Wiltshire students learn life, work and leadership skills

Wiltshire students learn life, work and leadership skills

Year 8 students from Avon Valley College have just completed their life, work and leadership skills sessions courtesy of a long-standing corporate partnership between JET and QinetiQ based at MOD Boscombe Down.

The 15 pupils aged 12 and 13 were selected by their school to take part in JET’s Blue Skies Inspire Programme. Five sessions covering teamwork, communication, resilience and goal setting – plus an exciting day out at MOD Boscombe Down – helped the students gain in confidence as well as valuable life skills.

The college’s head of pastoral care described the programme as ‘amazing’ and reported that one attendee, who rarely came to lessons and seldom mixed with other students, now does both on a regular basis. Other students stressed how much more confident they felt, especially when speaking to new people, which they had struggled with before the course.

Representatives from QinetiQ volunteered at the teamwork and communication sessions, as well as hosting the final session at MOD Boscombe Down. Here the children had chance to sit in the cockpit of an aircraft; learnt about ejection seats, parachutes and survival dinghies and got to hang out in the hangar with a helicopter!

The children were joined at this fifth and final session by Danielle Brown MBE, double Paralympic gold medallist in archery and the first disabled athlete to represent England in able-bodied sport. As a professional speaker and inclusion champion who is passionate about helping young people take ownership of their future, Danielle is really interested in JET’s work supporting students who face barriers to their learning achieve their full potential. Her own work around improving academic performance and strengthening mental health and wellbeing resonates with JET’s mission to develop children’s confidence, self-esteem and desire to learn.

Danielle says: “I had a fantastic time at the Blue Skies session. The positive impact that JET has had on these young people was clear and it was awesome getting to hear about their experiences on the programme. It has helped their confidence levels and communication skills, and it was great to see them all so engaged in the session and asking brilliant questions.”
Danielle Brown MBE – pictured below