Gosport schoolchildren get to sit in a Royal Navy helicopter cockpit on 'amazing' trip to HMS Sultan

LEARNING was brought to life for 90 excited schoolchildren who got the chance to climb aboard Royal Navy helicopters and wear training gear normally reserved for engineers.

Cockpits, life rafts and other survival tools were all within limits when the youngsters from Grange Infant School in Gosport went to HMS Sultan.

The Year 1 pupils were given a hands-on tour of the defence hub’s Stephenson Hangar – home to the 760 Engineering Training Squadron.

Air engineers took the time to explain the different uses of equipment that can be vital for sailors and pilots on the naval front line.

Petty officer Hearn with Grange Infant School pupil, Charlie, who is sat in an an aircraft's cockpit. Picture: Nicola Harper/Royal Navy

It came as part of a school module, which focuses on different types of transport and navigation and how they evolve.

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Jacqui Simpson, Year 1 leader at Grange Infant School, said: ‘We came last year and it’s an absolutely amazing opportunity for the children to experience loads of different types of transport that they wouldn’t ever get to see, or touch, or be in.

‘They’re having a great time, the children’s faces say so much, they are smiley and engaged.

Petty officer Jawanda with children from Grange Infant School at HMS Sultan. They are sat in a life raft. Picture: Nicola Harper/Royal Navy

‘Children who are normally quiet are speaking up and the ones with challenging behaviour are so engaged and behaving brilliantly.’

She added: ‘Over the next few weeks, we will be working on a literacy project about a car and afterwards the children will be encouraged to write about their own transport of choice.

‘So the experience of going on a helicopter, in a jet fighter’s cockpit or trying out a life raft should offer plenty of inspiration.’

Petty officer Anastasis with Grange Infant School pupils in a helicopter cockpit. Picture: Nicola Harper/Royal Navy