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Duke of Edinburgh

We have been running the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award here at Blackpool Sixth since 1980 so we have a wealth of experience at our disposal. The Award offers one of those life experiences that is both rewarding and character building. We are very proud of our successes and even more proud of the students themselves.

Our ex-Golds include a brain surgeon, pilots, services personnel, teachers, physios, entrepreneurs, doctors and nurses. Most students who achieve the Gold award, list it as one of their proudest moments. Completing the Gold award is the pinnacle of the scheme and provides evidence about the qualities of the individual that is highly valued by employers and Higher Education.

All students who participate with us normally embark straight into the Gold Award. Students who have never before done DofE, are entered as ‘Direct Gold’ whereas those who have already achieved their Silver award will be entered as standard Gold. The only difference is that ‘Direct Gold’ participants need to do an extra six months on one of their sections.

How long does it take?

If you have passed your Silver award, the minimum time it takes to do Gold is 12 months, but if you are starting Gold direct then the minimum is 18 months. Of course, not everyone does it in this time scale as you have until you are 25 to complete the award. In practice it is best to try and get it done whilst you are here at college.

But what exactly is it?

There are 5 sections to the award at Gold level. These are: Physical, Volunteering, Skill, Expedition and Residential.

But what do I have to actually do?

We will meet every week (normally Tuesdays after college) for about an hour. These sessions are primarily there to help train you for the expedition, but we also help you start on the other sections as well.

What’s involved in the Expedition Section?

For Gold you have to complete a 4-day trek of approximately 80km or more in a group of about 5 or 6. We normally do our expeditions at the end of the lower sixth year and with travelling this normally takes up 7 days in total.

That sounds hard and I am not used to that sort of thing.

Don’t worry, the College provides a full training programme to get you proficient and fit.

How much time do I have to give up to train for the expedition?

There’s quite a lot. For a start there are Tuesday sessions each week, then there are weekends; a minimum of three mandatory practice weekends are needed and, of course, the expedition itself.