September 27th 2016

Launching a new partnership

Cadets and adult volunteers outside Sutton Academy

Two Nottinghamshire Academies have joined forces to set up a new cadet unit.

Sutton Academy in Sutton-in-Ashfield is working with Dukeries Academy, who are based in Ollerton, to launch an Army-themed Combined Cadet Force (CCF), as part of the Government’s Cadet Expansion Programme.

In September 2016, the new CCF currently has 15 students parading each week and has created lots of interest and enthusiasm among the pupils who are eager to learn more about what the CCF has to offer.

Second Lieutenant Marion Wells, an adult volunteer who leads the CCF at Sutton Academy, explained: “We decided to set-up the CCF about 18-months-ago so have put a lot of our energies in to shadowing the adult volunteers at Dukeries Academy and learning in a practical sense how to run a successful CCF.

“Although we are in partnership with Dukeries, we felt it was important that each of our training afternoons happened on the Sutton Academy site to prevent the students having to leave lessons early to travel to the Dukeries.”

In order to spark an interest in the CCF among students, Marion and her colleagues described what a CCF was at a Year Meeting. The meeting set out the skills that could be gained from joining the cadets such as increased levels of confidence and leadership, and then asked anyone interested to write a letter to the Principal explaining why they wanted to be considered.

Marion continued: “We decided to aim the CCF at Year 10 students as we felt they would gain a lot from the experience, and would benefit their future studies. Within the school, we have a Character Education Pledge, this is a pledge each of the students make and have to complete certain tasks to be successful. Pledges could include raising money for charity, helping their peers or presenting to a group. Being a member of the CCF fits in nicely with this pledge programme, and we are already starting to see cadets ask how being in the CCF will link in with their pledges for the year.”

Sutton Academy’s Principal Tim Croft explained that he believes creating the CCF will directly benefit students: “Although I understand that curriculum time is precious, being in the CCF will be a fantastic experience for all of our Year 10 students involved.

“Skills being developed in the cadet unit such as team working, resilience and time keeping will all transfer back in to the classroom, as well our young people getting the opportunity to try new challenging activities such as fieldcraft or adventure training that they may have otherwise been unavailable to them.”

Two weeks in to the new school term, cadets involved in the CCF commented:

Cadet Kye Smith, aged 14, said: “I joined because I thought it would be fun, and I wanted to learn new skills and build my confidence.”

Cadet Lauren Smith, aged 14, said: “”I’ve always been quiet so I thought that joining cadets would help me to improve my leadership and team-working abilities.”

Cadet Kieran Marriott, aged 14, said: “I thought cadets would be a great experience and I wanted to learn more about the military. I also thought that trying new things like adventure training may help me to adapt to new surrounding if I needed to in the future.”

Cadet Jack Topley, aged 14, said: “It’s really fun so far, I wanted to join to develop my communication skills. I’ve always had an interest in the military as my dad was in the forces.”

Cadet Daniel Lander, aged 14, said: “I’ve been taking part in drill activities today which was different to anything I have done before. I wanted to learn new skills so I thought joining the cadets would help me with this.”

"I wanted to learn new skills so I thought joining the cadets would help me with this.”