On 29th November, the Oundle School Combined Cadet Force RAF section were victorious at the Air Squadron Trophy Regional Competition held at RAF Cranwell.
Fifteen cadets from all four year groups (Years 10-13) took part in this event. The competition comprises seven events: Drill, Aircraft Recognition, RAF Knowledge, Shooting, First Aid, Fitness and Command Task.
The Oundle cadets performed very well, winning the Drill, Aircraft Rec and RAF Knowledge competitions, coming second in the Shooting and fourth in the First Aid. As a result, they were placed first in the region, beating Kimbolton, who have won the Regionals for the last four years and who are current National champions. The Oundle cadets are now through to the National Finals in March.
Captain of the Oundle team, Sergeant Peter Anson (18) commented, “This year, we exceeded our own expectations, breaking the victory chain Kimbolton CCF had enjoyed for four years, and not only winning overall, but coming first in Drill, the most competitive aspect of the competition, first in Knowledge, first in Aircraft Recognition and second in Shooting. In addition, I was fortunate enough to win the award for the highest scoring cadet in Aircraft Recognition.”
Commander of the School’s Combined Cadet Force, Major Andrew Mansergh, added, “The performance of the RAF Cadets in the Ground Training Team Competition for the Air Squadron Trophy has been tremendous. Two things stand out: First, the preparation is all completed in the Cadets’ own time, marking impressive personal commitment and a fine example to all their peers. Second, the Cadets pushed themselves to this achievement, it has not been handed to them on a plate. They arranged the training, they led the training and they provided the desire and the leadership. It is an excellent example of what the CCF sets out to achieve – developing leadership amongst young people.”
Sergeant Peter Anson
Flight Sergeant Jemima Burgess
Cpl Hayley Harris
Cpl Ian Ostojic
Cpl Christian Monaghan
Cpl Ben Joseph
L/Cpl Chris Lane
L/Cpl Jasper Poon
L/Cpl Maddy Farley
L/Cpl Poppy King
L/Cpl James Stringer
Cdt Roisin Emmerson
Cdt Henry Stringer
Cdt Toby Dixon Smith
Oundle’s Combined Cadet Force (CCF)
Contingent Commander: Major A.C. Mansergh Royal Marines
The Cadet Force is the largest single organisation in the School; numbering 460 cadets out of an eligible pool of 820 pupils. Eighteen members of staff provide a varied and exciting training programme every Wednesday afternoon during the term. Additional staff assist during the field weekends and holiday periods. Success and recognition is achieved at national levels; in both 2010 and 2011 a senior cadet was the runner up in The Duke of Westminster Award. Drawn from the country’s best 200 cadets this annual competition is run to find the top cadets. Oundle has produced three finalists in the last four years.
The CCF comprises of three sections: the Army Section, the Royal Navy Section and the RAF section, and is compulsory for all pupils for one year only (in the Fourth Form or Year 10). All three sections have a common core of Drill, Turnout and Skill at Arms. The RN Section then specialises in rowing, sailing and power boating, the Army Section in infantry skills and tactics, and the RAF Section in flight training. At the end of their Fourth Form year cadets may leave or decide to stay in the CCF. For those who wish to continue their cadet careers the options include remaining in the Single Service Sections, undertaking NCO Cadre training, or joining one of the specialist training sections: Fire and Rescue (the unit trains on its own fire engine), Adventure Training, and Diving.
Training takes place every Wednesday afternoon with two field weekends, one in September and one in April. In addition, every cadet will undertake at least one camp during School holidays. These camps include skiing in the Alps, diving in the Red Sea, climbing in the Alps and Scottish Highlands, as well as military camps organised by the RAF and Army.
The Oundle School Corps dates back to 1902, as the 'Rifle Corps' 1st (Volunteer) Battalion the Northamptonshire Regiment. Since 1958, the Cadet Corps at Oundle has continuously maintained all three Service sections (Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force). Cadets are able to attend the many national camps and courses available to them, some of which are aimed towards gaining qualifications (e.g. power-boating and first aid) whilst others are aimed at developing leadership and teamwork skills.
Background Information on Oundle School
Oundle School is situated in the quintessentially English market town of Oundle, about 90 miles north of London. The School’s buildings, dating from the 17th to the 21st centuries, are dispersed throughout the town, which is, to a large extent, its campus.
The School’s history dates back to 1556, when Sir William Laxton, Master of the Worshipful Company of Grocers and Lord Mayor of London, endowed and re-founded the original Oundle Grammar School, of which he was a former pupil. In 1876, the Grocer’s Company divided the School into two parts; Laxton Grammar School, primarily for the inhabitants of the town, and Oundle School, primarily for pupils from further afield. In 2000, the Grocers’ Company reunited the two schools under the common name of Oundle School and retained the name of Laxton for the day House.
At the beginning of the 20th century, Oundle was put firmly on the map of leading English public schools by its most famous headmaster, F W Sanderson, who established Oundle’s reputation as one of the great science and engineering schools, a reputation still renowned today. In 2007, SciTec - a major and ground-breaking new science complex - opened, housing 16 state-of-the-art laboratories. The School is now embarking on a large SciTec Campus development project which will see a new Mathematics department constructed adjacent to SciTec as well as a significant upgrade to the Design and Technology department within the Patrick Engineering Centre. Due for completion in September 2016, the development will unite Science, Mathematics, Design, Technology and Engineering both physically and philosophically, enabling pupils to move seamlessly from theory to practice and from pure science to the achievement of a workable technology. A concurrent Sports Masterplan will upgrade sporting facilities across the School over the next few years.
There are currently 1100 pupils on roll at Oundle School, with 850 boarders and 250 day pupils. Also within the Corporation of Oundle School is Laxton Junior School, a day school for children aged 4 to 11.