July 24th 2015

Heanor Cadets take to the skies

A number of Cadets from Heanor Gate Science College had the opportunity to fly a Tutor plane at their annual summer camp.

The group of young people, who are all aged between 14 and 16 years, visited RAF Halton in Buckinghamshire to take part in an eight day camp that included visiting a RAF Museum, taking part in a drill competition, orienteering, shooting, a low ropes course and learning to fly in a Tutor aircraft.

Heanor Gate Science College set up a RAF-themed Combined Cadet Force (CCF) in September 2013, as part of the government’s Cadet Expansion Programme that aimed to set up 100 Cadet units in state-funded schools by 2015.

Cadet Zak Sharman Heanor Gate Science College CCFContingent Commander Miriam Watson, who is the Director of Vocational Learning at Heanor Gate Science College, organised the visit to RAF Halton. She explained: “Heanor Gate CCF has now completed its second year and has continued to develop. In the past 12 months, our Cadets have been flying in a Tutor aircraft; visited the Somme Battlefield in June; taken part in joint exercises with Derbyshire Army Cadet Force (ACF) and visited the Imperial War Museum in London as part of a focus on the First World War Commemorations.

“Taking part in the summer camp is a great way for our Cadets to meet other young people from a variety of other schools and learn more about how a working RAF Station operates. Having the opportunity to ‘take control’ of a Tutor aircraft when in the sky is a fantastic experience for the Cadets, and something that many other people do not have the chance to experience.”

Cadet Zak Sharman took part in the camp. He said: “In the future I would like to be a helicopter pilot so I thought joining the CCF would give me a good understanding about the RAF and help me to start my career in the future.

“I’ve enjoyed the camp as I have taken part in lots of fun activities. We had the opportunity to see a Phase One Passing Out Parade that was perfectly presented, this inspired me to think about what I could achieve in the future.”

The visit took place from 18 to 25 July 2015.

To find out more about Heanor Gate Science College visit