19 May 2017

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The Royal Navy visited the Birkenhead Park School to speak to students today, and brought with them a special guest who is no stranger to the hallways of the school.

David Smith left the school four years ago and has since joined the Navy, working his way up to his exciting imminent placement aboard military submarines.

"We want our students to have high expectations, high aspirations and to face challenges head-on, and David’s a shining example of that."

Miss Gidman, Head of Year 9 & 10

Now known as AB Smith, or Able Seaman Smith, David was joined by Chief Petty Officer Jayne Stroh, and the pair gave an enlightening talk to students about the reality of a life and career in the Navy.

David said: “I feel like it's changed my life around. I’ve become more disciplined and calm now. I’ve grown up a lot."

AB David Smith

David explained how his choice of career path was ideally suited to him, and outlined some of the benefits that current students could look forward to if they choose to join the armed forces.

David, who is now a qualified professional chef since joining the Navy, said: “You start on a good salary for a young person and you get a pay rise every year, a good pension, and you can gain qualification while you’re being paid rather than being sat at home. There are great sporting opportunities too; I’ve actually done boxing whilst in the Navy. Overall, it can be a lot of fun as well!”

Head of Years 9 & 10, Miss Gidman, said: “We wanted the current students to learn from David’s success, and see just how resilient he’s been. We want our students to have high expectations, high aspirations and to face challenges head-on, and he’s a shining example of that. His is a story of tenacity and resilience and he can be a real role model to those here now that are younger than him.

“The students were mesmerised talking to him. For them to see someone who was recently in their position, and is now very successful in what he does, really helps to make a connection and has a massive impact.

“We have a number of students who are in the Cadets and we very much value the skills that they learn there and then bring back into school.”

The Navy were visiting the school after speaking to a number of our students who expressed an interest in their line of work at a Wirral Young Chamber of Commerce event.