Education and Training

Gloucestershire aviation skills events for primary school age cleared for takeoff by Government

Written by: Andrew Merrell | Posted 02 September 2020 6:50

Gloucestershire aviation skills events for primary school age cleared for takeoff by Government

An aviation charity based at Gloucestershire Airport is one of the pilots of a Department for Transport backed initiative to help take children’s career aspirations to a higher level - and it takes off today (September 2). 

Staverton-based fly2help is part of the Reach for the Skies Aviation Skills Programme, launched in 2019, and is staging its first open day of 2020 this morning to officially get the initiative airborne.  Another is is also planned for this afternoon.

Reach for the Skies describes itself as “committed to raising the profile of aviation, creating new and improved career pathways and developing enhanced outreach activities within the sector, and this year moves its focus from 14 to 18-year-olds to the even younger generation. 

Social distancing permitting, it will see the charity visit primary schools with what it calls a travelling airport, aiming to introduce children to a variety of roles within the industry and encourage them to think positively about their futures. 

It is also hoping to get in front of young people in organisations including Scouts, Gloucestershire Young Carers and Young Gloucestershire to show them the wide varierty of careers within the industry.

In the past the charity’s Aim High events have been supported by staff from household names including Safran, Dowty Propellers, GE Aviation, Airbus and Rolls-Royce at Filton who have opened their facilities and talked about careers and apprenticeships. 

“Our Travelling Airport display is a unique visual display activity and brings the wonder and excitement of aviation into the classroom.  

“We bring our airport to your school and using various activity stations for children to look and understand who and what it takes to get an aircraft off the ground,” said fly2help’s Kim Lewington, who has been working within the aviation industry and at airports for more than three decades. 

As well as the excitement of the Travelling Airport, we also bring along positive role models from the aviation industry for the children to meet and chat with, such as pilots, engineers and other aviation experts who can offer advice, guidance, experience and above all inspiration to youngsters of all ages. 

The activities will provide opportunities for curriculum supported project work such asscience:engineering (displays and tool identification and their practical use), geography (map work and cloud identification), maths: runway numbersEnglish(report and creative writing opportunities) and art and design. 

Typical activities include learning the layout of an airport from the information desk, check in, security, boarding to experiencing air traffic control, talking to a pilot who will show them some of the instrument panel of the cockpit, an engineer and even becoming a passenger on an aircraft. 

Pupils will even learn how to directan aircraft on the ground using marshalling bats. 

Today's open day events are due to take place at the airport between 10am and 2pm and between 4pm and 6pm. To find out more email