Hundreds of primary schoolchildren from across Devon descended on Dartmoor to discover the path to their future career at the inaugural Dartmoor Aspirations Day held in March.
Organised by Princetown Primary School, and sponsored by Dartmoor Classic, the event saw over 300 schoolchildren and teachers from seven primary schools* coming together to discover just what it takes to make it in their dream job.
Representatives from over 20 different disciplines took the schoolchildren on a journey of discovery and adventure, providing an insight into their careers and the skills that they use on a daily basis.
Among the professions and disciplines attending were engineers, an artist, journalist, photographer, archaeologist and a theatre nurse. Representatives from the military forces, the fire, police and prison services were in attendance alongside a national park ranger, a caterer, boat designer and estate agent.
The children even had the opportunity to discover what it takes to make it in the world of sport and event management, thanks the event’s sponsors, Dartmoor Classic.
Phil Whittley, Executive Head of Princetown Primary school, commented on the event, saying: “It was fantastic to see so many schoolchildren coming to together to think big and discover their aspirations. Our aim was to motivate children to strive towards their future goals and to make sense of why it’s so important to have high expectations.
“Working with local businesses we were able to create a unique hands-on experience for the children, who had passports to fill with stickers from the various trades and professions and Dartmoor Classic bags to stuff with goodies and information as they went around.
“The children were able to discover the skills and qualifications they need for different careers, and they found out why each role is fun and exciting.
“The children were able to try out boat building, testing their designs in a large tank of water. They used breathing apparatus and learnt about fire safety. They iced chocolate brownies and learnt about the daily life of a chef. They took part in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths projects where they had the opportunity to build, design and draw. They learnt about waste management and even had the chance to make their own volcano.
“More akin to an Expo, the Dartmoor Aspirations Day lit the imagination of the children helping them learn about the workplace, connecting that with the education experience in the classroom; giving relevance to the subjects that they study on a daily basis. It was a huge success and one that we’ll aim to repeat next year.”
Commenting on its sponsorship of the event, Stewart Bergman of the Dartmoor Classic cycle sportive said: “Princetown Primary School is making huge strides in the education of its schoolchildren. When the school came to us with the idea for the event we immediately knew that we had to get involved and so we offered to cover the cost of transport for all the schools coming to the event and arranged for our team to be there.”
Stewart added: “We had a great time talking to the children about cycling as a profession, covering everything from running and making bikes to competing at the top level in the sport. It was a real eye opener for all involved and hugely popular with the schoolchildren.”
Dartmoor Classic’s sponsorship of the event is part of the organisation’s commitment to engage with local communities and to support good causes.
Earlier this month Dartmoor Classic unveiled a new interactive whiteboard, which it bought for Princeton Primary School. The whiteboard is being used, among other things, to place the school in touch with organisations and educational events and opportunities around the world. Princetown Primary school was the Dartmoor Classic official ‘feed station’ in 2016.
In 2015 the Dartmoor Classic donated almost £9,000 to local organisations including Dartmoor Forest Parish Council, Manaton Parish Council, Dartmoor Search and Rescue and Dartmoor National Park Authority. In 2016 this figure rose to over £15,000. Since its inception over ten years ago. the event and its participants have helped raise over £150,000 for good causes.