DOZENS of Newport cadets turned out for their biennial inspection yesterday and gave demonstrations in first aid, leadership, climbing, and using rifles.
The Llanwern Combined Cadet Force (CCF), established at Llanwern High School by the Army in 2008 when it was still named Hartridge High, is led by their contingent commander Captain Dave Jackson who is a geography teacher at the school, and overseen by officer commanding Major Peter McClellan from Brecon barracks.
Captain Jackson's fellow officers include media studies teacher Liz Gormley, science teacher Stuart Allen and Simon Antonen who is employed by the school and subsidised by the Army to run CCF.
Outside of their school lessons, cadets follow a set curriculum which includes kayaking, hillwalking, abseiling, shooting, and navigation which can help towards their Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) expeditions.
Many of the cadets, aged 13 and over, are studying towards their DofE bronze in Year 10, silver in Year 11 or for sixth formers even gold award, as Llanwern is one of nine schools in Wales offering the top DofE qualification.
Practice orienteering routes for the would-be DofE graduates include Goodrich to Monmouth and as part of the DofE pupils are trusted to camp or travel by themselves, meeting leaders at a named checkpoint at a given time but otherwise travelling independently.
Yesterday the cadets, who are inspected every two years, set up camp as if they'd just returned from a long day's walking, with the mayor of Newport watching on, while Year 11 pupils Lance Corporals Kate Baker and Carey Edwards demonstrated climbing knots.
Other groups demonstrated first aid as part of a mocked-up car crash, and crossed an imaginary river testing their leadership and team working.
Cadets are given a report on their administration, training and managing their kit.
Pupils meet for CCF practice on Wednesday evenings at school and any school in Wales can apply to the Army to establish a cadet force at their school.