The Society’s Learning and Leading programme was set up in 2008 and over the past eight years over 400 people have been able to take part in fieldwork and overseas travel thanks to the programme’s support.
Students and teachers facing challenging circumstances have been able to take advantage of the programme which supports their aspirations and achievement through four strands:
- Free fieldwork summer schools for A Level students to improve participants’ geographical skills, knowledge and understanding, as well as building confidence, initiative and leadership skills.
- Scholarships for school leavers to enable meaningful gap year experiences and provide transferable skills.
- Field apprenticeships for undergraduates to allow participation in overseas research projects and raise aspirations as well gain valuable hands-on experience.
- Free fieldwork masterclass weekends for teachers to enhance field teaching skills and develop new teaching resources.
On 12 September, participants of the programme since the beginning came together at the Society to celebrate each other’s achievements and the difference that taking part in Learning and Leading has made to them.
Torquil Hall, who received a Gap Scholarship and mentoring said: “Without this programme I would have been a kid from a poor family who would have just stuck to what I knew and gone straight into some easy job and wasted my time. I doubt I would be where I am today (undergraduate and Master’s degrees, well-travelled, and planning on working abroad in the future) without my experience on my gap year funded by RGS-IBG when I was 18, so I am very, very grateful to have been involved.”
Summing up at the end of the celebrations, Steve Brace, Head of Education and Outdoor Learning, said: “The Society is proud to have been able to provide such formative travel, fieldwork and research opportunities for these enthusiastic and committed geographers. We look forward to hearing from them as they continue through their geographical studies and careers.”
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