One-day workshops build skills for life

JET has joined forces with the RAF Youth Engagement Team and East Anglia’s leading provider of educational resources and projects, Camouflaged Learning. This three-way partnership has helped over 100 students across Norfolk develop the confidence, teamwork and communication skills to aim high and be successful at school and beyond.

Wayland Academy, Marshland High School and Springwood High School were able to host a series of one-day workshops for their pupils thanks to this new partnership between JET, the RAF and Camouflaged Learning. Designed to push pupils out of their comfort zone, the workshops comprised a mix of fantastic and unusual activities, delivered with passion and enthusiasm by staff at Camouflaged Learning.

Early in the day, students worked in small groups to take part in various activities – from the seemingly simple to the splendidly silly. A firm favourite was working as a team to lower a stick to the ground, everyone only touching the stick with one finger. The more the students tried, the harder and more frustrating the activity became. And yet the young people persevered and kept trying new approaches. This demonstrates how effectively these workshops are able to develop transferable skills that the students can use in everyday life.
Picture1.Facilitated by Camouflaged Learning

Communication challenges included team leaders trying to guide their blindfolded team to them. Students tried a range of communication techniques, from calling their teammate to clapping a special rhythm.
Directing a blindfolded teammate

Four hours in, and students had progressed from refusing to leave their friend’s side to being able to work as one collective group to complete a challenge. For example, without anyone stepping off the tarpaulin, the students had to turn the tarpaulin upside down. To complete the challenge, students needed to clearly communicate ideas, work together, and feel confident to tackle the challenge. At Marshland High School, two students confidently stood up to pitch their plan to the rest of the group before everyone voted for their chosen method. Although the challenge seems complex, Camouflaged Learning had so expertly empowered and upskilled the students throughout the day that they were able to complete the task unbelievably quickly.
26 students working together

At Springwood High School, students collaboratively made a large loop of newspaper, which all their team members could stand in. They could then move as a group, reflecting the way the tracks of a tank move. Using this method, the five teams competed to race across the space. Teams that went too quickly saw their newspaper creation disintegrate. Only the teams that listened and responded to their teammates made it past the finish line!
Springwood High School students walking in their tank
However, as the students came to realise throughout the day, the best team isn’t always the winning team. Sometimes, the best team is the team that learns the most, in which case every student was a winner as every student gained confidence in their teamwork and communication skills.

“I’ve never done anything like this before. It was really exciting. I can’t wait to see what we do next.” 12-year-old attendee, part way through the workshop

It was awesome, interesting and fun. You learn about yourself and you get to make new friends because you work with lots of different people.” Pupil from Marshland High School, age 15

“Our students engaged so well and overcame the challenges they faced because they felt safe and supported. I spent a large majority of the day in the room, as it was so amazing to see these young people excelling in challenging situations.” Dom Stannard, Head of Character and Culture at Marshland High School

“The skills which the students were building on today I feel are vital to them being successful within school and the future!  Already, I can see how the students have developed and progressed with only one day of these activities, which is fantastic!” Amber Maryon, Teaching Assistant at Marshland High School

A select few students from these sessions have been chosen to take part in a JET Blue Skies Inspire Package next term to develop their confidence, teamwork and communication skills further.