Highbridge’s King Alfred School Academy has become Britain’s first state secondary school to launch its own Scouts group.
Nearly 100 young people are now packing into 1st King Alfred Scouts at the school every Wednesday to learn life skills and confidence, run by English teacher Lizzie Harvey and nine other staff volunteers.
Lizzie gained the Queen’s Scout Award as a young person, so knows a lot about the skills that Scouting can teach young people.
The newly established Scout Group is being run as part of the school day, the school’s so-called ‘Period 6’ at 3pm, which is a cultural part of The Priory Learning Trust that the Academy is a part of.
Bear Grylls has hailed the school’s announcement as “absolutely brilliant news.”
The UK Chief Scout Bear added: “The Scouts is quite simply one of the best organisations on the planet to inspire girls and boys from all communities to help them develop the skills they need for an active and inspiring life.”
In a ceremony that took place with the Somerset High Sheriff, the Scout Group was formally launched. Their first project is to renovate the Forest School area.
Lizzie Harvey said: “The Scouts have taught me so many valuable life skills and offered me fantastic life changing opportunities; I am so excited and thrilled to see we launch this Scout Group in a state school during the school day. Incredibly, nearly 100 students are already part of it!”
“Now hundreds more children will get the chance to learn the amazing life skills that generations have benefitted from. Scouts already meet in school venues but this is the first offering Scouting as an official part of an extra-curricular package or even part of the curriculum in a Secondary provision.”
Principal Nathan Jenkins said: “This new Scouting part of our school will be the latest part of us wanting to provide all the skills, confidence and attributes required for a student to be thoroughly prepared for a lifetime of success.”
Scouting started in the United Kingdom in 1907. It is now a worldwide Movement found in over 216 countries and territories across the world with a worldwide Membership of over 50 million young people and adult volunteers. In the UK the Association has continued to grow over the last 10 years with a national membership of 636,000 with nearly 60,000 girls and boys waiting to join.