Supporting Ofsted objectives to develop student’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development (SMSC), a group of students from Martec had the opportunity to travel and tour a variety of World War One battlefields, landmarks and museums in Belgium in February.
Staying at Ypres in Flanders, the students were able to experience the same environment as many of the British soldiers who were once stationed there. Lead by a small group of teaching and tutoring colleagues, the group’s experience was a memorable one. Tutor Connor Clarke expands on the benefits gained from the visit:
“The benefit of the trip to the young people involved, extended beyond our expectation; not only from a historical perspective but also in terms of respect, independence and trust. Everyone that we took along with us communicated excellently with local people, respected the Belgian culture and behaved impeccably throughout the stay.”
Sentiments mirrored by fellow tutor Carl Hobson, who goes on to say:
“The students certainly benefitted from experiencing a different culture – be that just for a short period. Taken aback by the number of war dead who were the same age or young than themselves, the students showed great respect at the Menin Gate where the “last post” is bugled. Every student on the trip has expressed their desire to return to Belgium to enable them to take in more of what they had experienced.”
Having facilitated trips to the Gambia in recent years, Phil Lee, Study Programme Manager at Martec talks about the benefits that this travel opportunity provided to the young people participating:
“All education providers in England must show how well their pupils develop in SMSC. Supporting young people through apprenticeships, training and other GCSE options in Staffordshire, we are passionate about enabling our students to experience the same opportunities that travel and learning in another country can provide. Increasing confidence and independence, as well as experiencing a different culture, we are looking forward to seeing how our young people get on.”
More trips are already in the planning for later in 2017.