Over the past 18 months BEN has been laying the groundwork for businesses to make a more meaningful contribution to education. 

Phase 1 is capacity building and networking with parents to create a pool of resources. 

Phase 2 is building relationships with principals at government schools.   BEN does not provide financial donations or scholarships, what BEN can offer is a framework of services around three connected challenges:

        how to help schools connect with a range of high quality experiential learning  activities;

         how to provide better, more tailored Career guidance to enable young people to make better choices about their learning and employment.

         how to help schools create systems for better and earlier intervention for young people;



Experiential learning.  This is essentially where a student is placed in a different environment to the classroom, in order to stimulate a different type of learning

A good example is the work of the Sloop Foundation who take middle school children out on sea voyages where they continue their studies.   The concept can be applied to any exposure to a new environment in which learning takes place, and which, through adventure and expeditionary challenges, enables students to develop key skills and qualities. 


When I visit school principals, I like to recommend the work of group of educators called the Leaders in Field Education. (“LIFE”)  These are educators who work outside of schools for the Islands museums such as the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo, the art galleries , scientific research organizations such as BIOs and BUEI and other non-profit organizations such as Keep Bermuda Beautiful, The Young Observer and the National Trust to name a few.  These are teachers who work outside of schools in the Field and they are playing a very important role in the education of Bermuda’s school children by providing experiential and expeditionary learning.  I think you could also say that they are cultivating a spirit of adventure in education. 

The second service that BEN offers to schools is more tailored Career guidance. 

There’s a wonderful opportunity, given Bermuda’s close knit business community, for us to create connections between business and schools. Now more than ever, young people in Bermuda need access to good career guidance in order to start building their resumes and to find out where they want to go in life.   We believe that good career guidance is a powerful driver of social mobility. 


The most successful countries in the world will be the ones that make the most of the talents and potential of all their citizens, not just a narrow elite, which hinders our economic potential. This is why Bermuda Education is focusing on public schools.  Good career guidance helps young people to progress to higher education and opens their eyes to careers in the professions and elsewhere. It also supports vulnerable young people to overcome any barriers they may face to help them fulfill their potential.


Our most ambitious career project to date is the Math Springboard Program.   This is a two week summer program for S2 students where they get to shadow a financial services professional and also get to attend math lessons.   The program is attempting to promotes math related jobs because there are so many opportunities in the financial services area, but students need to find out earlier about what is involved and they need to get their math skills up to standard in order to access those opportunities.  We’re actually the only structured summer program for 16 year-old students in the financial services field.  The reason is that it is difficult for the companies to find appropriate tasks for this age group.  BEN provides simple business-related activities for students to do while they are in their offices and we also organize presentations from the industries involved and a seminar on office etiquette.  We take every opportunity while the students are with us to help them start to build a career strategy and if any of them appear to be gifted at mathematics, we’ll direct them to academic opportunities such as those provided by the Centre for Talented Youth.  


 We have created some fact sheets which give at a glance information to businesses and trades about programs that BEN is involved with for Berkeley and CedarBridge students.  By giving you a clearer idea of what is involved, we hope we can persuade more businesses to get involved.  Our strategy is ALL about bringing together young people with business people. 

 By the end of the program participants will understand business basics, and we clear up a few mysteries about reinsurance.  Part of my goal with BEN is to create a society where no child ever says they want to be an actuary without knowing what an actuary does


The final service that BEN hopes to provide to schools is yet to be launched.  But it is our ambition to help schools form systems for early intervention.   We plan to appoint a director of Learning Enrichment who has experience of remediation programs to be a consultant available to public schools.  They will be available to consult with school principals and to help to connect schools to additional help for children whose learning style demands a different approach.  This professional will also help us to provide information and support to parents via our website.

There are many areas where children are at risk of falling behind, but the most critical area is in math and literacy, so we are investigating math and reading remediation programs and will provide links to these programs for both educators and parents to access via our website.  With support from the Actuarial Foundation we are also looking at starting math clubs and math mentorships.


In all of these programs we’re trying to give students an extra dimension to their school experience.  Education can seem to be a two dimensional experience, all about what you see in a page.  What we aim to do is to lift it off the page and make it a 3 dimensional experience.


For more information visit www.ben.bm