PUPILS from an Ashington school were put to the test during a visit by members of the RAF.
The Northumberland Church of England Academy, at Josephine Butler Campus in Ashington, welcomed RAF Boulmer’s Youth Activities Group for an afternoon of team building exercises.
The military personnel used the RAF Boulmer mobile team challenge equipment to help 70 pupils develop their teamwork, leadership, communication and problem-solving skills.
And a number of French pupils, who were visiting the school on an exchange trip from the Lycée Edouard Herriot in Troyes near Paris, also joined in the fun.
During the afternoon the students were handed a number of challenges with each creating different problems.
The youngsters were required to plan how they would get through each problem by working towards a common goal.
This helped students to develop leadership and communication skills while encouraging them to work as part of a team.
The aim was to teach pupils important skills that they will need as they develop as individuals and enter the world of work.
One of the exercises involved constructing a catapult which had to be freestanding and able to fire a tennis ball.
After much discussion and laughter, one team managed to build one that worked.
The winning team fired their tennis ball about six feet.
Carly Cormack, who organised the visit, said that it had been great fun, but the main benefit was that it had enabled the students to quickly open up channels of communication, not only between themselves, but with their French visitors.
She said: “Everyone was shy at first, but the exercises made them all open up quickly to get the job done.”