BA pilot inspires pupils at Friezland Primary as part of Oldham Pledge

By Liam Brown

THERE was excitement right the way through from take-off to landing as an exciting aviation workshop came to Friezland Primary School.

Pupils from years five and six at the school on Church Road were inspired by the visit from BA pilot, Stuart Beech, who is from Oldham. 

Mr Beech set the classroom out like the inside of an aircraft, including numbering the seats for pupils to mirror an aeroplane.

Pupils took on the roles of cabin crew, pointing out emergency exits and demonstrating how to put on life jackets and use oxygen masks in an emergency.

BA pilot Stuart Beech with pupils

They read out the welcome message and instructions given by cabin crew and the pilot before and during a flight.

And they talked about all aspects of a flight, from checking weather conditions before take-off, the effect of that on the flight, and emergency landings.

BA pilot Stuart Beech

Mr Beech, who has been an airline pilot for 14 years and recently was a surprise guest singer on the BBC’s Michael McIntyre’s Big Show, has held numerous other workshops to inspire young people but this was his first visit to Friezland.

He said: “I first knew I was going to be a pilot when my Grandad use to take me down to the airport when I was 9 years old. 

“So, through doing these kinds of workshops I hope I will help some pupils take the same steps as me and become an airline pilot.”

Mr Beech is currently studying a master’s degree in aviation and one of his research studies is to do workshops with young children and see what responses he gets from the activities he holds.

Miss Rebecca Hill organised the workshop at Friezland Primary as part of the Oldham Pledge, which aims to help every child grow into well rounded, confident citizens.

She said: “Stuart is based down in London so he has been really kind to come up here and fit the workshops in.

“We’ve spoken to businesses and they said they get a lot of people coming to them with degrees and great exam results, but they want to see other skills too and that’s what Oldham Pledge helps pupils work towards and achieve.

“They can learn a lot of skills from a range of different activities from being on the school council, being part of a sports team, or learning a musical instrument.”

The Oldham Pledge, which is a direct action from the Oldham Education and Skills Commission, focuses on 14 areas to develop skills and opportunities for children and young people and make them school ready, work ready and life ready.

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