Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme

Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme Portadown College offers the Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) to students in Year 13. The DofE is a great chance for students to broaden their horizons, discover new interests and talents, have fun with friends, develop essential skills for their future and achieve an internationally renowned award.

To achieve the Gold Award, participants must complete five sections: Skills, Volunteering, Physical, Residential and an Expedition. The Expedition section is completed through school, but participants must complete and organise the other four sections independently and in their own time. Students may choose to continue an activity they already do, or they can try something completely new. Activities for each section take a minimum of one hour a week over a set period of time stated below.

  • Volunteering section: 12 months
  • Physical and Skills sections: One section for 12 months and the other section for 6 months
  • Residential section: 5 days and 4 nights consecutively.

Direct Gold entrants must undertake a further 6 months in either the Volunteering or the longer of the Physical or Skills sections. Further information and examples of activities for each section can be found on

The Expedition section is the only section that will be completed through school. This involves participants working as part of a small team to plan their expedition and complete training to make sure they’re fully prepared – before embarking on a four day venture. Ahead of this, they will take part in training sessions in school, in which the group will plan their route, prepare and learn about expedition equipment and complete three practice weekends in the Mournes. The qualifying expedition takes place at the end of June and this is sure to be an experience that will make memories to last a lifetime!