Year 11 Army Engagement Day

Army Engagement Day

On the first day of the new academic year our year 11 students had a great opportunity to work with the Army Youth Outreach Team.  This is a specialist team of soldiers, educating young people about the role of the British Army in this country and abroad, serving the British people.  The day began with a presentation and then a carousel of activities led by Army personnel and Thamesmead teachers.  The whole day was a great success, benefiting students by:

  • Building supportive relationships. Students spent much of the day in tutor groups and for the majority of the time with their tutor, enjoying a shared experience and the chance to work together.  These are individuals students see every day, twice a day.  The Army Engagement Day helped deepen some of these relationships in this crucial exam year of GCSEs.
  • Developing softer skills.  All the activities involved team work and communication, important skills in the workplace.  Students had to communicate effectively to problem-solve and co-ordinate their efforts to achieve the aim of the task.  For example, students had to negotiate ‘quicksand’, using a system of ropes to ensure everyone survived!
  • Thinking about the future. As an organisation the Army offers 200+ different careers.  The day was a great opportunity for students to talk to real people with real jobs, balancing work and life commitments in a variety of different roles within the Army.  Whether students are considering vocational courses or planning an academic route, the Army presentation was able to showcase a range of possible careers.
  • Applying the curriculum. The activities encouraged students to apply their understanding in lessons, particularly non-verbal reasoning, maths and science.  Activities included transforming a 2-D image into a 3-D object, orienteering (measuring and taking bearings) and building a mini-tank to fire a projectile as well as breaking mathematical codes.
  • Being aspirational. The individual soldiers were inspirational.  The Army had given each of the soldiers amazing opportunities, enabling them to go to different parts of the world and enjoy new experiences.  Individuals had incredible responsibilities and displayed a range of leadership.  Most of all, there was a clear message that it is not enough to do something right.  We all need that attention to detail to do a task exactly right.  In the words of Thamesmead’s own Year 11 tutor, Mrs Johnston, “Do not practice until you get it right.  Practice until you can’t get it wrong”.