Connor’s journey from civilian to soldier

Early in September 2014 one of our year 11 students, Connor went into the school’s careers office stating he wanted to join the Army. After a series of lengthy discussions the process began.

During the year 11 work experience week in the Autumn term, an Army ‘Insight Course’ was arranged in which he went on a five day residential course at Longmoor Barracks in Aldershot, Surrey. The course provides students with an opportunity to ‘get a taste of Army life’ and to see if it is for them. On returning from the course Connor started a physical training programme at both the school and at his local gym.

Connor also spent many hours practising his British Army Recruit Battery tests (known as B.A.R.B. tests). A range of tests, established by the army, that evaluate an individual’s ability to understand information and problem solve. This practise was carried out on the British Army Website during his lunch breaks in school and he also gave up his reward time on a Friday to complete these.

In February 2015 Connor went for an informal meeting at the Canterbury Careers office, later that month he attended his official interview which proved successful and he was offered a place on ‘Army selection’. A condition of this offer was that he was required to complete a pre-selection course in Chatham, Kent.  He completed this during the Summer term 2015. Connor left the school in July and assured us that he would keep us informed of future developments.

We kept in contact with him and he informed us that having completed a medical in October he was to go to Pirbright Army camp on Monday 23rd November 2015 for his selection tests. This included two days of fitness, team work and further medicals in which the candidates are scrutinised 24hours a day to ascertain their suitability for enlistment.

During his final interview, at Pirbright, Connor was offered a place at the Army Foundation College, Harrogate, with a starting date of March 2016. This would entail a twelve month training course as a junior soldier prior to joining his Regiment of choice ‘The Princess of Wales Royal Regiment’ in March 2017. The process from the initial meeting at the school to gaining a place at Harrogate took over a year of hard work and commitment from Connor, his mum and various staff at the school. The process of this was overseen by Simon Cromwell, the staff member responsible for Work Experience and Careers advice at Heath Farm School.

All at the school are very proud of Connor’s achievement and his success, we all wish him well in his chosen career path.