RAF help students to use their skills

RAF Boulmer personnel with students from the Northumberland C of E Academy in Ashington.
RAF Boulmer personnel with students from the Northumberland C of E Academy in Ashington.

STUDENTS braved the elements to improve their communication and problem solving skills as part of an initiative led by the RAF.

Pupils at the Northumberland Church of England Academy in Ashington completed a special day of activities with a Dragon’s Den-style challenge which saw them work together to create their own unique product.

Personnel from RAF Boulmer’s Youth Activities Working Group (YAWG) delivered the team building, leadership, communication and problem solving exercises to Year 12 students as part of the Enterprise Day organised by the Northumberland Education and Business Partnership (NEBP).

Senior aircraftmen Rachel Murphy, Vaughan Campbell and Ben Northwood, led by Sergeant ‘Pops’ Parry, arrived at Ashington High School armed with their facilitation tools last week, where they led two sessions.

The morning session began with the students being numbered off and split into four syndicates, where each of the teams were tasked with a set of mobile team challenges, with each activity managed by one of the RAF staff.

Challenges such as the ‘Spider’s Web’ and ‘Teeter Totter Bridge’, which are designed to develop planning, problem solving, collaboration and shared leadership skills, proved popular with the students, as did the less conventional version of ‘Rock, Paper, Scissors’, where students had to adopt different body positions as a team to indicate their stance.

The afternoon was used to develop the enterprise theme, where each syndicate was tasked to design, develop and manufacture something unique.

Each group then gave a five-minute presentation on their product in a ‘Dragon’s Den’ showdown.

Final products included a wheel-barrow for the elderly, another group created a rowing/fitness machine and another a robust child’s play truck.

In the end the winning entry was a portable camping chair/toilet, which came complete with toilet roll and scented carrier bag.