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Science teacher to wing walk for charity

MELKSHAM Oak Community School science teacher, Chantal Dean, will be taking to the skies next month for a charity wing walk and hopes to raise £5,000.

Chantal is braving dizzy heights to raise money for  the Lewis Moody Foundation – a charity raising awareness about brain tumours – and the building of an outdoor classroom at Melksham Oak School.

Chantal said, “I have done other adrenalin activities before, a bungy jump and sky dive whilst travelling, but this will be my first wing walk.  It is something that I have wanted to do for years.

“Melksham Oak is the pilot secondary school for a student development project called Compass for Life. St. John’s Primary School in Midsomer Norton is the pilot primary school for the project, and I and their assistant headteacher, Stephen Bamford, shook on a deal to undertake a wing walk this year, despite Stephen being terrified of heights.

“We want to model for our students the attitudes that we want them to embrace; always having big scary goals and aspirations.

“Having had a former student who died of a brain tumour, the Lewis Moody Foundation is very pertinent, as is working alongside HeadSmart, a project that aims to enhance the awareness of symptoms of brain tumours in children and young people. Former pupil David Langton Gilks  was a truly inspirational young man and his mum is still working tirelessly to gain future research and funding to help other families. Having the charity  work alongside the school has been really aspirational for our young people and the students.  Castor House has been trying really hard to come up with ways to raise money and the winning tutor group will be handing over the cheque to the charity.

“The outdoor classroom is the project that the student leaders have been working to support.  It is helping them to give something back and we talk about leaving a legacy for future students and the community; something that is so important in a town like Melksham.  This builds on the work they have done throughout the year as part of the compass project which included taking them on Spy School.

“This project will benefit the young people that attend Melksham Oak and the other six partner primary schools that make up the Academy Trust of Melksham (2,200 pupils). We would incorporate this classroom into our transition curriculum (between Y6 and Y7) which would enable the whole cohort to have access to the outdoor classroom. We would also be able to work with the partner primary schools to offer tailored workshops for selected pupils. We are the only secondary school in Melksham so this project has the potential to affect all the young people of Melksham (whether disabled, low income or vulnerable).

My students have asked me if I’m scared about being strapped to a plane wing! To say I am not a little nervous would be lying but I am also very excited.

“If you would like to sponsor me, people can pay cheques or cash to the Academy Trust of Melksham. Money will go into a charity account and then all funds raised will be split between the two charities.”