Pupils salute their navy heroes

Royal Marines drummers kicked off a Portsmouth school’s ‘real heroes’ week in style with a surprise performance in the playground.

The five –strong Corps of Drums from the city’s Royal Marines Band amazed pupils and staff at Court Lane Infant School, Cosham, with a dazzling 20-minute display to launch the ‘Real Heroes are All Around Us’ event.

The drummers were later joined by four Navy divers and two firefighting instructors who gave talks and demonstrations about their professions.

It formed part of the school’s week-long activities aimed at getting the message across to pupils that real heroes are all around them, living and working in their communities.

I think the Royal Navy are heroes because they help keep our country safe, they are very brave and take lots of risks.

Seth Lewis, seven

HMS Excellent-based Chief Petty Officer Paul Conybeer, one of the sailors involved, said: “The children were really enthusiastic about seeing and talking to the sailors.

"They were particularly fascinated by the divers, who are also bomb disposal experts, and the fact that there were so many different trades and careers available in the Royal Navy.”

Pupil Seth Lewis, seven, said: “It was really cool to see the band in the playground when I got to school this morning – it was a really big surprise. I think the Royal Navy are heroes because they help keep our country safe, they are very brave and take lots of risks.”

The event was also a hit with seven-year-old Elowen Woodward. “It has been really exciting to the see the Royal Navy in our school - I think it would be  very exciting to be in the Navy. My grandad was in the Navy and he was very brave and he got a medal.”

Headteacher Jude Ramshaw added:  “I wanted to invite the Royal Navy into school as it’s part of the rich heritage of the local community and it’s important for children to see for themselves how the armed forces within our community encompass the heroic qualities that we talk about in school.

“What I want children to realise is that there is a hero inside all of us, we talk about resilience, resourcefulness, teamwork and risk-taking as important values in school and having the Royal Navy here today shows real examples of people who represent those values in everyday life and gets children thinking about how they can apply them in their own lives.”

The nationwide Heroes Week initiative was inspired  by The Inspiration Federation charity which educates youngsters and raises money to support injured members of the armed forces and emergency services.  

The school will end its week with a fundraising day on Friday (February 12).