Pupils from both Earlston and Hawick High School recently took part in the RAF’s Operation X programme, undertaking a humanitarian mission on the island of Martillo.
Unfortunately for the pupils, they did not travel to the remote island in the Southern Hemisphere but undertook the mission via an interactive multi-media portal.
The scenario faced by the pupils was that the country had been severely damaged by storms and the forecast indicated that more extreme weather systems were on the way. Martillo’s emergency services were struggling under the pressure, much of the infrastructure had been destroyed, the hospital were unable to deal with the volume of casualties and many of the towns were without power, pupils were faced with a variety of challenges and Earlston pupil, Daisy Chalmers, S3, said: “It was great fun but also highlighted the need to work as a team, make decisions and raised awareness of all the different skills needed to make things happen.”
Designed in line with the Curriculum for Excellence, Operation X engages pupils in a variety of problem-solving tasks, developing skills that will be required in the world of work, including, literacy, working with others, communication and health and well-being. The programme is also informative and stimulates discussion around career opportunities.
Sara Ward, DYW Borders Programme Manager said: “We were thrilled to work with the RAF to deliver Operation X to pupils at both Earlston and Hawick High School. The aim of our programme is to prepare our young people for the world of work and Operation X is an innovative and stimulating way to develop essential life-skills such as the ability to adapt, the importance of communication, interpersonal skills, using your own initiative and working under pressure.”