FUTURE Army officers from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst were put through their paces when they organised a special activity day for pupils from Carwarden House School.

The officer cadets were testing their leadership and communication skills before they are commissioned at the Sovereign's Parade in August.

Inkerman Company commander Maj Gavin Jones said the day allowed the cadets to "broaden their knowledge and experience" before they left the RMAS.

Officer Cadet Jamie Snowden came up with the idea of organising an activity day for the special needs children from the Frimley school.

He said: "I was told to go away and think of something to do for charity for the exercise, Final Return, and the other two companies have gone off and done a 41km run.

"I thought that I would do something different and I had the idea of bringing in some special needs children to test all our command and control skills."

Pupils from the school were able to take part in football, archery, kayaking, horse riding, climbing and abseiling.

Organisers hoped the day would offer something back to the community around the Royal Military Academy.

Maj Jones said he hoped the children would go away from the day having gained a sense of achievement after completing tasks that were more challenging for them.

He said some of the children had been worried by the height at the top of the climbing and abseiling wall but by completing the task they had boosted their self-esteem.

The activity day on was the first time school children had taken part in a specially organised exercise.

"I think it's gone very well and I think it's important for the cadets to experience more than just military activities, as it broadens their knowledge and experience and widens their leadership abilities," Maj Jones said.

"It encourages and teaches the cadets to use all their interpersonal skills."

Contact with Carwarden House School came through a member of staff at the RMAS, and Maj Jones said it was the cadets' decision to do something not related to the military.

"It was felt that this would be a worthwhile activity and it helps foster links in the local community, as there is a tendency for the RMAS to be seen in isolation and tucked away behind our fence."

John Cope, headteacher of Carwarden House School, said he was certain his pupils had enjoyed the day out.

"The students would have got the opportunity of seeing what army life is about, and we have got some students who will go into the army when they leave school.

"It's nice for them because a lot of students have got difficulties with self-esteem, and it's nice to deal with adults who want them to be there and are doing things for them.

"It's a wonderful opportunity to go into the Royal Military Academy and to be part of it down there."

Our picture shows Carwarden House School pupil Caroline Seaney receiving archery instruction from Officer Cadet Simon Davies and John Izant, the coach of Fleet's Velmead Archery Club.