A record number of school students have been awarded a prestigious Gap Scholarship by the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG).
Bursaries of up to £4,000, plus a mentor and expert support from the Society, have been granted to 17 A Level geography students from across the UK. This will enable them to plan and undertake a worthwhile gap experience that – due to challenging circumstances or lack of opportunity – would not have otherwise been possible.
Gap Scholars are supported through the Society’s Learning and Leading programme, which uses geography fieldwork to help raise aspirations, motivation and achievements of young people.
The geographically-themed gap experiences can include a mix of international fieldwork, work experience, volunteering and independent travel. This provides an opportunity for students to develop the skills and qualities needed to succeed at university and in their future careers.
Steve Brace, Head of Education and Outdoor Learning at the Society, says: “Gap Scholarships are awarded to individuals who show a real passion for learning more about the people, places and environments of the world. The practical learning gained on a gap experience will be invaluable preparation for their university studies and also provide many transferable skills relevant for their future careers.”
Now in its seventh year, the Society’s Gap Scholarships have now supported more than 70 students who have visited more than sixty countries.
The new Gap Scholars for 2014 are:
William Allman (Weald of Kent Grammar School, Edenbridge, Kent) Planning to study rainforest conservation in Daintree, Australia and to visit New Zealand
Conor Campbell (Bangor Grammar School, County Down, Northern Ireland) Planning to study volcanism and resources in North America
Marcella Cilia (Burlington Danes Academy, London W12) Wants to explore tectonic activity in Hawaii and Costa Rica and visit countries that use renewable energy resources
Andre Clacken-Lewin (Woodhouse College, London N12) Wants to work with an NGO in schools in South America and become fluent in Spanish
Elizabeth Farrell (Lady Margaret School, Parson’s Green, London SW6) Interested in cold and glacial environments and would like to visit Norway and Alaska
Ellie Geare (The King’s School, Ottery St Mary, Devon) Planning to study glaciers in New Zealand and return to the UK to gain surveying experience
Emma Hulland (Petroc, Barnstable, Devon) Hoping to study sustainability in Europe and visit the National Hurricane Center in the USA
Arif Hussain (Haverstock School, London NW3) Considering travel in the USA, community projects in Kenya or teaching English in China
Soraya Kebbouche (Greenford High School, Southall, London UB1) Interested in disparities between the developed and developing world, including sub-Saharan Africa, South America and Asia
Anna-Marie Lawn (Woodhouse College, London N12) Planning to do conservation work with turtles in Costa Rica, Thailand or Madagascar
William Parker (South Essex College, Southend-on-sea, Essex) Interested in polar environments and visiting the northern coasts of Norway, Finland and Russia
Jerrylyn Saguiped (City and Islington Sixth Form College, London EC1V) Wants to volunteer for animal conservation organisation in South Africa or development projects in Tanzania or the Philippines
Alexandra Sears (South Wilts Grammar School, Salisbury, Wiltshire) Will teach English in Cambodia
Grace Simkins (Truro College, Cornwall) Plans to volunteer in schools and community groups in Tanzania, Rwanda and Kenya
Theo Smith (Hendon School, London NW4) Interested in conservation work, possibly in New Zealand or Australia
Jack Warriner (Christ the King, Arnold, Nottingham) Wants to learn about tectonic activity in the USA and understand the role globalisation plays in cities, such as New York
Amy Wood (Brunts Academy, Mansfield) Considering teaching in Brazil, visiting China and India or volunteering in community projects in Fiji or Malaysia
Past participants in the scheme will be acting as mentors for our new 2014 Gap Scholars and include:
Victoria Benjafield (Davonport High School for Girls, Plymouth, Devon) Travelled and worked in New Zealand and Australia and volunteered in a rural community in Fiji building a community hall and teaching in a school, later visiting countries in SE Asia.
Lorna Burnell (Chew Valley School, Bristol) Visited Iceland to explore volcanoes and tectonics. Visited New Zealand and Australia, and Cambodia as a school volunteer.
Emma Crewsdon (Petroc, Barnstable, Devon) Undertook geo-physics placements in Singapore and Malaysia and travelled round Australia and New Zealand
Emily Hargreaves (Budehaven Community School, Bude, Cornwall) Travelled to Australia, New Zealand and Fiji, and worked as a volunteer teacher in Thailand.
Jemimah Larbi (Oaks Park High School, Ilford, Essex) Taught English in China for five months and travelled independently to Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan
Alan Nicholls (Strode College, Street, Somerset) Went to Thailand, where he worked with a hill tribe volunteer project, cycled 170km along the River Kwai and visited the Irrawaddy River looking for dolphins
1. For further media enquires please contact individual schools directly, or the Society on firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 7519 3019.
2. The Royal Geographical Society (with The Institute of British Geographers) is the learned society and professional body for geography. Formed in 1830, our Royal Charter of 1859 is for 'the advancement of geographical science'. Today, we deliver this objective through developing, supporting and promoting geographical research, expeditions and fieldwork, education, public engagement, and geography input to policy. We aim to foster an understanding and informed enjoyment of our world. We hold the world's largest private geographical collection and provide public access to it. We have a thriving Fellowship and membership and offer the professional accreditation 'Chartered Geographer’. www.rgs.org
3. Gap Scholars are supported by the Society’s Learning and Leading programme. Around 400 young people and teachers will directly benefit through the Learning & Leading placements which are carefully managed opportunities for learning and personal development. Placements are available for: A Level students: Fully funded geography fieldwork summer schools A Level geography teachers: Funded weekend fieldwork masterclasses Gap year students: Bursaries and mentoring to support an overseas gap experience Geography undergraduates: Summer fieldwork apprenticeships www.rgs.org/L&L
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