Army Cadet Force

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 2019.

Duke of Edinburgh

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.

Sky Dive

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 no family.

Cadets

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 Land Rover.

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.

Duke of Edinburgh Award

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.

Charity Walk

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".

Cadets

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 adventurous opportunities.

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 Company).

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 gumption.

Duke of Edinburgh

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.

Sandwell Academy Celebrates Duke of Edinburgh Award Success at the Palace

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 supporters.

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.

Diamond Challenge

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 lot better.

Well done to everyone involved.

James Solly Gold Award

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 success.

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 election.

It was a very enjoyable day and one that won't be forgotten."

Congratulations to James.

Sleep Out

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 most money.

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.

Important Forms

Questions or Queries?

Should you have any queries or comments please contact Miss Duncombe (Sixth Form Admissions Officer) by either:

Email: sixthformadmissions@sandwellacademy.com

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.