Students at Springwood High School - part of the West Norfolk Academies Trust - have been encouraged to aim high by a visit from the Royal Air Force schools programme.
The initiative was focused on female students in Years 7, 8 and 9, and was not about recruitment or careers, but rather on using some of the life skills developed by service personnel to help young girls build confidence and character.
“Although they’ve been back at school after lockdown for a while now, when they first came back, we could see that being away from the school environment for so long had taken its toll on some of the girls, so it was an innovative and fun way to give their mental health a bit of a lift,” said Rebecca Davies, assistant head at Springwood, who is also head of Year 8.
“This was a great way of re-engaging them with learning in a fun, extra-curricular way, and encouraging self-development and ways in which they can help themselves when they face challenges.”
The sessions, which took place in social bubbles, were built into the school day to minimise disruption, with prizes on offer for involvement and contribution to the sessions.
Those students judged to be the keenest will go forward to represent Springwood in a multi-school final at nearby RAF Marham in July, where there will be £1000 worth of prizes on offer for those who complete a series of physical learning challenges.
“The RAF approached us about getting involved with the programme, and as far as I’m aware it was the first time our school has done so. As it particularly focused on girls of this age, and building their confidence, it was a great activity for everyone to be part of,” added Miss Davies.