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Posted on: 8 October 2019

Duke of Edinburgh Award "Insights" Event

Last Tuesday, the Bohunt Education Trust (BET) proudly hosted the Duke of Edinburgh’s (DofE) prestigious Annual “Insights” event in the Studio at TPS.

The Trust and D of E welcomed guests from around the South East region to hear from BET’s students and staff about their transformational D of E experiences and the positive impact the award has had on outcomes for children and young people across BET.  BET was selected to host the high profile event to reflect its sector leading approach to outdoor education and learning. BET’s vision is to ensure there be no barrier to outdoor education and as such, the Trust has committed to enabling the most disadvantaged and vulnerable students to participate in D of E.

The event saw key players across the education sector, joined by Deputy Lieutenant Tom Floyd and Karen Pickering, MBE, recognising and celebrating the impact of the long-standing DofE Award. During the afternoon students and co-ordinators from across BET schools presented and shared stories and best-practice, taking the opportunity to talk to DofE supporters and benefactors from across the county.

This academic year has seen one of the largest ever uptakes of the programme across BET, with over 800 students participating in the award. 640 students successfully completed the Bronze Award, with a record 150 achieving the Silver Award and 20 students attaining the highly esteemed Gold Award. 

As part of BET’s overarching commitment to ensure that all pupils, regardless of background or starting point in life, have the opportunity to fulfil their potential, the Trust ensures that all students can access the DofE Award programme and the benefits it generates. As a result, the Trust has raised over £15,000 in grants this academic year in order to directly support some of its most disadvantaged and vulnerable students to participate in the programme.  

TPS ran three expeditions - two Bronze and one Silver.  A record-breaking 151 Bronze students over two weekends successfully passed their expedition phase over two weekends, and 3 groups of Silver Award students over two nights three days in the New Forest.  There are 122 Bronze candidates registered  to complete the Award next year, and the expeditions will take full advantage of the South Downs National Park to allow students to experience trails and pathways local to them, and reduce our carbon footprint as a school/DofE Centre.

From next September, TPS will introduce D of E in Year 9 to allow students to participate in Silver Award in Year 10, leaving Year 11 free to concentrate on academic studies, and will introduce a wider variety of expedition choices including kayaking and mountain biking.

Liz Briggs, Duke of Edinburgh Manager, Bohunt Education Trust, said: 

“The Insights event has provided an incredible chance for us to show how the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award positively stretches and challenges our students, whilst providing them with valuable opportunities to experience new things. I am so proud of all the children and staff, and grateful to the Duke of Edinburgh for providing us with such an excellent opportunity to demonstrate the impact the Award has on our students.”

Neil Strowger, Chief Executive Officer, Bohunt Education Trust said:

“The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award plays an immensely important role in the innovative and pioneering approach to outdoor education that we foster as a Trust. We are adamant that an impoverished start to life is not a reason for an impoverished future and we are resolute about giving our less advantaged students the same opportunities to take part in D of E as their peers. It has been fantastic to join with those across the sector to celebrate all the positive opportunities that the DofE Award brings and to mark our ongoing achievements in successfully delivering the programme to our students as part of our well-known outdoor education offer.”

Pete Singleton, South East Regional Director, Duke of Edinburgh said:

“We are delighted that DofE plays such a large part of BET’s extra-curricular and outdoor education offer. BET’s commitment to DofE and to their fully inclusive approach – enabling any young person to be able to do DofE if they are up to the challenge, is a fantastic example of what can be achieved with the right motivation and support. Thank you to BET’s SLT for their vision, and thank you to all the staff and volunteers at Bohunt Education Trust who make it happen.”