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Local school children attend International Day at BRNC

24 July 2018
Year six pupils from three local schools were invited to Britannia Royal Naval College (BRNC) as international students under training showcased their countries cultures and traditions.

The children from Dartmouth Academy, Blackawton Primary School and Stoke Fleming Primary School joined staff and Cadets for BRNC’s annual ‘International Day’; a day when the international cadets can wear their country’s military uniform, or traditional clothing.

With display boards and stalls on the quarter-deck, those attending had the opportunity to sample traditional food, including Arabic coffee, dates and cooked meats.

Captain Jol Woodard, the Commanding Officer of BRNC, was given the honour of ‘Cracking the Skull’ with his bare hands before eating of the meat could begin.

International Day has become an important day in the College calendar, and is vital to develop cultural understanding within the college community

Chief Petty Officer Jason Wallace

For the schools this was not only an opportunity to learn about the countries and cultures, but also about the training provided at BRNC itself.

The international cadets made a real effort to interact with the pupils by showing them DVDs, writing their names in Arabic calligraphy and demonstrating traditional dancing; which culminated in a school ‘dance off’ headed up by the international cadets.

Stoke Fleming School were so taken by the international cadets that they invited them to witness their end of year performance. 

The school said: “The children had such a fantastic time they were buzzing when they returned back to school and wanted to do something as a way of thanking them.”

Chief Petty Officer Jason Wallace, BRNC’s international student liaison officer, said: “International Day has become an important day in the College calendar, and is vital to develop cultural understanding within the college community, which results in a better learning environment and helps everyone to get along with each other.

“The international cadets put a lot of effort into making the day a huge success; the International Training Department are very proud of them.”

International training is part of BRNC’s core output and places the College at the forefront of UK government foreign policy, supporting Defence Diplomacy and the Royal Navy International Defence Engagement Strategy. 

Presently there are 46 cadets from 23 nations undergoing initial naval training alongside those destined for careers as Officers in the Royal Navy. 

They come from Albania, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bahamas, Barbados, Bahrain, Egypt, Ghana, Iraq, Kenya, Kuwait, Jordon, Lebanon, Malaysia, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, UAE and Ukraine.

Of the other 66, a group of 25 from Qatar and Saudi Arabia are receiving English Language training, while 41 from Saudi Arabia and Qatar are studying for degrees accredited by Plymouth University.

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