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Saturday, 23 February 2013


To mark the launch of an exciting e-mentor project, seven Year 10 students from the Isle of Portland Aldridge Community Academy (IPACA) recently visited the BT Tower in London.

The day was a celebration of the work BT has recently started with IPACA through a world-leading Ambassadors Programme. Gary Spracklen, the Academy’s Director of Digital Learning and Innovation, said:  

“The programme will support and inspire Portland teenagers by providing them with an e-mentor who can offer help with a range of IT & Business curriculum related activities/projects. This may include explaining latest industry practices, supporting students with CV writing, expert analysis of technical or programming tasks and sharing industry know-how. At IPACA we are focussed on preparing all students for a changing world by embedding digital technology in all elements of the way that they learn. The programme with BT is an important element of that.”

 “The day offered the students a real insight into this exciting programme as well as the inner workings of the BT Tower which is seen by many as a national icon. The students had a tour of the Tower and lunch on the thirty-third floor as well as the opportunity to question a young apprentice about their work and experience.”

The seven students were selected for the trip following a ‘prize draw’ amongst eager applicants. Speaking about the experience Year 10 pupil Daniel Cutts, said ‘To be honest, that was the best trip I have ever been on!’. Fellow student, Andrew Higgs described the day as an ‘incredible experience...’ while Year 10 pupil Jack Coleman described his highlight of the day as ‘speaking to Julia (BT Apprentice) because it was useful to speak to someone who actually works in the sort of area I may one day choose to work in’.  

Neve Walker, also a Year 10 pupil described how her favourite part of the day, ‘was having lunch on the thirty-third floor. The meal was delicious and the view was incredible, it was truly a once in a life-time event and I am very grateful to BT for welcoming us there’.  

The IPACA students were invited to the BT Tower by Chris Thompson, BT Account Director for Education. Reflecting on the day Chris said: “We are excited to be working with Gary Spracklen and the IPACA students. Portland clearly has a very bright future ahead of it.”  

For more pictures from the trip, please click the below link: