The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award, known as the “Hillary Award” in New Zealand, was initiated in 1956 by Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, and German educator Kurt Hahn. In 1963, it was introduced to New Zealand, where it is affectionately named after Sir Edmund Hillary, the first person documented to conquer Mount Everest. The founders identified crucial gaps in the holistic development of young individuals and established the award to assist those aged 14 to 24 in setting goals, discovering passions, and fostering interests. The program aims to recognise their achievements, promote self-development, and instill qualities of courage, resilience, and perseverance.

Greenfield Forest School in New Zealand is an officially authorised Open Award Center by the Duke of Edinburgh International Award. Our mission is to guide and support individuals aged 14-24 in safely and reliably overcoming challenges across four subjects: Adventurous Journey, Physical Recreation, Skills, and Voluntary Service (Gold Awards additionally involve selected Gold Residential Project). Through our programmes, we aim to inspire your children to cultivate resilience, confidence, and a sense of responsibility.

AWARD LEVELS

BRONZE - Level

Starting Age: In the year you turn 14

Length: Minimum of 6 months

Section Major: Complete an additional 3 months in one section

Adventurous Journey: Preparation and Training

Practice Journey: Minimum 2 days and 1 night with 6 hours of purposeful effort per day

Qualifying Journey: Minimum 2 days and 1 night with 6 hours of purposeful effort per day

Residential Project

SILVER - Level

Starting Age: 15 yo or as soon as you have completed Bronze

Length: Minimum of 6 months

Section Major (if without Bronze): Complete an additional 6 months in one Section

Adventurous Journey: Preparation and Training

Practice Journey: Minimum 2 day and 1 night with 7 hours of purposeful effort per day

Qualifying Journey: Minimum 3 days and 2 nights with 7 hours of purposeful effort per day

Residential Project

GOLD - Level

Starting Age: 16 yo or as soon as you have completed Silver

Length: Minimum of 12 months

Section Major (if without Silver): Complete an additional 6 months in one Section

Adventurous Journey: Preparation and Training

Practice Journey: Minimum 1 days and 1 night with 8 hours of purposeful effort per day

Qualifying Journey: Minimum 4 days and 3 nights with 8 hours of purposeful effort per day

Residential Project: 5 days and 4 nights with 8 hours of purposeful activity per day

SPECIFIC SECTIONS

Each Level consists of four specific sections in which participants are required to engage in activities. The sections covering Physical Recreation, Skills, and Voluntary Service demand a minimum of 1 hour of weekly activity. The adventurous journey section has varying requirements for each level. Additionally, participants at the Gold level need to complete a Gold Award residential project.

In New Zealand, you have the option to choose from standard pursuits or explore two unique pathways: “Kākāriki Pathway” focusing on “Sustainability” and “He Aratūtahi Pathway” focusing on Te Ao Māori earning additional rewards for your efforts.

Adventurous Journey

The Adventurous Journey section challenges participants to explore new environments and cultures with their peers.

ACTIVITY IDEAS

Physical Recreation

Promotes sport and other physical activities for the enhancement of health, fitness and wellbeing.

ACTIVITY IDEAS

Skills

Fosters the development of personal hobbies, creativity or practical skills.

ACTIVITY IDEAS

Voluntary Service

Participants are expected to give service (volunteer) over a specified period of time.

ACTIVITY IDEAS

Gold Residential Project

This aims to expand participants’ perspectives through interaction with others in a residential setting.

ACTIVITY IDEAS

College

Both the International Baccalaureate (IB) and Cambridge Examinations (A Level) strongly endourse and actively encourage participation in the Duke of Edinburgh's International Award. Additionally, award achievements can be translated into New Zealand's NCEA credits.

University

Beyond academic achievements, esteemed universities seek evidence of your 'soft skills', often demonstrated through extracurricular engagements. The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award is a recognised endoursement of such valuable qualities.

Employment

Leading global employers actively seek individuals with the Duke of Edinburgh's Award, recognising the valuable skills, confidence, and competitive edge that recipients like you bring to the workforce.

Networking

Participants from 130 countries globally have established an incredibly vast social network. Shared experiences foster empathy and open up boundless opportunities for connection and collaboration.

DOING YOUR AWARD

Registration

Before registering, please read the “Registration Guide” in English carefully. Registration can only be completed through the global unified online register, Online Record Book (https://onlinerecordbook.org/).

During registration, please make sure to fill in the following information accurately:

  • Registration identity: Award Participant
  • Awarding unit (Award Unit): The Greenfield Forest School in New Zealand
  • Award leader’s email (Award Leader’s Email): nigel@thegreenfield.org
  • Kākāriki Pathway and He Aratūtahi Pathway: Optional.
Scan to register

In addition, please pay the award registration fee to the national office according to the system’s prompts during the registration process. This is a fee paid to the New Zealand Office of the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award. This fee covers the cost of managing the award at the national level, including maintaining the award’s online register, office staff salaries, office expenses, and printing certificates and making medals, etc. The registration fee is subject to the system’s requirements, and the current fee standard: $95.00-$125.00 + GST.

Please note, the Greenfield Forest School will charge an Administration fee on top of the Registration fee (see Step 2 for details).

After registration, please

  1. Confirm the applicant’s email;
  2. If the applicant is under 18 years old, please check your own email and sign the “Parental Consent” in a timely manner.

For your application and consultation matters, the National Office and the Greenfield Forest School usually need five (5) working days to process and reply. Please be patient.

Enrollment

After receiving confirmation of your email address, the Parental Consent Form, and the registration fee from the National Office, Greenfield Forest School will activate your Student and Parent Portal (SP2). The website for this platform is: https://www.thegreenfield.co.nz/welcome/.

Once you have registered your award, you will receive an email with your username and student number from the SP2. Please follow the instructions in the email to change your password immediately.

Next, please pay the enrollment administration fee to the Greenfield Forest School through the payment platform on SP2. This fee covers the materials, equipment, training, venues, and staff time (including but not limited to: recording students’ activity progress, tracking each student’s award completion, answering questions from parents or students, maintaining our online platform) involved in running the Duke of Edinburgh Award at the Greenfield Forest School. This ensures that your enrollment is properly managed and kept up to date.

At the same time, please complete our unique online training course and questionnaire as soon as possible. Only when your score is 100% will your applications for subsequent activities be considered.

Choose Section Activities

Plan what to do for each section

Choose which activities you want to complete in three sections to complete the award challenge. These three sections are Skills, Physical Recreation and Voluntary Service. Please choose the activities according to your passion and ambition, otherwise you will find it hard to stick to the end. If you are not very familiar with your own interests and passions, this is a great opportunity to find your personal interests and develop yourself as a curious driven learner.

The adventure expedition subject – Forest School will provide you with adventure activities that meet the award standards and follow the order below:

  • Preparation and Training –> Practice Journey –> Qualifying Journey

Choose an assessor for each activity. The assessor is an adult with appropriate skills, experience and/or qualifications who is not a family member or your award leader. Your assessor should help you set goals and communicate with you at least every 28 days about what you are doing. This way, your assessor can guide your progress and provide improvement suggestions in a timely manner.

Your goals of section activity will only be approved when your online training (see Step 2) score is 100%.

Fill in Online Record Book (ORB)

Once your chosen activity is approved, you need to make sure you start recording every time you do it. Each section activity requires an average of one hour per week. After the first hour of recording, if your activity only happens once every two weeks or once a month, then you can record 2 hours every two weeks or 4 hours every 28 days in subsequent logs. Your log should reflect your activity goals and content. You can add a second activity, but you need a second assessor, and you can find out how to record your log by clicking here.

When you finish an activity for a section, you need to ask your assessor to write a assessment for you. You can do this online or print out your activity log and have your assessor sign it. After signing, your Award Leader will decide whether to approve the completion of this section based on the award criteria, log records and your assessor’s assessment.

Request for Sign Off

After completing all the requirements for your sections, submit your Request for Award Sign Off through ORB for your award leader to review and approve. When he recommend you for the award, his comments and feedback will be sent to the national office for final verification. After verification, you will receive a digital copy of your certificate and badge by email. A paper certificate and badge will be sent to your Award Leader in the following weeks.

If you achieve the Bronze or Silver Award, the Greenfield Forest School will host an award ceremony for you. These ceremonies are often held together with the Greenfield Education Forum where you may meet admission officers from top universities in the world, insightful educators and energetic young people like yourself. This will be an opportunity to access rich educational resources and make more friends. Of course, you may not be able to attend for some reasons, in which case you can wait for the next opportunity or request the Greenfield Forest School to mail it to a designated address within New Zealand. You need to provide written instructions and prepay $30 as postage.

If you achieve the Gold Award, you will be invited to attend the Gold Award ceremony to celebrate your achievement. The Governor-General will attend the ceremony whenever possible. Sometimes, Her Excellency may have to change her plans due to other official duties and miss the ceremony.

These ceremonies are special occasions to celebrate your leadership, creativity, perseverance and empathy that you have demonstrated throughout your award journey, and also to witness your extraordinary growth experience.

The future is promising.

The Economist think-tanks has identified Leadership, Creativity, Perseverance, and Empathy as essential qualities for future talents. The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award stands as the most authoritative recognition of these crucial soft skills. As Sir Edmund Hillary said:

You don’t have to be a hero to accomplish great things—to compete. You can just be an ordinary chap, sufficiently motivated to reach challenging goals.