Duke of Cambridge Launches Primary Schools Award

Published Tuesday 3 June 2014 in News
Duke of Cambridge's visit to Goole, East Riding of Yorkshire

Royal Patron Launches Primary Schools Award

The Duke of Cambridge has launched a brand new national award for primary school children today in Goole, East Riding.

As Royal Patron of SkillForce, a charity that draws on the values and skills of ex-Forces personnel to inspire young people to achieve at school, The Duke celebrated the launch of the SkillForce Junior Prince’s Award during a visit to Goole High School in the East Riding of Yorkshire on 4th June.

The unique Award is part of a programme to develop character and resilience in primary-age children, especially under-privileged pupils, as they prepare for the step-up to secondary school.

Peter Cross OBE, Chief Executive of SkillForce explains: “The SkillForce Junior Prince’s Award is designed to engage younger learners in exciting lessons, challenges and community projects that prepare them for secondary education, a time when some students can begin to lose their way.

“Our programme builds up the children’s confidence, resilience, teamwork and problem solving to give them a boost before the start of new adventures and encourage them to take a more active role in their town, city or village. It’s SkillForce’s 10th birthday, and we are honoured that our Royal Patron has marked the occasion by lending his support to the Junior Prince’s Award for rollout across the country.”

The Duke met head teachers from the primary schools and Goole High who have worked with SkillForce, talked to lots of the students involved, and saw how the charity’s instructors used practical, hands-on games, tasks and challenges to engage pupils – notably a “D-Day” bridge building exercise.

As a taster of the Award, there was a practical challenge on the school playground inspired by the 70th anniversary of D-Day (two days away). In the challenge, nicknamed “D-Day landing,” students worked as a team and used apparatus to build a bridge for them to cross a barrier – an imaginary “Normandy beach” with a minefield.

Many of the students got a chance to have a chat with The Duke.

The SkillForce Junior Prince’s Award is new and unique for primary-age children. It will work with young people aged 9-10, especially (but not exclusively) under-privileged children for whom activities like this are not readily available. The Award contains:

–          team building and problem-solving challenges with a hands-on element to the learning;

–          Remembrance and respect;

–          team sports;

–          outdoor pursuits, including camping out for a night;

–          first aid;

–          navigation; and

–          a Social Action Project (working in the community to benefit others).

Students will complete a log book to reflect on what they have learnt. On completion of these activities alongside a SkillForce programme, students will receive a certificate.

The Junior Award builds on elements of the SkillForce  Prince’s Award for secondary school-aged children. The Duke launched this in 2011 to recognise SkillForce students who had made a positive and permanent change to benefit the lives of others in their community, including through a special community challenge called “24 Hours to Make A Difference”.

Goole High School is a secondary comprehensive and sixth-form college with 1,000 students. Goole High has worked with SkillForce for three years. Last year the charity ran a Department for Education pilot in Goole working with four of its feeder primary schools. The aim was to help students prepare for the challenges of secondary education through fun, challenging activities in the classroom and beyond. Funded by the Department for Education, the programme has been a tremendous success and has inspired the SkillForce Junior Prince’s Award.


Notes to Editors

  1. SkillForce has worked with 50,000 young people in England, Scotland and Wales in 10 years. Over 70% of our instructors have an Armed Forces background. Having served their country, our instructors now serve their community.  The Duke became Royal Patron in 2009 and recorded this special message for our birthday: [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ykbl3b4i-jA].
  2. The D-Day link is deliberate and important to SkillForce’s former military staff.  SkillForce is a beneficiary of a national event on Friday 6th June, live on BBC Radio 2 and streamed to cinemas nationwide – “D-Day 70 Years On.” Together with SSAFA and The Royal British Legion SkillForce will receive any profits from the concert. www.ddayconcert.com.
  3. Please contact us via our online form.



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