The Army Cadet Force is one of four Cadet organisations sponsored and
supported by the Ministry of Defence, the others being the Combined Cadet
Force, the Sea Cadet Corps, and the Air Training Corps. Sandwell Academy's
ACF Cadets meet twice weekly during Session 3 to learn a combination of
drill practice, first aid, shooting and fieldcraft. Weekend camps are
offered as an integral part of Cadets to develop military skills and train
with Cadets from other local detachments. Parades are held on occasions
such as the anniversary of World War One toa honour those who sacrificed
their lives for us. We are also looking forward to our first group of
Cadets attending a summer training camp and tour in South Africa in August
This year, 56 students participated in the Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award,
14 in the Silver Award and five students embarked on the task of completing
a Gold Award. For each award, participants have to complete different
phases, including developing a skill, partaking in physical activity,
involvement in volunteering and participation in an expedition. These
included some amazing activities: learning a language, swimming, martial
arts and working with animals. This year's cohort have shown immense
dedication, determination and commitment. We look forward to next year
where a new group of intrepid explorers will take on the challenges of the
Duke of Edinburgh Award. We are also pleased to announce that two of our
students went to St. James's Palace to receive their Gold Awards. Well done
on all of your great achievements.
A daring Sixth Form student raised £4,000 for the Khalsa Sanctuary in
India. This is a charitable organisation that provides shelter and
educational opportunities for children from deprived families or who have
Our Army Cadet Force has had a thrilling year, with many successes,
including the promotion of four exceptional cadets. The detachment has
proven themselves as a force to be reckoned with on the shooting range;
which has further demonstrated the detachment's teamwork and dedication,
allowing an outstanding result in this year's Cadet 100 competition.
The cadets have experienced some new activities including a week-long STEM
'Science in Action' camp with the Royal Signals. Here, they ended up taking
part in exhilarating experiences such as looking around an apache
helicopter as well as flying drones, and seeing the inside workings of a
In addition to this, the cadets have been away to Annual Camp in the
summer, as well as monthly camps which they have thoroughly enjoyed with
many of the cadets excelling and completing massive personal achievements.
These weekends away have developed skills in shooting, Skill at Arms,
drill, fieldcraft and navigation, as well as providing them with the chance
to try a range of outdoor adventure activities such as archery, Laser
Quest, motor biking and climbing.
The Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme at Sandwell Academy continues to thrive
at Bronze, Silver and Gold levels. More than 50 current Year 10 students
have registered on the Award and are well on the way to completing
Physical, Skill and Volunteering sections. Students also spent time during
Enrichment Week at Birches Valley, learning vital camp craft and map
reading skills towards their expeditions next year. Additionally, we have a
number of students progressing through the Award onto Silver and Gold
levels. These students recently took part in a day walk at Stiperstones in
Shropshire. New Gold Award students have already been on a sailing voyage
as part of their Residential requirement.
A Sandwell Academy Sixth Form student took part in a 27 mile charity walk
across Three Yorkshire Peaks with a group from Tameside Primary School in
June. Katie Cook completed the walk to raise funds for local charity,
'Libbymae's Little Angels'.
The group started their walk at 6.00am and completed the gruelling 27 miles
at 5.30pm, having to contend with some of the worst weather the organisers
had ever seen. Katie decided to complete this walk as the charity raises
funds to help local neo-natal units and her brother was born prematurely
and needed support from the neo-natal unit at Walsall Manor. Katie said,
"Although the training and the walk was really hard, it was well worth it
as the day was fun".
The recently formed Army Cadet Force detachment has tasted success helping
A Company to win the West Midlands and Warwickshire County competition for
the first time in 12 years.
The detachment at Sandwell was formed in December 2014 as part of the
National Schools expansion programme and currently there are 20 cadets
parading at Sandwell. The aim of the Army Cadet Force is to provide young
people of all abilities and backgrounds with the chance to develop
themselves both physically and mentally within a military type setting. The
Army Cadet Force aims to help cadets improve self-confidence, teamwork,
friendship and leadership through a wide diversity of fun, exciting and
As part of their training cadets have to pass tests proving their
proficiency in the following topics: Drill, First Aid, Skill at Arms,
Fieldcraft, Shooting, Military Knowledge and First Aid. These passes, as
well as performances in other competitions, go towards a countywide
competition against the other companies within the County (A, B and Z
Despite being a new detachment, early on we have developed a strength in
shooting with Cdt Jones, Cdt Madhas and Cdt Haq being selected for the
Shirley Cup Competition in which A Company were the eventual winners.
Another major success this year is Cdt Martin-Jones, who was promoted to
the rank of Lance Corporal.
Congratulations to all who have exceeded their expectations and shown real
The Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme involves students from Year 10, Year 11
and Sixth Form. As part of the scheme, students complete voluntary work and
expeditions including camping overnight. This year's expeditions have taken
students to Much Wenlock, Church Stretton and Wales.
16 May 2016 was a very special day for Mr Topper and Mr Sturley, Academy
Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) co-ordinator, as they attended a once in a
lifetime Gold Award presentation at Buckingham Palace. At the event Mr
Topper and Mr Sturley were presented with a special plaque to acknowledge
the school's commitment to running the DofE scheme giving Academy students
the opportunity to develop key skills through personal challenges. The
plaque was presented by celebrity DofE supporters sports presenter Jim
Rosenthal, and Rugby Union player Danny Cipriani. The celebration saw
members of the Royal Family – HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, HRH The Earl of
Wessex and HRH The Countess of Wessex recognise young Gold Award achievers,
organisations such the Academy who deliver the award and corporate
2016 celebrates 60 years of the DofE scheme, which is now internationally
recognised and run in over 140 countries and territories worldwide. To mark
the occasion DofE licence holders, including Sandwell Academy, have been
tasked to undertake a one-off challenge which will see participants earn
their Diamond pin.
Sandwell Academy is celebrating eight years of delivering the scheme to its
students. The current co-ordinator is English teacher Mr Sturley, who not
only manages Academy students undertaking the Award but also an army of
Academy staff volunteers who willingly give up their free time to support
activities such as expeditions.
On 1 October 2016, 11 staff from Sandwell Academy set off to walk the 25
mile Yorkshire Three Peaks to raise money for The Duke of Edinburgh Diamond
Challenge. The group set off at 6.30am to make full use of the hours of
daylight they had. The walk was arduous and some of the terrain was
challenging, the first peak was completed by 9.30am and the second peak was
a distant memory by noon. The group embarked on the third peak full of
confidence and self-belief, spurred on by the promise of Mr Frearson's
homemade flapjacks at the top!
Once the elusive third peak was conquered, flapjacks were consumed and the
staff congratulated ourselves on their fitness and stamina. It was a great
experience that tested everyone's physical and mental strength. The feeling
of reaching the top of Pen-Y-Ghent (peak three) was amazing!
However, then came the final challenge of getting back to the accommodation
for the night. The final walk home was long and tiring with abandoned sheep
dogs and militant goats to contend with! Almost delirious with the idea of
finally being able to take their shoes off and eat Sticky Toffee Pudding
without an ounce of guilt kept everyone moving forward and finally, at
about 8.30pm the whole group arrived back at base.
The day was hard and the challenge was very tough but it was worth it and
staff really enjoyed getting to know colleagues from other departments a
Well done to everyone involved.
James Solly is the first Sandwell Academy student to receive the Gold Duke
of Edinburgh Award. James left Sixth Form this summer with a set of very
successful A Levels and is now at the University of Nottingham studying
Mathematical Physics. He shared the highlights of his day at the palace
when he received his Gold award.
"On 9 November 2016 I was invited to St James's Palace in London to collect
my Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award. I was looking forward to the day as it was
a celebration of three years of hard work and overcoming personal
challenges to successfully complete the Bronze, Silver and Gold awards. I
was proud to be representing Sandwell Academy as their first Gold Award
On arrival at the Palace we were directed to The Throne Room. A DofE member
of staff acted as the host for our room, we were told more information
about how the presentation would run and the protocol required for the day.
HRH The Earl of Wessex was the member of the royal family who was present
on the day. Each room is also designated a specially invited dignitary, in
our case it was impersonator Jon Culshaw.
HRH Prince Edward then went through the room and spoke informally to each
of the groups and guests. He was very interested in hearing of our
experiences and trials and triumphs.
Although the presentation was formal it was quite light-hearted at times
with HRH Prince Edward making witty remarks.
When HRH had left the room Jon Culshaw did a question and answer session.
He entertained us by doing many impersonations including Donald Trump,
which was very topical as it was the day he won the American Presidential
It was a very enjoyable day and one that won't be forgotten."
Congratulations to James.
In April over 30 Sixth Form students and staff wrapped up in plenty of warm
layers to brave a night sleeping outside to support the charity St Basils.
St Basils work to prevent youth homelessness across the Midlands and Sixth
Formers decided to hold their own version of the event in school grounds.
Local companies generously donated everything from cardboard boxes for
sleeping in, to food and drink and prizes for the students who raised the
Sponsors included: Greggs, CBD Packaging, Tesco and Akash Restaurant.
Students were woken by a flurry of snow and following a night in the A c a
d e m y grounds they all wearily left the school at 7.00am appreciating
that they had a bed to go home to and were able to get out of the snow.
Should you have any queries or comments please contact Miss Duncombe (Sixth Form Admissions Officer) by either:
Or by post:
Sixth Form Admissions Officer,Sandwell Academy,Halfords Lane,West Bromwich,West Midlands,B71 4LG.
Please ensure that the correct postage is paid for the size of envelope used.