Supervision and Assessment

Expeditions are serious undertakings and involve a good deal of planning by staff and groups during training and preparation in the months, weeks and days before an expedition. This page explains how our expeditions are supervised and how groups are assessed to determine whether they pass.

Reigate Grammar School runs one of the largest, longest running, safest and most successful DofE school units.  DofE at Reigate Grammar School is rated as exceptional in DofE licence reviews.  We train groups to a high standard to ensure that everyone is safe on our expeditions.

Bronze and Silver expeditions are operated by school. For Gold, we now work with our excellent trusted partners Expeditions Wales who deliver high quality training and always comment on how well prepared our groups are, having experienced Bronze and Silver at RGS. RGS staff support the delivery of Gold expeditions.

Here are some details about how our expeditions operate and some important rules and expectations required to pass your RGS DofE expeditions. 

Groups must be planned, prepared and fit and ready to go on their expedition.

Expeditions: the small print…

Expeditions are not simply one-off school trips. They are part of the DofE programme and must be completed as stated in the DofE conditions to pass the expedition section.

Expeditions are a testing challenge to be completed to earn the award.

To pass expeditions, participants must start and finish the entire expedition to satisfy DofE conditions.

If participants do not finish an expedition then they will not pass that expedition and will need to attend another expedition to complete it. These are strict DofE rules.

Depending on the reasons for not completing the expedition, participants will usually be offered a place on another expedition date for qualifying. At Gold level, this is at the discretion of Expeditions Wales, our approved activity provider. At Bronze and Silver level this is at the discretion of RGS DofE.

RGS participants must be fit and able to carry their own equipment on expeditions. This is to ensure expeditions operate safely and satisfy DofE conditions. If expeditions prove too demanding for an individual and they pull out before the end, then they will not pass that expedition and will need to complete another expedition at a date offered by school or Expeditions Wales (Gold).

If injuries or illness mean you are not able to carry your own kit then you are not in a condition to start the expedition and will compromise the safety of the expedition for you and everyone else. Transporting of kit for ill or injured participants is not provided unless you contact school well before the expedition to apply for special consideration to lighten the load. Medical evidence is usually required.

Please get in touch with staff as soon as possible if you are ill or injured before an expedition.

Please contact DofE staff at school if you are unsure about anything on this page.  Participants are made aware of the importance of these rules and expectations throughout their expedition preparation and training.

Safety is the top priority and the rules and expectations outlined here have been developed over years operating countless expeditions to achieve the safest and most successful outcome for everyone involved in RGS expeditions.

Before you go…

Please remember, DofE expeditions are not just stand-alone school trips. They are part of their DofE programme. To pass DofE expeditions RGS participants need to …

1. Attend planning meets and complete plans by deadlines.

2. Complete the entire expedition… late drop offs or early pick ups are not allowed.

3. Pass two expeditions, the practice and qualifying.

3. Complete any previous awards… RGS DofE students must earn their Bronze Award to continue with Silver and must pass Silver to continue with Gold.

4. Carry their own equipment. Participants must be fit enough to carry their own kit to operate independently and safely. The transport of kit between camps is not provided for injured or ill participants. Participants who are injured or ill should do the expedition when they have recovered and are sufficiently fit and well to carry the essential kit. This rule is for the safety of everyone involved and is one of our conditions for starting a safe expedition. If participants are unable to carry their own kit due to illness or injury then please contact staff as soon as possible to discuss options.

Supervision and Assessment

Groups are trained and supervised by staff throughout the expeditions, from start to finish. Groups are met by staff before the expedition in the planning stages. Staff work closely with groups during the expedition, meeting them at check points, hiking out to remotely supervise or assess them, sometimes unobserved. Staff check their progress, monitor how they are getting on and look after their group to help them to complete expeditions successfully.

If groups are struggling with aspects of their expedition then they will be helped to improve. It is important that groups listen and act on any guidance or instructions given by supervisors and assessors.

Staff camp with or near groups overnight (depending on award level).  By the end staff have a comprehensive picture of how groups have progressed.

We expect there to be errors and problems such as getting lost or other mistakes and these controlled mishaps are important for groups to learn from.  Most groups who plan properly and are fit and prepared for their expedition readily rise to the challenge and enjoy the challenge!

What happens if a group does not pass an expedition?

Sometimes groups or individuals do not pass an expedition. This might be because they did not pass the required standard or because they did not finish the expedition, perhaps because an illness or injury forced them to quit. This will mean they have to repeat an expedition if they wish to pass the Award.

Usually, staff will make a group aware of any issues during the course of an expedition which mean they are not meeting the requirements to pass. Groups then have time to improve and should make every effort to show they are trying to address issues.

Groups should show they are able to operate safely and independently. This is an important prerequisite to passing an expedition.

Groups are made aware from training of the standards required to pass.

Groups not meeting a number of basic standards can be deferred which means they are asked to repeat an expedition. Failure is extremely rare and reserved for the most severe breaches of school and safety rules.

Repeating an expedition or part of an expedition is a chance to improve on one or more of the aspects and expectations noted above to show they can operate safely and independently within the guidelines and expectations.

Please note that, there may be a cost involved if Approved Activity Providers require an expedition to be repeated.

If you have any questions about how groups are supervised or assessed then please contact DofE staff at school.