The Junior Duke Awards

Monday 24th February 2020

Famous school endorses awards which help young children develop 'life skills'

10 year old Alex makes a casserole for his Junior Duke Award

An award scheme pioneered by a teacher has ‘come home’ to the famous school which inspired it. The Junior Duke Awards were the brainchild of a teacher from Glasgow who felt that there should be a junior version of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award which would encourage primary-aged children to learn life skills to increase their independence and resilience.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award was inspired by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip’s experiences at Gordonstoun School in Moray where he undertook a series of challenges in order to win a ‘Moray Badge’. Hundreds of thousands of children all over the world have followed in his footsteps through the Duke of Edinburgh programme and undertaken confidence-boosting challenges.

10 year old Aidan makes his grandma’s oxtail casserole

The Junior Duke Awards are based on the same principles and encourage younger children to try new experiences, develop independence and become more confident.

Now the Junior School at Gordonstoun has announced that it will adopt the scheme, offering Junior Duke Awards to children in Years 5 and 6 (P5-6). Those taking part must complete a series of challenges including confident swimming, learning how to budget cooking dinner or baking bread, fixing a puncture, planning a trip, demonstrating computer skills, music or drama performances and caring for others.

Welcoming the development, the inventor of the Junior Duke Awards, Dawn Waugh from Hutchesons Grammar School said,

“The Duke of Edinburgh Awards are based on challenges pioneered by Gordonstoun so it is lovely to see that my junior version of the awards has been taken up by the school where the idea began. Since I began Junior Duke Awards in 2006, thousands of children have learned new skills such as planning trips, cooking, performing and caring for other people. I hope this will inspire more schools to join in!”

The Head of Gordonstoun’s Junior School, Josh Holtby, said,

“Our children have already begun their Gold and Platinum Junior Duke Awards and are really enjoying doing new things. I can see their independence and confidence growing, and we are delighted to support an award programme which encourages more children to benefit from the educational approach of Gordonstoun which focuses on developing skills for life, not just for exams.”


For further information or to arrange an interview please contact Eleanor Bradford:

More information about Junior Duke Awards can be found here:

The Junior Duke Awards are not officially part of the Duke of Edinburgh Awards.

About Gordonstoun:

Gordonstoun is an independent boarding school which was established in Moray in 1934 by Dr Kurt Hahn, a Jewish exile who fled Nazi Germany. He founded the school with the ideal of developing better world citizens equipped to contribute to society. Dr Kurt Hahn was the driving force behind the Outward-Bound Movement and the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. Gordonstoun has been a pioneer of character education which, as well as academic subjects, including outdoor education, athletics, projects and service to the community. Three generations of British royalty have been educated at Gordonstoun, including the Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales. Approximately one third of the pupils at the co-educational boarding school receive financial help in order to attend and earlier this year HRH the Duke of Edinburgh lent his name to a foundation to provide life-changing bursaries for the school. The school was described as ‘outstanding’ and ‘sector-leading’ in its most recent inspection.