Public Services students head to MoD

STUDENTS from Priestley College were invited to the Ministry of Defence after impressing officials with their ideas for solving a crisis in a war-torn country.

The Public Service students, many of whom want to join the Armed Forces, had taken part in the MoD’s outreach programme, which challenged them to deal with a humanitarian crisis caused by war in the fictional country of Dacan.

Programme manager Andy Gillman MBE invited them to the MoD’s Whitehall HQ to receive certificates and speak about how the experience had helped them.

William Upton, who wants to join the Royal Navy, said his team had performed strongly in the mock news conference that tested their understanding of the crisis.

“We did well and really understood what we were trying to achieve,” said the former Culcheth High School pupil.

“We faced some tough questions, but were able to answer them.”

Andy visited Priestley College to set the scene of the Dacan crisis. He presented students with a history of the region, maps and videos about different aspects of the country.

Students teamed up taking on the roles of Prime Minister, Home Secretary and other ministers to complete their research before being questioned by other students on their how they were dealing with the disaster.

Their trip to the MoD proved to be a high-security experience.

“As soon as you walked in you were not allowed to do anything until your ID had been checked,” said former Culcheth High pupil Olivia Hoddes.

“We had to put our bags through the metal detectors, it was like being at an airport.”

Eight other schools / colleges attended the ceremony. Each student took part in a presentation in which they explained how the project had made a difference to them.

“It was a great opportunity for all of us who took part and one that we can talk about on our CVs and in interviews in future,” said Sadie Shingler, who was a pupil at Cardinal Newman before joining Priestley College.