Woodchurch High School are the latest to receive funding from the Alpkit Foundation. Over 40% of their pupils are classed as ‘Pupil Premium.’ Pupil Premium deals with disadvantaged children, and helps to raise their attainment, closing the gap between them and their peers. For the last 5 years, the school have been running the bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award. Year on year, Woodchurch see a positive impact, both academically and socially on those students that complete the DofE. However, many pupils fail to sign up due to the costs involved with equipment and travel. In their latest project, the school would like to support pupils in accessing the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme.
Sarah explains the importance of the project. “Personally, I love the outdoors. I’m from the same area as these pupils but have been lucky enough to have been given outdoor opportunities by my parents from an early age. Many of these pupils have never been to Wales (30 mins down the road!), climbed a hill or walked a footpath. When we take the pupils out they ask the strangest things such as 'do they have airports in Wales?' Or, they will only take to people ‘like them' which shows for some, a lack of cultural, social and spiritual awareness. But by the end of the weekend they are all changed. Weeks later, back in school, you can still see that change in them and it is often reflected in their academic results. Ultimately, completing the DofE will give the pupils life skills and confidence that will develop even after secondary school and enhance interview prospects, because employers appreciate the DofE award.”
Woodchurch High School can fortunately help with registration fees, but not equipment. Pupils who would hugely benefit from undertaking the award aren’t even considering it, because of this expense. The Alpkit Foundation will therefore help in providing kit such as sleeping bags and rucksacks.