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British royalty visit JIS

JERUDONG International School (JIS) in partnership with the British High Commission in Brunei Darussalam hosted a visit from His Royal Highness Prince Edward, the Earl and Countess of Wessex and Her Royal Highness Sophie, the Countess of Wessex recently as part of Their Royal Highnesses visit to Brunei Darussalam to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam’s Accession to the Throne.

His Royal Highness the Earl of Wessex is Chair of Trustees of The Duke of Edinburgh (DofE)’s International Award Foundation, and the visit gave him an opportunity to congratulate award participants and their leaders on their progress, and to highlight the holistic value of The DofE’s International Award.

According to a press statement issued by the British High Commission, His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh founded the award in 1956 with the aim to enable young people to learn, develop and thrive through non-formal education, equipping them with better life skills.

During their visit Their Royal Highnesses the Earl and Countess of Wessex, accompanied by Richard Lindsay, British High Commissioner to Brunei Darussalam engaged with award participants. They saw first-hand how these students support the wider community in Brunei Darussalam and challenge themselves to learn new skills.

Escorted by the JIS Head Girl, Salsa Mazlan and Head Boy, James Brien together with the Deputy Head Girls, Renee Teo and Uma Roy Prabhakaran, Their Royal Highnesses the Earl and Countess of Wessex saw this process in action.

His Royal Highness Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex speaking to students and teachers about The Duke of Edinburgh (DofE)’s International Award

His Royal Highness Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex speaking to students and teachers about The Duke of Edinburgh (DofE)’s International Award

Her Royal Highness Sophie, the Countess of Wessex mingling with Gold Award Level students mentoring and training younger Bronze Award Level students for Adventurous Journey training. – PHOTOS: BRITISH HIGH COMMISSION

Her Royal Highness Sophie, the Countess of Wessex mingling with Gold Award Level students mentoring and training younger Bronze Award Level students for Adventurous Journey training. – PHOTOS: BRITISH HIGH COMMISSION

Moving through the JIS Arts Centre, they talked to JIS students involved in lighting and rehearsals for the upcoming performance of Shakespeare’s comedy A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The school musicians spoke about and demonstrated their range of expertise from orchestral ensemble through to rock band.

Barnaby Sandow, Principal of Jerudong International School commented, “Our team was hugely excited for this VIP visit. It was wonderful for the participants and Award Leaders of The DofE’s International Award to meet the chair of this excellent organisation. These life journeys have meant so much to so many members of our community, and to have the chance to share these experiences with Their Royal Highnesses the Earl and Countess of Wessex was an awe-inspiring opportunity.”

Students from the International School Brunei (ISB) were also present to showcase their DofE Award expeditions and community projects. The Beach Bunch, a registered local NGO with a vision of keeping Brunei’s beaches safer, cleaner and more enjoyable had an opportunity to showcase their community coastal cleanliness efforts including tree planting conservation, trail running races, sea turtle conservation efforts and coastal water safety efforts on a national level, all of which are offered to DofE Award students.

Students from JIS shared their experiences of working to help others in Cambodia, Malaysia, Borneo and India. They explained to the honoured guests about the JIS Polio Points scheme whereby students earning merits redeem these for polio vaccines.

At the JIS Outdoor Discovery Centre, students explained about the student led Eco Agroforestry project – creating compost from food waste and planting herb spirals. Their Royal Highnesses the Earl and Countess of Wessex also saw Adventurous Journey training taking place with Gold Award Level students mentoring and training younger Bronze Award Level students.

The Head Girl and Head Boy led Their Royal Highnesses the Earl and Countess of Wessex to the new Sports Complex where they saw students coaching in one of the sports halls and a lifesaving skill demonstration at the swimming pool.

Students shared their own personal journeys with the special guests – explaining how the award has given them to opportunity to deepen their self-awareness, build their self-confidence and broaden their skills to develop as active, responsible citizens.

To complete the visit, Richard Lindsay, introduced Their Royal Highnesses the Earl and Countess of Wessex to families from the British community based in Brunei Darussalam.

This included members of the Loan Service (British Armed Forces personnel seconded to the Royal Brunei Armed Forces), the Centre for British Teachers (CfBT) whose teachers are based in local schools, members of the Britain Brunei Business Forum (BBBF), and the staff and families of the British High Commission.

At the end of the visit His Royal Highness unveiled a plaque inaugurating the JIS new Sports Complex.

Borneo Bulletin | October 14, 2017