FIP Learners Visit Buckingham Palace for DofE Celebrations!

Foundation Learning, our specialist provision for learners with SEND, introduced the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme as a curriculum choice for learners in 2019.

Fast forward to 2023 and this month, two of our first Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) Gold Award achievers were invited to celebrate with 2000 other young people from across the UK to celebrate their outstanding achievement within Buckingham Palace Gardens. This provided the opportunity for them to enjoy a variety of activities and listen to famous DofE alumni and inspirational public figures about their personal journey. The Duke of Edinburgh Award at all levels is an amazing but challenging experience and we are very proud of all of our exceptional participants, and it has been a privilege to be part of this fantastic initiative.

The Duke of Edinburgh Award challenges young people to attain standards of achievement and endeavour in a wide variety of active interests, to support their communities, experience adventure and to develop and learn outside the classroom. It encompasses the true intent of our programme to support learners' personal development, behaviours and attitude and employability skills.

Following the visit to Buckingham Palace, we caught up with the two Gold-achieving learners who told us about their experience on the day: “The speakers were really inspirational. It reminded me of when I was on the DofE. I told myself I’m not going to give up! I felt proud of what I’d achieved, it was a once in a lifetime experience.”

“When I got the invite to go to Buckingham Palace, I was feeling nervous and not sure about going. I am really happy I went because it was a really good experience and opportunity to go. I had amazing day. I am so glad I went. I will always remember the day. I was really proud of myself for going because I feel like I have overcome one of my fears. Thank you for the teachers at college who supported me and encouraged me to go."

Nick Chadwick, lecturer at Weston College, said: “It was with great pride that we were able to accompany our first Gold achievers to the celebrations at Buckingham Palace. They thoroughly deserved this accolade, and it was fantastic that we were able to celebrate and recognise their amazing determination, resilience and creativity they have shown to achieve their gold award.”

One parent, who accompanied the learners to Buckingham Palace, commented: “I just wanted to say a massive thank you for your support! It was such an amazing day, and one full of wonderful memories we will enjoy for years to come. Liana was thrilled to have been there and for all she experienced. She keeps talking about how she wants to be your Ambassador for DofE!”

It was an incredible day for everyone involved, and a memory that the learners will carry with them for years to come. We are so proud we are able to provide these enrichment experiences, where learners are developing their skills outside of the traditional classroom environment, developing and showcasing transferable skills that prepare learners for their future progression. We look forward to continuing to explore how we can further develop the DofE across our provision to support these amazing outcomes for learners.

If you are passionate about education and are looking for an opportunity to join the staff team at a leading college, then look at the latest job vacancies available at Weston College here. You can find all the latest job opportunities that Weston College has to offer, with a commitment to providing quality education to students and a focus on continuous professional development for staff, Weston College is an excellent place to work and grow in your career.

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