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Royal Naval Officer gives International insight to students

The ‘most able’ Year 8 students at Bradon Forest School started their week on Monday 10 October with an inspiring talk from Vice Admiral Potts CB, Director General Joint Force Development and Defence Academy. The Vice Admiral openly shared his personal insights on life in general, work and how to carve an individual career path and really brought the armed forces to life for the students.

He said, “At 15 I had no idea what I was going to do when I left school. It was the foresight of my father who started me thinking about what I wanted to do, or even more importantly what I didn’t want to do. I just knew that I wanted to do something more exciting than sitting at a desk. My father did some research, which wasn’t so easy in those pre internet days, and came up with the idea of joining the Royal Navy, making charts as part of their hydrographic flotilla team. In 1979 I  began at the Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth, Devon.”

The Vice Admiral gave students some background on his exciting international life; where he was frozen in conflict during the Cold War, a navigator on HMS Brilliant, a Captain on HMS Southampton and Marlborough, commanded counter piracy off the Somalian coast and more recently involved in running the coalition with armed forces overseas. He said, “The first step in a career in the Royal Navy, or one of the other armed forces, is to join up and work at being a specialist in the field that most interests you.”

At the end of the session there were lots of questions from the fascinated Year 8 students. Vice Admiral Potts explained how he had enjoyed the diversity of jobs he’d had in the Royal Navy, the constant challenges and the variety of people he’d worked with from all over the world.

He told students, “You should maintain your curiosity and be kind and tolerant to those you meet from different countries and cultures. You also need to take time to look to the future to make sure that your ambitions are realised."

 

Assistant Headteacher, Julie Hunter commented, “We booked the talk through Speakers 4 Schools and it was well worth it. I could tell that the students were really engaged as they asked lots of questions at the end of the session.”