Student Success in Duke of Edinburgh’s Award

Written by: Tracey Cooney & David van Wyk, DoE Co-coordinators, Century Park Campus

The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award is the world’s leading youth achievement award, equipping young people for life. Over the past 60 years, the Award has transformed the lives of millions of young people in more than 140 countries and territories worldwide.

The Award is available to all young people aged 14 to 24. It is voluntary, noncompetitive, enjoyable and balanced, and requires sustained effort over time. The Award encourages young people to design their own programme of activities, set their own goals and challenge themselves to achieve their aims.

Each level of the Award (Bronze, Silver and Gold) has four sections:

  • Service: Participants volunteer in their communities, make a positive contribution to society and demonstrate social responsibility.
  • Physical Recreation: Encourages participants to improve their fitness and performance, and enjoy healthy lifestyles for good mental and physical wellbeing.
  • Skills: Enables participants to develop their talents, broaden their abilities, increase their self-confidence and improve their employability.
  • Adventurous Journey: Participants discover a spirit of adventure and gain a deeper understanding of the environment and the great outdoors.

The recent award winners chose a range of activities to complete their Skill, Physical and Service sections that show a great commitment over 3 -12 months, depending on their Award level. We had students pursuing Show Jumping, Cycling, Environmental Awareness Committee and Drama and Theatre Skills, just to name a few.

Last year the Bronze students completed a 2-day hike at the Beijing Knot section of the Great Wall, and braved the rain in the Yellow Mountains (Huangshan). The Silver students spent their 3-day, 2-night journeys hiking in the hills of Hangzhou and Moganshan. These experiences give students the opportunity to experience cooking on stoves, camping in tents and navigating their way around the various trails traversing the mountains.

For more information on the Award please contact David van Wyk or Tracey Cooney, or visit