Wellingborough cadets get all the attention as they earn their berets

Cadets from a Wellingborough school have been presented with their official berets to mark successfully completing initial training.

By Alison Bagley
Wednesday, 13th November 2019, 9:45 am
Updated Wednesday, 13th November 2019, 9:53 am
Sir Christopher Hatton Academy CCF at the presentation
Sir Christopher Hatton Academy CCF at the presentation

Sir Christopher Hatton Academy’s Combined Cadet Force (CCF) was set up as part of the Government Cadet Expansion Programme bringing CCFs to 500 schools.

Lord Lieutenant of Northamptonshire David Laing performed the ceremony and saluted each of the new recruits.

Teacher and 2nd Lieutenant Alice Smyth, who runs the unit said: “I am incredibly proud of all the students who received their berets from the Lord Lieutenant.

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Lord Lieutenant David Laing salutes the cadets

“The students had to complete a number of different criteria to be awarded their berets including a weekend in the field, living off the contents of their Bergen rucksacks, sleeping under the stars and cooking their own meals.”

The school’s CCF, which runs as part of an enrichment programme, was initially open to 30 Year 9 students with entry by an interview process.

Students cover a syllabus which includes first aid, field craft, weapons handling, drill and map and compass skills.

Pupils will also have the opportunity to complete their Duke of Edinburgh awards and will be working towards achieving a BTEC qualification in leadership.

Lt Col Robert Blomfield talking to the cadets

Addressing the cadets Mr Laing said: “To have a new unit to drill as well as you have and to be as well turned out as you today is a great achievement. Well done to everybody.”

Lt Colonel Robert Blomfield, East Midlands Reserve Forces and Cadets Association (RFCA) Northamptonshire County Chairman, helped to inspect the cadets.

He was joined by Lt Colonel Jane Chappell who will be taking over his role in April 2020.

The CCF unit is supported by the Armed Forces and is affiliated to the Royal Anglian Regiment.

Sir Christopher Hatton Academy Wellingborough, presentation of berets to cadets by Lord Lieutenant David Laing

Miss Smyth added: “I’ve been so proud of the positive feedback we’ve received. Those who got their berets should be really proud.”