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Louise Innocent / Categories: News


Students at Sheffield Park Academy enjoyed a visit from ‘Commando Chef’ earlier this term who spoke to them about food and nutrition and a career in the armed forces.

‘Commando Chef’, real name Mike Beaton, is an SAS marine and part of the Royal Marines Educational Awareness Team (RM-EAT). Through a range of exciting presentations and workshops, RM-EAT aims to develop students’ life skills and awareness of careers in the Royal Navy.

The full Year 12 cohort from the academies joint Sixth Form with nearby Sheffield Springs Academy, Sheffield South East VI Form, attended the session. They were also joined by some Year 10 students. Altogether they got the opportunity to watch Mike give a live cooking demonstration where he taught them how to make a number of healthy dishes. The students also listened as Mike gave them an insight into his life and career, including why he chose to join the marines and the experiences he has in the navy.

At the end of the presentation, the students were able to ask any questions they had and learn more about the different career paths in the armed forces. The standout moment of the day came when two students then got the chance to put on the specialised SAS marine kit and feel the weight of the clothing and equipment.

Speaking about the visit from Commando Chef, one student from the Sixth Form said:

“It was amazing to learn more about healthy foods and the nutritional advice given to soldiers in the field. It was also inspirational to hear about Mike’s life as an SAS marine – a true life lesson!” 

Providing students with opportunities like this is part of staff’s commitment to deliver what they call an ‘Education with Character’. This means, alongside supporting students in achieving high academic outcomes, they seek to equip students with the necessary skills and knowledge they need to develop into responsible, well-rounded citizens with an understanding of the world around them.

As part of this, some of the other exciting and enriching opportunities Sixth Formers have enjoyed include speaking to the President of the UK Supreme Court, Lady Hale, via Skype; learning about the TV production industry through a presentation from Andy Culpin of 12 Yard Productions; and getting the chance to take part in a week of work experience at companies that include JP Morgan.

Debbie McShane, Principal at Sheffield Park Academy, said:

“I would like to thank Mike for delivering an engaging and valuable presentation that really captured the attention of our students. At Sheffield Park Academy, and through to our Sheffield South East VI Form, we strive to ensure all our students have access to a diverse range of experiences and opportunities, so they are equipped with the knowledge they need to make well-informed decisions about their future. Giving our young people the chance to participate in events like this is just one example of how we support our students in this way.”  

Sheffield South East VI Form will be welcoming local young people and families at an Open Day on Wednesday 4th December where they can find out more about this and other exciting opportunities.

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