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Helston schoolchildren learn basic survival skills

Helston schoolchildren learn basic survival skills
20 June 2016
Survival instructors from Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose have spread their knowledge to school children in Helston as part of an educational experience.

The children from Year 5 class at Nansloe Academy in Helston have learnt what it’s like to get back to basics and build their own shelters, light fires and live with no modern gadgets, just like people would have done in prehistoric times. 

Supporting the class is Nansloe parent-governor, Chief Petty Officer Aircrewman Dave Thompson of 820 Naval Air Squadron, who as aircrew has been on many survival exercises in his navy career. 

He said, “When I found out their class project was about the Stone Age, I suggested that we could help with some practical exercises. As aircrew we are taught how to survive in case we are lost or need to cope with just what we find.”

When I found out their class project was about the Stone Age, I suggested that we could help with some practical exercises

Chief Petty Officer Aircrewman Dave Thompson of 820 Naval Air Squadron

Dave recruited one of Culdrose’s survival experts to give lessons in the school then a whole day out in Penrose Woods building shelters and lighting fires with flints. 

“The children are really enthusiastic about learning with just minimal equipment,” said Leading Airman (Survival Equipment) Jonathan Lowe. 

“We broke them down into smaller groups and each had to use what was around them to construct a shelter. I must say there are some really good efforts and they seem to absolutely love getting stuck in. They continually ask questions and everyone has joined in.”

Year 5 teacher, Josh Perry sees the experience as a great help in explaining how cave dwellers and our ancient ancestors lived. 

He said, “Learning these survival skills to how people lived is important to understanding how hard it was with just nature to help. Most of the children have never built a fire before. Seeing how precious it was too early man and using nothing more than a piece flint to make a spark and understanding why wood should be dry is an interesting lesson in its self.”

“It’s really very generous of the Sailors from Culdrose to take time out and come and give us all a life lesson, they’ve been absolutely amazing.”

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