A group of students from Bournemouth & Poole College are taking on Europe’s largest mountain plateau as part of a T-Levels pilot scheme.
Twelve first and second year Uniformed Public Services (UPS) students are set to travel across the Hardangervidda plateau and glacier in Norway from Friday, March 29 to Sunday, April 7. The expedition aims to fulfil part of a 45-day work placement that some of the students must undertake during their year-long study programme, which is trialling T-Levels ahead of the new qualification’s introduction to schools and colleges across the UK in 2020.
During the challenge, the students will be supported by two serving Royal Marines and two members of staff from Bournemouth & Poole College. Steve Perry, a former Royal Marine who is the Learning Manager of Sport, Uniformed Public Services and Access at the College, and Alan Card, a Uniformed Public Services lecturer, will also accompany the students on the trip.
The students will be travelling across the mountain plateau, which covers an area of approximately 10,000 sq metres, on skis in winter conditions using the original route followed by the Special Operations Executive during the Second World War. In preparation for the challenge, the students took part in a residential trip to the Scottish Highlands, where they undertook mountain walks and honed their skiing skills at a snowdome. The group will spend the first two days of the trip in Norway training with cross country skiing equipment before they begin the expedition.
Alan Card, a Uniformed Public Services lecturer at the College, said: “The trip has been planned at this time of year to enable the students to experience Norway’s winter conditions. There is a good covering of snow in the area at present and weather conditions are such that the snow will remain for the duration of the trip. At present, the day time temperatures are approximately -3 to -4 degrees C. Learning to cope with these conditions is an important part of the development for the students.”
He added: “This is an individual trip planned by Steve Perry for the benefit of the students. It is designed to fit the criteria of work experience. The expedition will provide the students with the experience of an Adventurous Training (AT) activity as run by the UK Armed Forces. AT is designed to develop the skills and qualities required as a member of the Armed Forces. The UPS team at Bournemouth & Poole College are committed to developing grit, resilience, integrity and trust.”
Alan went on to say that the Uniformed Public Services team firmly believe in the value of outdoor activities to help the students to develop their leadership and teamwork skills, as well as helping them to lead a normal, active lifestyle.
For more information, go to thecollege.co.uk/ups or call 01202 205205.