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RAF Lossiemouth

Over the past few months, a selection of cadets had the opportunity to experience life on an RAF Station where 7 Cadets spent a week at RAF Lossiemouth. 

During this time they visited sections around the station to see the roles of different trades in the RAF including No 1 Fighter Squadron who operate the Typhoon Air Craft, Survival Equipment who look after all the safety gear that pilots use. Another role was the 2622 Sqn Royal Auxiliary Air Force Regiment Squadron who demonstrated all their weapon systems and allowed the cadets to gain hands-on experience with them and the Fire Section who enabled the cadets to use the water cannon mounted on the front of their fire engines. 

In addition, the cadets had a cinema night, went bowling and go-karting and had the chance to practise their marksmanship skills on the Dismounted Close Combat Trainer. We finished by demonstrating our marching skills to the Station Warrant Officer.

Back at School, other cadets have been using the indoor air rifle range to practise their marksmanship skills and two cadets joined the Staffordshire Wing Air Cadets on a range day to fire the Cadet Small Bore Target Rifle.

Most Year 10 and 11 Cadets have now flown at least once, though the weather recently has twice thwarted the SSI’s efforts to get the remainder of Year 10 and the Year 9 Cadets airborne.

As we head towards spring and summer we look forward to taking the Year 10 cadets to participate in Adventure Training Activities and the recruitment of Cadets from the current Year 7 and 8s to enable our cadets to have an extra year to experience what the cadets can offer.

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Armistice Day – Poppy Veil

Inspired by the original artist, Paul Cummins, we decided to commemorate Armistice day with our own version of the famous ‘Weeping Window’. The whole school project included every pupil and student at Barr Beacon contributing to the installation by making a grand total of 3800 poppies. 

The poppy veil was formed by various pupils, Including five young boys who have a parent currently serving in the forces. This was a special time for them to reflect on their parents’ contribution to the welfare of our society and the boys thoroughly enjoyed being part of the creative process. 

Aldridge Remembrance Service
We are very proud of our Head Boy Harjodh and our Deputy Head Girl Edna who represented Barr Beacon School at the  Remembrance Service that was held at Aldridge War Memorial on Sunday 10th November 2019.    During the service, they laid a wreath, on behalf of the school


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CCF Biennial Review

On Monday 16th September, our Combined Cadet Force carried out their Inaugural Biennial Inspection at DTE Swynnerton Training Camp in Stone.

The cadets took part in a number of exercises across the day, such as First Aid Training, Radio and Cyber Training and Rifle Training. The day then ended with a Final Parade, which was conducted by Flt Lt Muller.

The inspection went smoothly and all of our cadets performed to a very high standard. We are extremely proud of how every pupil represented the school and showcased everything that they have accomplished over the last couple of years.

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Cadets Go Rifle Shooting

On Saturday the 18th May, a selection of Year 9 and 10 Cadets came back to school to learn how to use a rifle. Places for this tremendous opportunity were soon filled as people were keen to get stuck into what they would never be able to achieve if it wasn’t for the RAF CCF, or at least not for free.

This started at 9am in the training room where we were briefed on safety, the power of the rifle, when to carry out an NSP (Normal Safety Precaution) and how to operate this weapon by Flight Lieutenant Vahter, a highly qualified instructor for this opportunity. 

After this, groups took it in turns with the weapons, remembering the sequences and parts of the weapon you should operate at certain points of the task. Some found this less easy than others, mainly because some of us were left-handed and we were using right-handed guns, but we all agreed that the challenge made us even more determined to pass the weapons handling test we had to carry out before being able to shoot with a target. Once passed, you have this Cadet qualification for 6 months. 

Those who were struggling came together to help each other which was lovely to see the cadet solidarity and togetherness of the contingent. Many cadets passed the Weapons Handling Test first time, and we helped the few that needed a slight recap before doing it again. Soon enough we were out on the school field putting everything we had learned into practice, only this time using targets. 

This was also another opportunity to see where Cadets’ individual talents lay, as those who struggled with the weapon previously were hitting the targets rather successfully for first time attempts. We all loved this experience and those who were deemed talented enough will be picked for our next Air Squadron Trophy team. We cannot wait until our whole contingent has the opportunity to shoot as this was an extremely rewarding experience!

By Corporal Payne (Year 10)

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RAF Air Squadron Trophy

On Saturday 16th March, Barr Beacon cadets attended their first RAF Air Squadron Trophy (RAST) competition at Queen Mary’s Grammar School. The competition included: knowledge on the RAF, Air craft recognition, Drill and uniform inspection, first aid, a command task and rifle shooting.

The team (who were hand-picked by CPL Guest) were praised for their efforts and improvements by SQN LDR Taylor personally. A shooting certificate was presented to SGT Mellor (who was also promoted by SQN LDR Taylor that day) for the highest shooting score of the competition 95-100.

The Team consisted of: CPL Guest, CPL Lawlor, SGT Mellor, LCPL Preece, Cadet Dunn, LCPL Stone, Cadet Broadmore, Cadet Ellison, Cadet Smith and LCP Janse Van Rensburg.

Staff present (FLT LT Knight, PLT OFF Baker and SGT Bew) were extremely proud of the team’s efforts and are hoping to take part in the national competition in November.

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Shooting Practice

Shooting Practice by L-CPL Preece
On Sunday 10th of February, Lance corporal Preece, Lance corporal stone, Lance corporal V. Rensburg, Corporal Mellor and Corporal Lawlor travelled up to Buxton to learn how to shoot ready for our air squadron trophy. On the first session we sat in a class room and learnt about:

  • How to do a NSP (Normal Safety Precaution)
  • How to Dismantle a rifle ready for daily cleaning
  • How to put a rifle back together
  • How to complete a stoppage
  • How to clean a rifle
  • How to shoot in the prone position
  • The marksmanship principles
  • Basic handling drills
  • What different components of a rifle are
  • When to carry out a NSP

At the end of the day all five of the cadets had to go into a room on their own and complete a test, we all passed.

Then on Sunday the 24th of February the same five cadets travelled up to Buxton to shoot a L144 small-bore training and target rifle on the shooting range but first we sat in the classroom and learnt about grouping and zeroing. Then we all went on to the shooting range two at a time and shot five rounds each at four targets, then we all shot nine rounds each at a single targets and then we all shot three rounds each at another single target and after Lance Corporal Preece finished shooting his three rounds at the single target he was told that he successfully passed.

At the end of the day Lance corporal preece, Lance corporal Van Rensburg, Corporal Mellor and Corporal Lawlor were chosen to shoot at the AST competition on the 16th March at Queen Mary’s. And to make the day even better H.Preece was awarded the Trained Shot Badge for the L144A1. To achieve this he achieved: A grouping size of 38mm in the first practice and a grouping of 25mm in the second. The badge awarded is bronze rifle to signify it is L144A1.

Shooting Practice by Corporal Mellor

Some of our cadets who are attending the Air Squadron Trophy where chosen to attend fire arms training. This took place over 2 full day sessions. The first day on February 3rd 2019 consisted of basic safety around fire arms also how to hold and position yourself properly while using them. We also learned how to clean the rifle before and after use. This is to ensure that the rifle is always safe before shooting. The cadets surprisingly found this very interesting and all enjoyed learning about how rifles actually work to gain a better understanding of what they will be handling. Towards the last part of the day a test was held to make sure everything we had learned had sunk in. As a result of the cadets hard work through the day it was no surprise that everyone passed the firearms safety test allowing the cadets to move to stage 2 where they will be firing live rounds on a range.

Two weeks later on February 24th 2019 the cadets returned looking confident to get onto the range. During the first hour we learned about groupings and zeroing. In simpler terms we learned how to aim at the target and hit it consistently. After that we moved onto the range where throughout the day we all were able to fire 32 rounds each. In pairs, we went into the range and were able to have a go at shooting the rifles. While in the range the cadets followed orders from the range commander and were complimented on how well they followed the commands given. We also had Sgt Bew beside us on the first time shooting to run us through the steps. He also helped all the cadets to tighten there groupings and even got the chance to adjust the scopes on the weapon to personal preferences. These were all noted down by each cadet in preparation for the air squadron trophy. Overall the cadets really enjoyed the experience and are looking forward to the next time on the range. 

Contact Info

Barr Beacon School
Old Hall Lane
Alridge, Walsall
West Midlands
WS9 0RF

T: 0121 366 6600
postbox@barrbeaconschool.co.uk

Monday - Thursday: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Friday: 8:00 am - 3:30 pm

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