Multi-academy trust develops DofE app for use in lockdown

Bohunt Education Trust (BET) has launched its own app that allows children to work towards their Duke of Edinburgh’s (DofE) Award during lockdown.
Since lockdown, over 800 students who participate in the DofE award across BET’s seven schools have had their DofE expeditions postponed. Furthermore, approximately 6,000 students have missed out on the chance to take part in BET’s extensive summer outdoor programme.

In response to these challenges, the BET team created an app that empowers young people to have safe outdoor adventures of their own; teaches children a skill (nature noticing); contributes to users’ wellbeing by encouraging them to get outside and engage with nature; enables current DofE students to prepare for their expedition section and achieve their skills section.
Over the five weeks following lockdown, a small staff team was formed from BET’s DofE, Outdoors and Computing departments to create the 'Game Changer' app from scratch, garner the inspirational support of Tristan Gooley, author of ‘The Walkers Guide to Outdoor Clues and Signs’, and coordinate with the DofE South East Region office.
Peter Singleton, South East Regional Director, Duke of Edinburgh said: “We are delighted with Bohunt Education Trust’s innovative approach in inspiring their students to make the most of their time during lockdown to continue to work towards their DofE award. BET’s commitment to DofE and to their fully inclusive approach – enabling any young person to be able to access DofE if they are up to the challenge, is a fantastic example of what can be achieved with the right motivation and support.”
Tristan Gooley, Author of ‘The Natural Navigator’ and ‘The Walkers Guide to Outdoor Clues and Signs’ said: “Bohunt Education Trust’s DofE Game-changer app has provided a fantastic opportunity for students to work toward their DofE award, learn something new and have fun, outdoor adventures of their own, by getting outside and really taking a look at the signs and clues nature provides. Nature is always making a map for us and everything outdoors is a clue and a sign. This innovative and inspiring approach to learning about the outdoors is an incredible resource that will enable many young people to learn how to become a Natural Navigator.”
Neil Strowger, Trust Leader at Bohunt Education Trust said: “The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award plays an immensely important role in the innovative and pioneering approach to outdoor education that we foster as a trust. The new BET DofE Game-changers app is one element of a range of resources we have developed to support students, which highlights the importance of, and ongoing achievements in, delivering a broad programme of outdoor education to our students during this time.”

This app is available to anyone from or