Pupils at Northampton International Academy will soon be able to sign up to a new Royal Navy Cadet Unit based at the school.
The school has successfully applied to the Ministry of Defence, Department of Education and the Combined Cadet Force (CCF) to open the new contingent which is set to launch in September 2022. The school will initially open a Royal Navy unit which will offer cadets the opportunity to experience afloat training (the defining activity of the Navy Cadets) and adventurous training in activities such as sailing, paddle sports, canoeing, mountaineering, first aid and much more.
Ministry of Defence-sponsored Cadet Forces are widely recognised as some of the most successful uniformed youth organisations in the UK, providing a safe place for young people to develop through undertaking challenging activities, all underpinned by the values and standards of the Armed Forces, and changing many young people’s lives for the better.
Northampton International Academy headteacher Dr Jo Trevenna said: “We’re really pleased our application for a new Combined Cadet Force has been approved and are excited about this upcoming new addition to the school. CCF units have been shown to make a real difference to young people, helping them to develop the life skills and self-confidence they need to take charge of their lives so that they can reach their full potential at school, in employment and beyond.
“Staff will be undertaking training with the Navy over Easter and during the Spring term there will be a taster day for all Year 8 pupils to experience what the cadet programme can offer before we open for applications to sign up.”
Cadet units within schools provide a unique range of activities and opportunities for personal development for both learners and staff, developing self-discipline and improving social, problem-solving, teamwork and leadership skills. Headteachers often cite the positive impact the unit has across the entire school and the improvements in leadership, confidence, resilience and discipline within their cadets. Annual camps and field days are also part of the experience which all sit alongside the core learning of drills, how to wear uniform, rope work, recognition of ships, submarines and aircraft, map and compass work and developing individual leadership skills.
The transformative power of the CCF programme has been researched in detail by the University of Northampton, which found benefits including enhanced communication skills and increased confidence, resilience and leadership. They also found that participants gained a greater respect for diversity, there was an improvement in their health and wellbeing and an increase in educational performance and improved behaviour.