June 28, 2012 8.50 am This story is over 137 months old

Red Arrows scheme gives children a flying start

Blue sky thinking: Schoolchildren working with the widow of a Red Arrows pilot have successfully earned new skills.

Pupils from the Priory Witham Academy got their careers off to a flying start by completing a skills course with the Red Arrows.

A group of children from Year 8 and Year 9 took part in the first ever Blue Skies Programme.

They worked with pilots and air crew from local RAF camps to hone their communication and teamwork abilities.

Over 12 weeks, the children worked at RAF Scampton, RAF Waddington and RAF Cranwell. They then had to give a special presentation about what they learned.

It was set up by the Jon Egging Trust (JET), which was founded in memory of the Arrows pilot who died when his jet crashed after an air display last August.

His widow, Dr Emma Egging, rewarded the pupils’ hard work at a special ceremony. She presented them with certificates of their achievements, and it is hoped that JET can turn the three-month course into a recognised qualification.

Dr Egging said: “We have learned what works and how to strengthen the programme and we are now in a position to start rolling out the Blue Skies scheme at other locations across the country.”

Naomi Sankey is in Year 8 and she explained some of the ways the Blue Skies course helped her: “I’m able to go to different people and talk to them about things I wouldn’t have before.”