Balshaw’s Church of England High School

High Flying Visit to Balshaw’s

6 March 2015


On October 17th Year 9 pupils at Balshaw’s C.E High School were visited by some high flying guests as two members of the RAF dropped in to highlight careers in the Royal Air Force. Captain Sharon Males and Flight Lieutenant Aaron Kerry visited Balshaw’s in a Squirrel helicopter to promote the variety of roles within the RAF. Excited Year 9 pupils were given the opportunity to ask Sharon and Aaron questions about their chosen careers and the thrill of flying a helicopter.

When Sharon Males suggested it I jumped at the opportunity as I wanted to allow pupils to see the unique opportunities and careers that are out there. I also wanted to raise the profile of the role of women within STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and to show our girls that literally the sky is the limit nowadays. The girls in Year 9 were shocked when they heard that when Sharon Males first started out on her chosen career path she was told that because she was a woman she could not become a pilot but through sheer determination and hard work she prevailed. At the end of the session there were lots of pupils who were keen to pursue a career in the RAF and also a few staff too considering a career change! The boys were also impressed with the stories Aaron and Sharon told about their active service and crucial role in helping to serve their country.”

Pupils spent forty minutes quizzing the two pilots before a lucky few were given the opportunity to see inside the Squirrel helicopter before it was back to normal lessons. Mr Haycocks, said the visit was a unique opportunity for the school and they were keen to make it an annual event. He said “There are so many choices facing young people about their futures and to have the chance to hear about the stories behind the career choices of Aaron and Sharon was inspirational.  It showed that opportunities for success are there whether you seek them out as a dream career as with Sharon, or if the career finds you as it did with Aaron.”

Mrs Wilson

Tags: STEM News