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Duke of Edinburgh International Award

Duke of Edinburgh International Award

The Duke of Edinburgh International Award (often shortened to the DofE) is an award that recognises and celebrates participants developing their independence, pursuing personal interests and being dedicated towards helping others. It aligns very closely with Service as Action, which is a key part of the IB syllabus and life at ISB.

The award started in 1956 in the UK, based on the work of outdoorsmen and educationalists Kurt Hahn and John Hunt and under the stewardship of the former Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip. Since then it has spread to 129 countries and millions of young people around the globe.

ISB offers the Duke of Edinburgh International Award to all students in grade 9. There are 3 levels of award and due to age restrictions. At ISB, we offer the first level, called the Bronze Award. If students go on to other educational institutions that offer the DofE, they are able to continue their journey with silver and gold.

The award has four sections that participants work to complete over a period of time.

The three main sections are:

For each of these sections, the participants choose an activity, goal and find an ‘assessor’ who they can ask for advice and confirm whether they have met their goal. They log their progress each week on an app called Online Record Book (ORB) as diary entries, with photos, videos and text.

Two of the sections last 3 months. The other is 6 months. Participants are able to choose which they would like to focus on for longer.

The fourth section is the adventurous journey and involves taking part in a self-directed and semi-supervised expedition. They do this in groups and receive the required training beforehand so this is an enjoyable and safe experience.

The adventurous journey has a practice journey and a main journey, both of which happen between the end of spring and summer. There is a cost for staffing these trips, but we try to limit this cost as much as possible.

The DofE team at ISB are: Jon Capp-Isaksen as coordinator, Jennifer Oelz and Mark Basso as level 2 leaders and Laura Williams and Joe Newton as level 1 leaders. 

The registration fee for the award is the equivalent of £50. This lasts until the participant is 25, so if they are unable to complete within grade 9, they can use some of grade 10 to complete. 

It has proven to be a very popular part of grade 9 life at ISB and we have seen massive growth in the resilience, organisation, independence and capability of students who take part.

More information can be found at :