GNSA RAF Trip
On Wednesday 26th September 2018, a group of children from GNSA Primary had a rollercoaster of a time visiting the RAF base in Northolt. Upon arrival, we were greeted by our wonderful guide ‘Mr Rushford’, who organised our visit and escorted us for the duration of our tour. We were extremely fortunate to have been given this opportunity as the RAF do not usually cater for school trips, however it was by special invitation as the RAF were celebrating their 100 year anniversary. “I had a fantastic time – it is something I have never done before and may never have the chance to do again – it was a great experience for me!” Sanya, 6NC
We saw breath taking sights as we drove around the base, including the Royal Squadron Plane gloriously taking off into the clear blue sky, right before our very eyes. Next, we curiously stepped aboard an RAF plane used for carrying passengers as well as heavy cargo. “I never thought I was actually going to go inside a real plane.” Maheep, 4HS
The ‘Load Master’ gave us a talk about the plane – his job was to make sure the plane was balanced (like a see-saw) before it took off so the weight was evenly distributed. We also learnt that the plane could only fly for a maximum of 3.5 hours before it had to stop and refuel. An RAF officer called ‘Charlie’ showed us the outside of the plane and explained its various features such as sensors and lasers whilst answering our never-ending questions. The children were interested and amazed at what they learnt and had many questions they wanted answering! “I can’t believe I sat in the same plane that the Queen and Prime minister sat in!” Tanisha, 6SP
We marvelled at the sight of the magnificent, jet-black helicopter with long, sharp propellers, also used regularly by the Royal Air Force. The children were hoping for a helicopter ride but unfortunately it did not take off at all so they had to be satisfied by just looking at its beauty. “I wish I can fly that helicopter in the future!” Milpreet, 6NC
The final part of our visit took place at the RAF fire service area where there was a short presentation regaling us with the wondrous history of the RAF, followed by a walk to see the RAF firefighters and the different fire engines used by them. A brave firefighter explained that they only had a few minutes to put out fires and save lives as the water in the tank runs out very quickly - after a minute or two, so they have to act quickly and sensibly in fire emergencies. The firefighters then demonstrated the ear-splitting sirens and exhibited pumping water to put out a fire using the impossibly long water pipes. “My favourite part was when the firefighter turned on the ear-splitting siren.” Rajdeep, 4MW
The focus of our afternoon was ‘vocabulary’ and after returning to school, the children spent the afternoon participating in Literacy activities discussing what they had seen, working in groups and preparing PowerPoint presentations while the younger children drew and labelled pictures of what they had seen earlier that day. “After the trip, I took part in group work, talking about everything I had seen using amazing vocabulary to make our sentences more interesting.” Darshan, 3SB
This was an amazing experience for the children and adults that took part. The children had an interesting and enjoyable educational trip; they wished they could have stayed longer!