The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme is a nationally recognised scheme and is the single most sought after non-academic qualification with UK employers. It consists of three levels: Bronze, Silver and Gold and within each level there are four component parts: Skill, Service, Physical recreation and Expeditions. At Gold there is a fifth section, Residential. 

Each year approximately 225 boys sign up for the Duke of Edinburgh's Award at Abingdon School. The school run all their expeditions in house using teachers as supervisors to give the boys the extra support and mentoring that adds value to the experience. By completing the Duke of Edinburgh's Award boys demonstrate their team work, commitment and organisational skills; and as a package it gives them the life experiences that develop them into well rounded young men.

Bronze Award

There are four Sections in the Award: Service, Physical, Skills and Expedition. Participants will need to show commitment and determination to organise their activities, and will need to do two of the first three Sections for at least three months and one for at least six months. However, with the wealth of Other Half activities on offer it is usually possible to complete these requirements in school.

For the Expedition section, initial training takes place in the fourth year during the Lent term. Planning sessions and the expeditions themselves follow in the Lent and Summer terms. It is vital that participants attend all these commitments, which are advertised well in advance. The skills covered on expeditions will be learned in real situations and should remain of use throughout life. Boys may also complete their expedition phase by canoe or by sailing. Numbers for this activity are limited.

The Bronze level of the award usually takes about a year, but is not time-bound and can extend for longer if needed.

Silver and Gold Awards​

The Silver and Gold levels of the award allow participants to build on the skills and abilities they have gained from the Bronze level and apply them in more challenging situations. At Gold the assessed expeditions are normally run in remote areas of the Scottish Highlands.

At Gold we offer boys three methods to complete their expedition: walking, canoeing or sailing. Numbers for latter two activities are limited.

As for the Bronze level participants will also need to commit to a skill, physical, volunteering and expedition sections but are involved for a greater period of time. They also will need to complete a residential section where they will take part in a worthy activity for 5 days and 4 nights with other young people they have never met before.


  • Saturday 24 March 8:50 - 12:00 (Training Morning)
  • Monday 7 May - Tuesday 8 May (Practice Expedition)
  • Saturday 19 May 9:00 - 12:00 (Route Planning)
  • Tuesday 17 June - Monday 18 June (Assessed Expedition)


  • Saturday 9 September 9:00 - 12:00 (Route Planning)
  • Friday 15 September - Monday 18 September (Practice Expedition)
  • Saturday 24 February 9:00 - 12:00 (Route Planning)
  • Sunday 24 June - Wednesday 27 June (Assessed Expedition)


  • Saturday 24 February 9:00 - 12:00 (Route Planning)
  • Friday 20 April - Monday 23 April (Practice Expedition)
  • Saturday 19 May 9:00 - 12:00 (Route Planning)
  • Sunday 1 July - Thursday 5 July (Assessed Expedition)

Further information

For further information please look at the DofE web site. See Canoeing or Sailing (Sports) for details of Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Canoeing  and Sailing expeditions. Or contact MGD.

  • Where: 1st Year to PGL Liddington Centre, 2nd Year to Brecon Beacons
  • When: Easter Holidays
  • Who: Lower School
  • i/c: AJJ

The aim of the first year trip is to allow the boys the opportunity to experience a wide range of outdoor activities and team building exercises within a purpose-built centre. The activities include abseiling, archery, climbing, a high ropes course and quad-biking.

The second year trip provides the opportunity to take things a stage further and includes similar activities to the first year trip, plus canoeing, gorge-walking and hill-walking – all in their natural environment within the Brecon Beacons. Both trips are residential and are organised with fully-qualified instruction.

The school has a strong tradition of embarking on challenging and adventurous trips and expeditions to various parts of the globe. They are for anyone interested in trekking and experiencing new cultures and climates. Trips have included: 10 day expeditions to Egypt and Morocco, 3 to 4 week expeditions to Peru and the Himalayas, Vietnam and Turkey and an 8 day ascent of Kilimanjaro as well as dog sledging and cross-country skiing in the Arctic. The most recent trip was to Finland, a winter multi-activity expedition which included: wilderness snowshoeing, ice climbing, building quinzees and husky dog rides. The trips are designed to be challenging, both mentally and physically, with boys taking responsibility for much of the organisation themselves (both before and during the trip). It is hoped the boys will develop their leadership skills and ability to work as a team during the expeditions. With many trips boys are asked to raise a substantial portion of the cost of the trip themselves.

Future trips:

Madagascar, Biology Field Trip, 2018

Study the jungle and coral reef ecology of the African Island of Madagascar in July 2018. This trip will be for 5th Years to Upper Sixth boys.

This field trip will be split into two sections and run with Operation Wallacea. One week will be spent in the jungle working with research scientists to study jungle species and record ecology data. The second week will be spent learning about coral reef ecology and studying the species that make up the coral reef while scuba diving. This field trip will be launched in December 2016. To express an interest contact Mr Dempsey.