High-flying sisters drop in for a visit

Soaring success: Former Pupils, Sharon Males and Ann-Marie Atkins
Soaring success: Former Pupils, Sharon Males and Ann-Marie Atkins
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Welcoming high fliers is nothing new for Brownedge St Mary’s Catholic High School,

However the latest visitors sent pupils at the Bamber Bridge school reaching for the stars.

Careers day took on a whole new meaning when the school tennis court was transformed into a heli-pad as former pupils returned to give advice to the current year nines.

Sisters Sharon Males and Anne-Marie Atkinson were among the latest guest speakers called in by staff at the Church Road school to help pupils make informed decisions before choosing their GCSE options.

Sharon is a former squadron leader in the Royal Air Force and is now a civilian instructor training RAF pilots. The mum of two used a training session to drop in on her old school - where she was greeted by hundreds of excited pupils - and their teachers.

Anne-Marie is a whizz-kid financial adviser based in Leyland with a multi-million pound portfolio. Neither of the women had been back to school since they left, Sharon 27 years ago and Anne-marie 23.

After being greeted by pupils the pair took part in a question and answer session with pupils.

Assistant headteacher Simon Thompson said the visit was part of the school’s ongoing programme of providing pupils with an insight into the wide variety of pathways and routes they can take after school.

A science and religious studies day was held a the same time and other events have included a careers fair and visits by people from other profession.

Mr Thompson said: “These two women are ex pupils and it was also interesting for pupils to see that it is not just the stereotypical career paths that lead to success.”

Michael Wilson, head of Kolbe House and responsible for of leadership at the school organised the event and said it was a big hit with staff and pupils.

He said: “The pupils were mesmerised and were so captivated they sat quietly, except to ask questions, the whole time. It was really good and so nice for them to see people, especially two women, doing so well in these traditionally male dominated fields.”

Trainee pilot Aaron Kerry talked about his career and by the time the trio left the number of youngsters considering a career in the RAF went up dramatically.