Sir John Lawes School pupils in St Albans win Ministry of Defence inter-school challenge

Lt General Richard Nugee with SJL students Jade Zimmerli, Justine Jing, Rohan Nistala, Jessica Swapp

Lt General Richard Nugee with SJL students Jade Zimmerli, Justine Jing, Rohan Nistala, Jessica Swapp, Jay Colston-Patel and Alex Hegarty. Picture: OWEN COOBAN - Credit: PO(Phot) Owen Cooban - Royal Nav

Students had to use their negotiation skills to defuse a civil war and rescue British citizens.

Thankfully, the scenario role-played by students from Sir John Lawes School in St Alabns was fictional as part of a Ministry of Defence (MoD) inter-school chalenge.

Taking on roles of the prime minister and cabinet secretaries, they gave press conferences and made use of their diplomatic and team-working skills.

One of the participants, Jay Colston-Patel, said: “At first we were rather nervous about speaking in front of so many people but as the day progressed, we altered our speeches, gained in confidence and managed to deliver a rather professional piece as a team.

“The event also proved valuable as it gave us the chance to learn more about government roles and provided information about working for the MoD.”


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The team was invited to MOD headquarters in Whitehall, where they gave a presentation on their experiences and the challenge itself.

They were also presented with their certificates by deputy chief of defence staff, Lt General Richard Nugee.

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