Eighty-five pupils and 21 staff from primary schools across Dartmoor Multi Academy Trust have just returned from an exciting cultural experience in Normandy.

Fully funded by the government’s Turing Scheme, children were given the opportunity to learn more about pivotal historical moments from the Second World War, experience the Bayeux Tapestry and nearby cathedral, climb the ancient steps of Mont Saint Michel and visit Arromanches to see the remnants of the Mulberry Harbour.

Normandy became the chosen destination for this transformational visit due to is historical significance and because many Devon towns and villages are twinned with towns in the region.

The Turing Scheme is the UK’s global programme offering opportunities in education and training across the world and enabling pupils to develop new skills and gain international experience.

In 2022, the Turing Scheme received 513 applications, which was a significant increase on previous years. Whilst most applications from universities were successful, DMAT was one of only four schools in the South West who were successful in receiving a grant through this highly competitive application process.

Elizabeth Underwood, executive principal at Dartmoor Multi Academy Trust, said: “A year ago, we were delighted to receive confirmation of such significant funding from the Turing Scheme that has enabled us to make this Normandy residential available to all 230 Y6 pupils. This second visit has been just as successful as our first trip in May of 145 children and has enabled everyone to be fully immersed in French culture and explore towns and aspects of 20th century history.

“Our aims of building children’s confidence in using another language for real purpose, as well as bringing children across the Trust together to support the transition onto secondary school have been fulfilled. We hope to have inspired both children and staff to revisit Normandy in future years to find out more.”

Dan Morrow, trust leader for Dartmoor Multi Academy Trust, said: “The Turing Scheme has had a transformational impact on the wider engagement our pupils with their studies and the wider world, helping to give both opportunities and experiences that will last a lifetime. We are so grateful to the Turing Scheme for their support and we look forward to building on the success of both trips in the future.”