RESIDENTIAL

The “Residential” activity only applies to the GOLD Award. 

A well-chosen Residential can be a life enhancing opportunity so look now and book early to get yours done in the Lower Sixth.

This page will help you find and book the best Residential suited for you.  It also goes through some of the rules and what does not count as a Residential.

There are some DofE rules about what counts for a Residential. Some opportunities you might consider may not count, so please read all of this page carefully so you choose the right activity.

What can I do for my Residential?

The most important “rule” is that you must stay away from home for a minimum of 5 days, 4 nights, joining a group of people you don’t know. The spirit of the the Residential remains that you should push yourself into doing something unfamiliar away from home.

The residential activity should normally take place over at least five consecutive days with a minimum of four nights spent away.

You must be over 16 years old for the activity to count to your Gold Award. You could do your Residential in the Summer after your GCSEs. Usually you will not be enrolled yet but you can back-date this to count for Gold once enrolled. Ask us if you want to do this and make sure you get an Assessor Report.

There is some new flexibility about Residentials during Covid so check here to find the new flexibilities.

Book your Residential NOW to complete in the Lower Sixth. You will run out of time otherwise.

The activity can be pretty much anything that appeals to you. It might be linked to your University course or future career ideas or it could be something new. For example, you can learn something like a sport or activity (e.g. cooking or climbing course or go on a pre-degree engineering course) or join a programme to help people or the environment or animals.

Residentials range from free or good value for money and local to something further afield that is expensive. The cost of the residential does not correlate with the value of the experience. Some of the best feedback we have is from local UK courses that prove to be outstanding, life enhancing and exciting experiences.

Booking with an “Approved DofE Activity Provider” is recommended for your Residential.

Look for this logo and check when you call them to enquire about booking.

There are some DofE “rules” which must be followed to pass this section so please read on carefully before booking anything.

For your Residential 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 This need not be Thailand, anywhere away from home will do!

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

Important: tell your provider that you are doing your Gold DofE residential before you book. Ask them who will assess you. Check they have a written an assessor report for you at the end.

A certificate of attendance is not enough to pass Gold residential. You must get a proper signed written assessor comment and it is recommended that you get this before you leave. Several participants each year have difficulty getting assessor reports afterwards.

Where can I find a Residential?

There are several places to look for Residentials.

Start looking NOW and book your residential for 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 much more difficult because your time will be devoted to revision and exams.. your chances of finishing Gold fall rapidly if you haven’t done your Residential by the time you leave school.

DofE Opportunity Finder website

You may know someone who recommends a Residential.

Recommended Residentials from recent RGS Gold Award participants

bsitecontact info
http://www.chicks.org.ukChicks: residential camps for disadvantaged children from difficult backgrounds: eyeopener.01822 811020
http://www.cookability.comCookability: 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
http://www.talyllyn.co.uk/Help on a steam railway for a week: hard work but great fun and a real experience!
https://wearencs.com/NCS is a youth programme that runs across England and Northern Ireland. We exist to engage, unite and empower young people, building your confidence so you can go out there and achieve your dreams, no matter where you’re from or what your background is. 
https://www.surreyoutdoorlearning.uk/duke-of-edinburghs-award/sold#47285Surrey Outdoor Learning offer residentials at High Ashurst. Check the link and scroll down for Gold residential opportunities.
 http://www.sayers-croft.org.uk/homeIt 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
prison break till the early hours on the last evening).
 http://www.truewayssurvival.com/ 5 day basic to advanced survival courses held all over the place: recommended for outdoor enthusiasts!
 http://www.whalenation.org/ amazing adventures all over the world volunteering with AWF
www.abingercookeryschool.com01306 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.
https://www.field-studies-council.org/courses-and-experiences/opportunities-for-16-25-year-olds/duke-of-edinburgh-gold-residentials/ Field studies council residentials

Whatever you choose, BOOK NOW!

  1. Find your residential here
  2. Double check with RGS dofe staff to make sure it counts
  3. Book it. Remember to tell them you are doing it for your Gold Residential.

IF you have been on a good Residential then please let us know and we will add it to this list.

What NOT to do for Residential!

Watch out! These would not count for a residential. However, as usual there are grey areas so do ask as we might be able to help.

  • work experience placements do not count

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

  • going on “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 does not count

  • an activity which you do on your own or in a group of less than 5 does not count

  • 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

  • any trip where you know some or most people does not count e.g a school fieldtrip, a sports tour, a church trip, a scouting trip with your group…

Whilst many of the above type of activities are superb opportunities and a rewarding experience, unfortunately they will NOT be passed by DofE as suitable for GOLD RESIDENTIAL. Don’t risk it and please find something else to do before you pay up or commit yourself.

PLEASE check the information below or ask 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!

More useful downloads

Does my residential count?

programme ideas – Residential

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