Achievement for all
A groundbreaking scheme.
Exmouth Community College started a Cadets scheme three years ago targeting year 10 students. Recruitment is in September as Year 10 begin their Key Stage 4 courses. Now any student can apply but initially the scheme was more for students who were disillusioned and lacked social/community skills. The scheme was initially set up by Deputy Principal, David Turner: it was a success and now has been extended to give all students in KS4 the opportunity to be part of a group which has grown to have respect both of peers and the community.
Supported by Town Council
Schemes such as this need the support of the local community. Exmouth College has very strong links with the community it serves and the Cadet scheme was, and still is, given some financial support from the Town Council. However, this is not a gift. Each year the cadets themselves have to give a presentation to local councillors explaining why funding is needed and how it will be used.
The scheme is coordinated by, Jenna Wescott, Head of Careers, and is very much a College managed and delivered project. Ms Wescott spends many hours on the project but feels that not only is the scheme important in itself but also that it feeds into the enterprise work of her Dept for the College. The scheme is unique as the initiative comes from the College and not from the Services with whom the cadets train.
The cadets have their own uniform of combat trousers, polo shirt with Cadets logo, waterproof jacket and white shirt and tie. This may seem incidental but it defines the group and teaches them about practical uniform and the importance of appearance in giving others trust in you.
Range of Skills and Experience
The Cadets work with both the Police and the Fire and Rescue Service to train and learn a wide range of skills which benefit themselves and others. A Teaching Assistant accompanies the Cadets for their weekly 2 hour session.. Their year is of 30 weeks split into 3 ten week terms. Each term they do 5 weeks with the local Police and 5 weeks with the local Fire and Rescue Service. The Cadets also do various other activities with outside agencies such as the Life boat station. They receive First Aid training and also an outdoor pursuits trainer teaches the boys and girls basic bush/ survival skills. Of course the cut backs in the emergency services funding have not made the delivery of this opportunity any easier but the local stations have been quite superb in their support.
At the end of the year there is a fantastic Pass Out Parade held at the local fire station where the Cadets demonstrate the skills they have learnt from all services which include: hose running; setting up an appliance; putting out a fire; searching for a person in a smoke filled building; giving first aid to victim and arresting and searching a suspect.
Giving back to the community
The Cadets also assist in community events as marshals and guides on hand to assist and support as necessary, including: the Devon County Show, Exmouth Festival; Rotary Teddy Bear Drop; Exmouth Festival; Exmouth Christmas Cracker Event and the Exmouth Carnival. They also assist at College using their new found skills on our Safety Awareness Day for year 7 students and at large events at the College like Parent Evenings.
On Remembrance Day and the 9/11 Parades the Cadets, in their uniform, represent the College and have the experience of marching in parade with the public and armed services.
Students who take part in the scheme enjoy it and become citizens of which parents, the College and the town are proud. It opens doors and opportunities which they may never have considered.
Is it worth it?
And finally... Matthew Broom, a Cadet, recently responded quickly to a fire in his home which resulted in minimal damage and his own safe exit. Matthew used the skills he had learned in the Cadets. Is it worthwhile. Of course it is.
To give young people a sense of social responsibility & self worth.
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