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Naval Cadets conduct Operation Outreach

5 December 2016
Officer Cadets from Britannia Royal Naval College have taken two days out of their busy schedule to create a forest garden at a Torquay primary school.

The twenty-five Officer Cadets who make up the college’s Astute Division spent the24 and 25 November at Watcombe Primary School clearing an overgrown area at the bottom of the school’s playing field and furnishing it with pathways, a pond and a fire pit.

Officer Cadet Charles Cormack said: “The difference between before and after is staggering.

“It demonstrates what can be achieved in a short time with a motivated team.” 

The children have made us feel extremely welcome over the last two days and they clearly understand the need to abide by the school core values both in and out of school.

Lieutenant Clark

The Officer Cadets, who are just a few weeks away from finishing their initial training, also had the opportunity to eat lunch with the pupils.

There was much excitement amongst the children as they were able to ask questions about the Royal Navy and the training programme.

Officer Cadet Edward Campbell, who led the BRNC team, said: “It has been a great opportunity for us to get involved with the local community and to be able to provide this outdoor space for the pupils.

“It has also continued our own development of teamwork and leadership which are vital for our careers in the Royal Navy.”

Astute’s Divisional Officer, Lieutenant David Clark, and four of the cadets were invited to the school assembly.

They talked to the pupils about the navy’s core values - Commitment, Courage, Discipline, Respect, Integrity and Loyalty - and how they’re similar to the school’s own set of values - Respect, Reliability, Confidence and Aspirations.

This gave the children another opportunity to quiz the future officers on what it means to be in the Royal Navy.

Lieutenant Clark said: “The children have made us feel extremely welcome over the last two days and they clearly understand the need to abide by the school core values both in and out of school. 

“As future leaders in the Royal Navy, we encourage our Officer Cadets to speak in public as they will be required to deliver orders with inspiration and confidence in the very near future. 

“However, presenting in front of excited children in an assembly provided them with a completely different challenge all together, in particular, dealing with the range of questions. 

“The level of engagement in the assembly clearly demonstrates the pupils have the confidence, core value, to ask questions in order to develop their own level of knowledge.”

As well as the outdoor work, some of the Officer Cadets spent time working indoors to decorate and move furniture in order to increase the school’s capacity to host meetings and work space for the children.

Headmaster of the school, Mr Adam Morris, said: “We have been really lucky to benefit from having the Naval Officer Cadets from Dartmouth.  It has made a huge difference and wouldn’t have been achievable without their support.

“The forest school activities are designed to utilise the outdoor environment and promote a range of skills and learning. This is an exciting new development that children across the school will be able to enjoy.”

On Friday, eight of the trainees spent half a day at the nearby Apollo Boxing Club to assist with maintenance and renovations. 

Officer Cadet Daniel Shepherd said: “It’s been a pleasure to do our bit for the boxing club, and even more so knowing what a terrific asset it is to the community.”

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