dedication, leadership and organisation gained are of enormous benefit. These are skills that set them up for future success.

A Golden era.

The Duke of Edinburgh programme at Epsom was reformed in September 2016 by the new Head of DofE, Mr Dan Reeve. A record 52 Year 10 students completed the Silver award over the first year, and over 30 Lower Sixth students signed up for the prestigious challenge of the Gold award.

Fifteen of these students have now completed their award, with others close behind them, which is a remarkable achievement.

Eight students were invited to receive their Gold award at a garden party at Buckingham Palace this summer, hosted by the Duke of York, the Earl of Wessex and the Countess of Wessex.

Many more of the Gold award holders are expected to attend similar events over the coming months.

Now at the end of its second year, the programme continues its success with another 54 students forging their way through the Silver award. 40 more Sixth Formers are working through the challenges of the Gold award, having completed expeditions in the Peak District, South Downs and Lake District. Many of these participants will be eligible for completion during the coming term.

Residentials.

One aspect of the award that is unique to the Gold level, is the residential. Students are required to arrange a five-day activity away from the College, to experience a new activity, develop an existing skill, or contribute to charity work. Over the last two years, our Gold award participants have undertaken an incredible range of residential courses, including:

• Lambing in Wales
• Panda conservation in China
• A cookery course in Hampshire
• Building houses in Malaysia
• A rugby tour to France
• A languages course in Spain
• A football tour to Portugal.

Future developments.

The coming year looks set to once again attract record numbers of participants at both Silver and Gold levels. The programme will continue to evolve to support our participants through the process, while carefully maintaining the spirit of the DofE award.

The College aims to develop its provision, ensuring that participants make a valuable impact in the community. This is achieved through the hundreds of hours of voluntary work they contribute and the skills learnt along the way.

Duke of Edinburgh sits alongside sport, performing arts and the CCF as a key aspect of the College’s Total Curriculum.

Most of all, the Award is a valuable opportunity for our students to earn a widely-respected qualification while having fun and making treasured memories along the way.