From Gold to Platinum in one hit, 2020 Scholar Leonardo Buttice first to receive prestigious award.

Published: 7 Jun 2017


Mark Rutherford School student Leonardo Buttice was recently awarded not only the first Villiers Park Gold Standard INVOLVE Award, but also the first ever Platinum INVOLVE Award for Outstanding Leadership and Project Management. This is a wonderful achievement for one of our Scholars, displaying how hard work and enthusiasm can lead to resounding success.

Leonardo is a member of our 2020 STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) Scholars Programme, a two-year course which takes place during their A-levels. As part of the course, our STEM Scholars now participate in the INVOLVE initiative, a self-organised project designed to encourage Scholars to contribute to the enrichment of the learning communities within their own and other local schools and colleges. Leonardo has fully embraced INVOLVE during his time as a Scholar, committing himself to the project and resulting in the Platinum Award for his efforts.

As part of his project, Leonardo teamed up with two other STEM Scholars as well as some other Year 12 students to lead a two-hour science day during ‘science week’ in March, targeting 30 Year 4 students from two local schools: Ravensden Lower School and Great Barford Lower School. The day involved the running of three sessions simultaneously, during which the Scholars each led their own chosen subject field (for Leonardo this was Chemistry). “We titled it: Chemistry, colour changes and important chemicals. We taught about acids and alkalis and used a video with a brief explanation. We covered all important things such as health and safety, as well as the definition of Chemistry”.

Leonardo and his team went to great efforts to ensure the event would run smoothly, corresponding with the two schools in order to plan in detail the timings, room allocations and staff timetabling to ensure the day would be possible. “I met with the Head Teacher on multiple occasions to decide which rooms to use and how to inform the schools. I then wrote up a letter to be sent to each school outlining the science day”.

When the day had been fully planned, Leonardo wasted no time in preparing his activities with the students: “One member of staff had taught Year 4’s before and we brainstormed ideas of what could be done. I also spoke with the school’s technicians about which practical’s can be done with Year 4’s.”

Leonardo and his team received much support from their own school Mark Rutherford, and the day proved a resounding success.

“We are hugely proud of Leo and the effort he and his fellow Scholars put into organising the primary school science day here at Mark Rutherford School. The Scholars Programme was made for Leo, he has embraced every opportunity passed his way and given so much back to the school and local community. I can’t think of anyone more deserving of the Platinum INVOLVE Award,” Tracy Jakins, 2nd in Dept. Science/STEM co-ordinator, Mark Rutherford School.

We at Villiers Park are immensely proud of the work Leonardo has done. It is wonderful to see our Scholars fully embracing our programme, especially the new INVOLVE project. We hope Leonardo will be an inspiration to all his fellow students and Scholars to continue to strive for success.


Notes to Editor:

  1. Villiers Park Educational Trust is a registered charity with over 50 years of experience – empowering young people to fulfil their potential by helping them develop a passion for learning and raising their aspirations.  The charity is committed to fair access – enabling students from less advantaged backgrounds to gain places at leading universities and to thrive once there.
  2. Villiers Park INVOLVE empowers students participating in our programmes to enrich the learning communities in their schools and colleges.
  3. The Villiers Park Educational Trust Scholars Programme is a four year comprehensive programme of support for high ability students from less advantaged backgrounds between Years 10 and 13 which works in seven areas across the UK.
  4. For further information please contact Jack Jakins, Communications and Development Intern