Students learn survival skills

Leap of faith: Chatham High students take to the water under the watchful eye of Navy instructors.

Leap of faith: Chatham High students take to the water under the watchful eye of Navy instructors.


CHATHAM High students were put through their paces this week by instructors from the Royal Australian Navy in a bold initiative to help students better understand their English topic of study.

Students were taken out of their comfort zone and into the pool at the Manning Aquatic Leisure Centre, with year nine participating on Tuesday and other classes later in the week.

Navy instructors put students through a range of survival exercises which included clambering aboard an inflatable raft, with an emphasis placed on resilience, teamwork and leadership.

It's the second time the navy has participated in the activities after its inaugural visit in 2015.

The navy visit was sparked by year nine English teacher Judi Wood and learning and support teacher Deb Shaw.

With the first unit of English study this year revolving around survival stories and the book Hatchet, Judi wanted to add a practical experience for her students to draw from.

Chatham High staff member and former commanding officer of Taree's naval cadets Deb Shaw had the necessary contacts to quickly turn a navy visit into a reality.

Judi said there was a range of benefits for the students participating in the exercise.

"It gives them real life experiences to draw from," Judi said.

"We have much higher levels of engagement, and it helps with our discussions about resilience, leadership and teamwork."

Chatham High is the only school outside of the navy's home base suburb of Nowra to receive the visits.

"It gives them an experience they wouldn't otherwise have," Judi said of her students.

Following the event last year several students also voiced their desire to get a job in the defence force.

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