The Duke of Edinburgh's Award (DofE) is a programme of activities that leads to you getting an internationally recognised award. The programme is designed around you as an individual, and is open to all 14-24 yr olds. It operates at three levels: Bronze, Silver and Gold.

Most students at Norton enrol on their Gold Award. While doing Bronze and Silver first is good preparation, as long as you are over 16 then it is possible to go straight in at Gold level. The main difference between the levels is the amount of time (and commitment) it takes. A typical Bronze programme can be completed in 6 months, Silver in 12 months, and Gold in 18 months. Of course, some people take longer than that to do everything!

Each award has four different sections:-
Volunteering: undertaking service to individuals or the community.
Physical: improving in an area of sport, dance or fitness activities.
Skill: developing practical and social skills and personal interests.
Expedition: planning, training for and completion of an adventurous journey.

At Gold level there is a fifth section:-
Residential: staying and working away from home doing a shared activity as part of a team.

Bronze Award

For the Bronze Award, you have to choose an activity for Volunteering, Skill and Physical, and participate in two of them for 3 months and the other one for 6 months. You also have to undertake a 2 day, 1 night expedition as part of a group, which would be in area similar to the countryside around Bakewell.

Silver Award

For participants starting at Silver level, you need to participate in activities in one of the sections for 3 months, one for 6 months and one for 12 months. The expedition is 3 days, 2 nights and would usually be done in an area similar to Castleton.

Gold Award

For those starting at Gold level, you need to participate in an activity in one of the sections for 6 months, one for 12 months and one for 18 months. The expedition is 4 days, 3 nights and has be in an area deemed as "Wild Country". We usually go up to the Highlands of Scotland for this. The Residential needs to be for a minimum of 5 days & 4 nights.