Reigate Grammar School DofE

DofE advice to RGS students during Covid19 lockdown

It is important to try to find ways to make progress towards your DofE Award.  During the lockdown this could be difficult in some sections but there are ways to make progress and log your activities, which might be modified but can still count.  It is more important than ever to add valuable activities to your free time, restricted as it is, and ultimately to improve your cv and UCAS by achieving your award… so here is some advice on what you can do.  As usual, please contact dofe staff for help. 

For those nearly completing Bronze, Silver or Gold, you have an extension to our deadline: try to aim to get everything complete by May half term or just as soon as possible. We will process awards as usual quickly as we can.

For those who started their Bronze, Silver or Gold this academic year, please get your edofe up to date: login to your edofe account and add all the details to your section activity details and submit for approval.

How do you complete activities?

Even if we return to school sometime in the summer term, it is likely that disruption to some of your activities will last for months. Think about which ones will be most likely to be disrupted for a long time. You might have to slightly change the way you approach some of your DofE activities. 

So you have 3 options for your 3 different sections:  

1.       Carry on – You might be able to continue with what you’re doing with only slight modifications which are still in line with your current section aims.  Hopefully, this can be sorted directly with your Assessor without changing what you do or having to request a complete change of activity (see below). For example, continue practicing your music and keep recordings, or do online lessons, or keep fit at home to build strength for the season ahead. This is all certainly do-able IF you keep EVIDENCE as a diary log of activity and agree everything with your assessor…they should certainly be understanding. This approach shouldn’t hinder your ability to complete your Award within the normal timescale. 

For SPORT: The best recommendation for most people would be not to change activity formally on edofe but to continue, your SPORT but during lockdown count running or some other activity as a complimentary training activity to improve your stamina for your primary sport.  Students can provide evidence of running as an interim fitness programme and get back to their primary sport when possible.  This is more straightforward than swapping sports… just include running as a fitness programme. 

For SKILL: as above, try to cary on with your SKILL but adjust what you do so you can accomplish activity at home.  If you do cooking, carry on, if you did chess then go online etc etc.  Don’t change activity if possible. 

For VOLUNTEERING: it’s more tricky but even here you could do some related activity.  If you volunteered for Brownies, you could work on new activities (for their badges?) to bring to the pack when you return.  Video these or make a plan or poster to show off your ideas.  For conservation: start a wildlife garden, research some technical aspects of volunteering to make into a project.  CHECK all these ideas with your assessor to see if they will accept these as EVIDENCE… they should!

2.       Change – If it impossible to carry on then you might consider request to change your activity on eDofE.  However, this can only be done once so you cannot change back again when things get back to normal. As a result please be absolutely sure to choose something you can carry on with and finish e.g. you might also be able to do a new skill or volunteering at home which can then be opened more widely once we are back to normal.  You can change activity once you start the next Award. 

3.       Delay – You can stop an activity completely until you’re ready to begin again. We do not recommend this for all your sections as it makes it difficult to achieve everything, particularly for the longer Gold Awards. There is also no guarantee that activities and opportunities will restart immediately so be careful here.  

Important: you will need to agree any changes to your section with your assessor 

Who can be my assessor?

Parents should not be your assessors.  Assessors can monitor the activity you do through the evidence you provide. Just like your remote teachers, your assessors do not need to personally observe all your activities but simply assess your progress and regular participation through the evidence you provide.

Evidence should include discussion of goals and a diary log of your activity, photos or video clips of your work, certificates, longer text descriptions or a phone call. Assessors can be a suitable adult who can verify your evidence and vouch for your achievement and write a report on your achievement, they do not need to be present at every event.

Whatever you choose to do during lockdown.. please carry on with as much dofe as you can. Keep evidence like a diary log of your activity to show your assessor that you have completed one hour a week minimum of your section activity.  You can then upload all this evidence to eDofE afterwards.  

Here are useful pages with more section ideas during the shutdown 


What about our expeditions?

The Bronze May expeditions are postponed. We will sort things out on return and this will not impact your Award.

The Silver Practice expeditions are being planned for August.  An email has been sent with details. Please ask if you have not received the email.

An email has been sent with regard to GOLD expeditions.  Please ask if you have not received this email. 

For Gold students… your residential might well be delayed or postponed but will still be required to pass your Gold.  If you can, please keep ahead, check bookings and get on courses as soon as they become available.  It is likely they will be booked up quickly and early.

Any questions at all please contact DofE staff who will be happy to help you. 

Mr Collins / Miss Cuthbert 

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Reigate Grammar School has run DofE at Bronze, Silver and Gold levels continuously for over 50 years, one of the longest running and most successful DofE school units in the UK.  Countless thousands of our students have benefitted from the challenge of the Award.

These pages are to help our students and parents navigate a successful Award.

Please use the links ABOVE to see pages designed to help participants.

moving typha down river

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Silver South Downs qualifying expedition October 2016

80 silver dofe students completed their Silver Qualifying expeditions on the South Downs in October half term.  They trekked over 50 km over the hills from Lewes to Arundel, most travelling independently to and from their hike by train.  Rain later on the first day dampened some spirits as groups arrived to a wet camp site in a dark.  Groups navigated efficiently across the countryside and achieved good quality camp craft despite the rain.  Well done teams!



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Bronze expeditions October 2016

Bronze qualifying expeditions October 2016: students completed canoe and hiking qualifying expeditions in ideal mostly dry cool weather.  Most groups did very well, some outstanding and the vast majority passed.  Others need more practice with campcraft skills, in particular the efficiency and pace with which they pitch tents after arriving at sites, regardless of the time.  This is an essential skill to pass.

The fifth form had a good day at Tilgate doing team building activities and were praised for their excellent attitude.

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Gold qualifying expeditions August 2016

  • Location: Mid-Wales
  • Time: 13-17 August
  • Groups: 6
  • Transport: coach, minibus, foot
  • Weather: dry throughout, warm at the end
  • Total distance: 50 miles
  • Max elevation: 752m

6 groups completed their Gold dofe qualifying expedition in Mid Wales in mid august in outstanding dry sunny weather.  Staff agreed that they were a delight to organise and supervise and we were really pleased with how they performed and especially with their cheerful and spirited approach to the whole venture.  What a pleasure, thanks all.

Your assessors, John and Peter, were also happy with your technical performance and attitude and were delighted to pass all of you for whom this counted as qualifying.  Don’t forget to complete the rest of your dofe now that you have done so well in the expedition section.  You completed a verbal presentation at debrief so there is no need to do a write-up.


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Night Hike November 2015

40 L6 Gold participants completed a navigation exercise on Leith Hill on Friday night.  The six groups set off confidently, navigating to 8 check points in the forest where they removed markers to show they had completed each location.  They were especially efficient and successful groups and, from this snapshot activity, things bode well for the Gold expeditions next year.  Well done all!

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Silver qualifying expedition October 2015 South Downs

85 5th year students trekked off in 14 groups across the South Downs, catching the train to Lewes, hiking for 3 days and then getting the train out from Arundel.  For the most part this route is not navigationally challenging but the hike presented groups with plenty of hills and some long distances on breezy ridges, and hopefully gave some a taste of why people like to hike even when not earning an award for it!  Weather was dry but chilly in the northerly wind especially if groups stopped in exposed places.  Every group performed well, supporting each other and working increasingly independently as the hike progressed.  Staff think this year group has been a special pleasure to work with, always polite and positive and spirited despite the challenges.  Well done all.

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Silver activities day 9 October 2015

85 Silver dofe students enjoyed a multi-activity day at Tilgate Park, Crawley for a team building challenge to hone up their skills of independence prior to the expedition next week.  They enjoyed a day of canoeing, raft building, mountain biking and orienteering.  Many thanks to Dynamic Adventures for running another successful day and to the supervising staff.