Pupils of Sir E Scott school spent three days in the company of some of the most experienced personnel in the Royal Air Force this week (4th and 5th June).
Over 200 primary and secondary pupils were led in activities designed to engage them and offer team-building, insights into employment and STEM projects.
Among the activities, pupils had piping and drumming workshops with members of the Pipes and Drums of the Royal Air Force, tried on pilot uniforms, spoke to RAF pilots and learnt about their local connections with the RAF through a presentation on the crash of an RAF bomber in Harris during the Second World War.
Music was a key element of the visit, with the charity Never Such Innocence (NSI), which aims to give children and young people a voice on war and conflict. They brought ITV’s The Voice finalist Bethzienna Williams to work with a class, creating a new song which was performed by the children at a community social event on Wednesday evening.
Scotland’s senior air officer, Air Vice-Marshal Ross Paterson, was impressed both with the children and with the Isle of Harris itself. He’s spending today (Friday June 7th) hill-walking in the Bays of Harris after completing his official duties.
He said: “The whole event is part of our commitment to developing the young workforce and we were also pre-publicising a new Scottish Aviation Heritage and STEM trail which will link sites in Scotland to far-flung connections in places like Canada and Australia.
“The connections between the UK Armed Forces, particularly the RAF, and the Western Isles are very strong, which is why the RAF was delighted to be coming to Harris in such strong numbers. Across the three days that we were in Tarbert we saw personnel from the RAF and civilian youth organisations find out a little more about each other, and everyone at the school made us so welcome.”
Pictures show primary pupils at Sir E Scott school trying on uniforms and learning more about the RAF. Air Vice Marshal Paterson is centre back on the group photo (Sir E Scott School).