Cadets flying high after busy year

editorial image

Visiting the Tower of London, touring historic battlefields, taking part in national competitions and flying a tutor aircraft have been some of the opportunities embraced by Cadets in Heanor this year.

Heanor Gate Science College’s Combined Cadet Force (CCF) has a total of 48 cadets parading with the unit on a weekly basis, 20 of which joined the CCF this academic year.

Contingent commander flight lieutenant Miriam Watson, who is the director of vocational learning at Heanor Gate Science College, has taken time-out to reflect on what the school’s CCF has achieved in 2015.

She said: “Since forming the school’s CCF in 2013 as part of the Government’s Cadet Expansion Programme, our CCF has gone from strength to strength.

“The CCF has had a positive effect on many of the cadets involved, even impacting on individual pupils future educational plans and career choices.

“Two of our former cadets started college this September both studying a public services course, with one hoping to become a police officer.

“Another student applied for and was awarded an apprenticeship with a large manufacturing company based in Derby.

“He used examples of his CCF experiences and knowledge of aviation in his interview which he believes helped him to get the job.”

Pupils from Heanor Gate Science College’s CCF had the chance to fly a tutor aircraft at RAF Benson while on their summer camp this year, as well as taking to the skies on a number of occasions at RAF Cranwell during their school year.

Miriam Watson continued: “The students have been extremely fortunate to be able to fly. I know they have really enjoyed learning about aviation as well as being able to actually fly the aircraft themselves with an experienced instructor.

“There have been many highlights for the CCF during 2015. I was really impressed with the dedication and camaraderie the cadets showed when preparing for our biennial inspection.

“This year the CCF visited the Tower of London, the Imperial War Museum, joined Derbyshire Army Cadet Force for a range and shooting weekend, took part in a national competition to find the best RAF section in the CCF in the country and visited RAF Halton in Buckinghamshire for our summer camp as well as a number of students taking part in a Somme Battlefield Tour in June. The varied programmed of events has kept their enthusiam fresh.”

To find out more, visit