Cadets at Rockwood Academy showed off their new skills during a special ceremony which saw them being presented with their military badges.
Dignitaries from the West Midlands were among the guests at the event, which marked a milestone moment for the school’s new Combined Cadet Force Unit.
Rockwood Academy, run by CORE Education Trust, is one of the latest schools to join the Government’s Cadet Expansion Programme and the Unit was officially launched last October during a visit by Defence Secretary Michael Fallon.
CCF Contingent Commander Captain Gary Newbrook said: “The Cadets are immensely proud of being part of the Unit and were delighted to be presented with their new badges.
“The Rockwood Academy military badge will allow everyone to easily identify our Cadets when they proudly wear their uniforms.
“The Cadets were thrilled to be able to share the skills they have already gained in just a few months, delivering a series of static displays during the special ceremony.”
Cadet Units allow young people to take part in challenging, exciting and educational activities, providing them the opportunity to develop self-discipline, teamwork, self-confidence and other life skills.
The Government is opening the new units in state schools, where there is limited access to other Cadet units, allowing students from all backgrounds the opportunity to join.
More than 40 students have signed up to Rockwood Academy’s Unit and the Cadets have already enjoyed a recreational weekend away, as well as weekly after school clubs – learning skills from navigation to first aid.
It comes after Rockwood Academy was rated ‘Good’ by education watchdog Ofsted in March 2016 – with inspectors praising the school and CORE Education Trust for their “pioneering” partnerships with external organisations.
Rockwood Academy’s Principal Fuzel Choudhury said: “I am incredibly proud of our partnership with the Combined Cadet Force and it was heart-warming to see the Cadets’ faces, which were clearly full of pride as they were presented with their military badges.
“The Unit has only been up and running for six months, yet we are already seeing the big difference it is making to students, who are proving to be more confident and motivated.”
Adrian Packer, CEO of CORE Education Trust, added: “The joy of the Unit is seeing what an impact it is already making on the lives of our students.
“It was a delight to watch them demonstrate their new skills, which will undoubtedly enrich their lives now and in the future, allowing them to reach their full potential at school and in their chosen careers.”