Reigate Grammar School DofE


The “Residential” activity only applies to the GOLD award.  Finding and choosing the best residential suitable for YOU can be tricky.  There are some DofE “rules” which must be followed to pass this section so please read on carefully before booking anything. Also please download the files below to help: Does my residential count?

The most important “rule” is that you must stay away from home for 5 days, 4 nights, joining a group of people you don’t know, pushing yourself into something unfamiliar, learning something, doing something or helping people that makes it a new exciting and valuable experience.

For your Residential section you need to undertake a shared activity or specific course with people you don’t know, in a residential setting away from home and in an unfamiliar environment.  Evenings are often as much a part of the experience as daytime activities.

(from DofE residential rules)

Remember, to start any Gold activity you must be over 16 years of age, so residentials won’t count until you are over 16.

TOP TIP: make sure you tell the company / provider that you are doing your Gold DofE residential before you book. Ask them who will assess you. Also do remember to take away a written assessors comment on your participation at the end … (either uploaded to edofe or a a written paper report is fine).  A certificate of attendance is not enough to pass Gold residential.. you must get a proper signed written assessor comment.

Residentials can be rewarding and, if you choose carefully, they can be life enhancing activities which compliment your future. Gold residential is a great opportunity.

However, choosing one can be a problem for some: let’s start with some examples of things that do NOT count:

  • work experience placements do not count

  • going with a group of mates on any activity does NOT count.

  • going on a straight “holiday” or fieldtrip does NOT count

  • an activity where you stay in a hotel on your own or with a small group of less than 5 does not count

  • daytime activities only with no formal evening activities provided 

  • an activity which you are undertaking on your own or in a group of less than 5

  • staying with a family does NOT count

  • staying in a small group (<5), for example, on a language exchange does NOT count

  • any school trip or work experience does NOT count e.g school fieldtrip or expedition, any work experience placement (by nature these usually involve you being on your own and do not count)

  • any trip where you know some or most people does NOT count e.g a school fieldtrip, sports tour, church trip…

Whilst many of the above type of activities might be superb opportunities and an excellent rewarding experience they will NOT be passed by central dofe as counting for GOLD RESIDENTIAL so don’t risk it and please find something else to do before you pay up or commit yourself.

PLEASE check the information below or with RGS staff to MAKE SURE you pay for the correct activity that will count as a gold residential. Unfortunately you may find that you have to be over 18 to take part in some activities (but not the ones listed below).  Also, the CHEAPER activities and the more LOCAL ones, e.g. Sayers Croft, can get booked up quickly so ACT NOW!

Choose NOW and book it up in a holiday during your Lower Sixth… those who do this have a far higher success rate in finishing their Gold.  If you leave it to the Upper Sixth it becomes more difficult because more of your time will be devoted to revision, exams and finding university places… your chances of finishing Gold diminish rapidly if you haven’t done your residential by the time you leave school.

 So… please get on with it and book it!

  1. find an activity programme ideas – Residential
  2. check on the dofe website to make sure it is suitable.
  3. double check with RGS dofe staff to make sure it counts
  4. book it 🙂

Ask in the DofE Office if you need help with your Residential.

IF you have been on a good residential then please let me know and I will add it to this list.

Another useful list of RESIDENTIAL IDEAS can be found here: 

Surrey Outdoors runs numerous residential opportunities: 

Residentials personally recommended by recent RGS Gold Award students

website contact info Chicks: residential camps for disadvantaged children from difficult backgrounds: eyeopener.01822 811020 Cookability: learn to cook with the experts and have fun! A skill for life. Our students who have been on this have always come back delighted with their experience. 01823 461394 Deer management course: amazing outdoor countryside course: you camp, the Cookability people (above) feed you delicious meals! Ray Mears style learning!Pete Samways  01823 461374 Help on a steam railway for a week: hard work but great fun and a real experience! It was a week specially designed for DofE Gold residential, so I was staying with people mostly my age and we had such a good time. Activities included:
rafting, outdoor pizza-making, high ropes, challenge courses and orienteering as well as 3 hours of conservation each morning (clearing woodland and coppicing
and repairing fences). The people organising are well qualified and gave us enough freedom to spend the evenings how we liked (we built campfires and played
prisonbreak till the early hours on the last evening).  5 day basic to advanced survival courses held all over the place: recommended for outdoor enthusiasts!  amazing adventures all over the world volunteering with AWF 01306 730470 Lewis DavisOur 5 day chalet course qualify’s for the residential part of the gold award. It focus’s on team work, meeting new people and bringing out confidence in the kitchen.

More useful downloads

Does my residential count?

programme ideas – Residential

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