Cadets Lead The Way

This weekend 27 cadets from four of our schools expanded their leadership skills by attending The Bronze Leadership Course at Barr Beacon School. The course was held centrally to allow our cadets to share ideas and harness the fundamentals of leadership training.

Our cadets began the day by learning how leadership styles can affect the output of teams in a practical environment, this was reinforced with group discussions and scenarios based on real-time situations. They then moved onto practical leadership tasks in which each of the candidates were assessed on implementing their own leadership styles.

By the end of the day all 27 cadets achieved the Bronze standard and had a great time in the sun. Well done all!


CCF Updates and Opportunities

K Owen – Deputy Head Student

Cadets is an amazing extra-curricular activity that supports the growth of all those taking part, offering a wide variety of opportunities such as shooting, flying, first aid, overnight camps, formal dinner events and various competitions.

Over the last term, the younger Cadets have settled into their roles and have been learning the basics in preparation for their first set of badge work, completing lessons in first aid, air recognition and the history of the RAF. Their abilities have shone through in these areas as they completed weekly quizzes, competing against each other as well as other squadrons. The younger Cadets have shown incredible determination as they prepare for the upcoming Matrix-Mini-RAST competition, giving them the opportunity to speak to other Cadets from across the Matrix Academy Trust and to show their skills.

They also experienced their first overnight camp, taking part in some ice breakers, learning how use the Trangia’s and taking part in a blindfolded night walk through the woods. This pushed the Cadets out of their comfort zone as they worked cohesively as a team to find their way guided by ropes. Throughout the evening, the Cadets made new friendships, understanding the importance of teamwork, all whilst having lots of fun.

The older Cadets have also been working on their badge work, alongside all of the preparation that went into the Reginal Air Squadron Trophy competition, that took place at RAF Cosford on Sunday 19th November 2023. This tested Cadets in a first aid scenario, shooting, drill, general knowledge and aircraft recognition. As a school we did incredibly well, coming 6th place out of 15 other schools.

Presenting the best of Barr Beacon Cadets; they were a credit to the CCF and did the unit proud.

A Matrix Christmas Dinner night was also held, where Cadets from across the Trust came together to celebrate all of our achievements – it was a wonderfully successful evening! It gave everyone a chance to talk and meet up with new Cadets, allowing networking, along with the exchanging of everyone’s experiences from the past term. We hope to run more experiences like this one in the future.

On the 2nd and 3rd of March, a fieldcraft weekend was hosted at Barr Beacon with Cadets from Etone and Bloxwich joining us. We did a mixture of different activities, including complex first aid scenarios, reconnaissance missions on an enemy base and patrolling scenarios, amid an array of other things. The weekend provided an amazing opportunity for Cadets to bolster their knowledge and work in the field, but it was also another fun weekend.

The last few terms have been incredibly busy for the Cadet Force (with even more opportunities and events being scheduled for the near future) and I would like to say a massive well done to everyone. It has been incredible to watch the growth of the contingent and I cannot wait to see the applications coming through from those students wanting to join us within the upcoming year, and the promotions to those proving their leadership qualities.

Combined Cadet Force | Homepage

RAFAC Bader | Welcome (

RAF Recruitment | Find Your Role | Royal Air Force (


National Memorial Arboretum Visit

Today, 210 cadets & staff from our schools visited the National Memorial Arboretum as part of their historical and social enrichment package within the Combined Cadet Force. 

Thank fully the weather was clear and all of our cadets enjoyed learning about the various monuments situated around the grounds. 

We would like to thank members of the Wales & West CCF Test Team for supporting the visit, and the staff of the National Memorial Arboretum for hosting such a large group of us.


Cadets Fly the Flag at Armistice. 

This week as part of the national Armistice period, our cadets have been preparing for the Matrix Academy Trust Armistice Parade. 

The parade incorporates members of the Combined Cadet Forces from all of our schools in remembering those who sacrifice their lives to serve and protect our communities. 

This year the trust has commissioned a new Union Standard to commemorate the work of our staff and students who are members of the Combined Cadet Forces. 

Lest We Forget!


Field Training Day for Beacon & Bloxwich.

Today our two Contingents were involved in a field training day designed to train and then test our cadets in field craft activities. 

All of the cadets worked together in groups made up of both contingents to encourage collaborative working, confidence and sharing of ideas. They then were put through their paces with a number of testing scenarios in which the designated commanders had to lead their teams. Many of the cadets commented on how much they had learnt and all wanted to know when the next day or camp would take place.

A big thank you to all of the staff who attended & supported the event.


Cadet Force Biennial Review – 7th June 2023

As with every organisation there are always inspections, for the Combined Cadet Force we have the Biennial Review. So on 7th June 2023 our Staff & Cadets were honoured to host the Regional Commandant for the Wales & West Region, Group Captain R Simon who this year was our Reviewing Officer (RO). The Group Captain was accompanied our Headteacher Mrs Hibbs, and Major Simon Cuthbert (School Cadet Expansion Officer West Midlands) for the duration of his review visit. 

The review began with a working lunch where all of the contingent staff were given the opportunity to discuss cadet force issues both within the school and the wider organisation. The Group Captain was pleased to see and hear that the staff were in good spirits and that the cadet forces within Barr Beacon School were thriving, both from the number of students taking part but also the rapid expansion of activities that we were able to offer throughout the year. 

We moved on to the main event – the reason why we were all here, to see the cadets taking part in activities delivered by our staff. The RO was escorted by our very own Flight Sergeant’s K Owen & J Martin (two of our 6th Form Students), who were asked all sorts of relevant questions about life as a cadet here in Barr Beacon School – both good and bad. This was the first time that either of them had been involved in a high profile visit, especially one by the Commandant of the region. 

There were a series of activities that all of our cadets displayed throughout the afternoon which demonstrated the scope of what the school offers for our youngsters Activities that were on display included Drill, Command/Team Building tasks, First Aid, Target Shooting and Fieldcraft. At each station the Group Captain observed the activity, asked questions to the instructing staff and then more importantly asked for feedback from the cadets directly. It was a great opportunity for RO to gain vital feedback from the cadets about how they see the CCF in school. The RO especially was impressed by the high standard of our cadets target shooting, something that we have spent time improving throughout the year. Mr Best and A/Plt Off Garner displayed how our cadets learn to problem solve, and lead teams with a range of difficult command tasks. Group Captain Simon was then shown our latest project – the fieldcraft training area here on the school site. It has been the newest addition to the CCF here at school and allows the cadets to practice all of the skills we teach them in a safe bespoke area. The last stand of the day was the Fieldcraft activity, where I had the pleasure of passing on some of my knowledge and skills in camouflage & concealment, Patrolling formations, and tactical awareness to our students. The cadets all enjoyed practising with cam-cream, and displaying their knowledge of why things are seen to the visiting staff. The RO even allowed the cadets to judge my camouflage skills.

Sadly the afternoon had finally reached the end and we all formed up for a final parade and a few words from the Group Captain prior to his departure. All of our cadets showed what an amazing opportunity the CCF is through the wide range of activities it has to offer our students. A very big well done to all of our cadets and staff!!! 

Staff Sergeant Doble DJ

Senior School Staff Instructor


We are now recruiting for the new school year. For application forms or more information please speak to SSgt Doble/Flt Lt Muller in school or contact us at postbox.


If your child would like to join the Combined Cadet Force here at school, you would like to know more about our RAF cadets, or the impending Army Cadets please get in touch at:


Cadets Go Gliding

At 7:15 on a cold Sunday morning, 9 Cadets embarked on and adventure to Tern Hill airfield and 632 Volunteer Gliding School (VGS).  

The mission: To learn about the function and effect of flight controls in a glider, and put them into practice.  All looked good until we hit a fog bank on the A41, which stayed with us until Tern Hill.  On arrival, the Cadets were put through a training session on fitting the parachute and exiting the Glider in an emergency.  Once completed, the Cadets received a briefing on the effects of the Elevators, Ailerons and Rudder on an aircraft.

Training complete we waited, and waited, and waited for the mist to clear.  As 11:00 drew near we were invited to attend an impromptu parade with the VGS to support the Cenotaph parade for Remembrance Day.  At the end of the parade, and as if by magic, the fog became mist and then disappeared.

Once on the airfield, the Cadets were shown around a glider, including how to attach the tow cable and support the glider on launching.  Soon the Cadets were in full flow, launching and recovering the Gliders as each started their trip to the stars (well 1000 feet at least).  By 3:00pm, all was looking good for all Cadets to fly when we were told that a wind at 400 feet meant that we needed to reverse our launch direction.  So, with all hands to deck, 1 caravan, 2 winches, 1 minibus, 3 gliders and a tractor were all relocated on the airfield ready to restart operations.  At this point, a sudden downturn in temperature caused flying to cease, as it caused the canopies on the gliders to mist up in a similar way to cars on a cold morning – the key difference being that the gliders don’t have windscreen wipers or heating.  The effect was that 2 Cadets didn’t fly.  Undaunted, plans were immediately made to return these Cadets at a later date to get their flights.

Once all the kit had been recovered to the hanger, the Cadets who had flown were then presented with their blue wings as a symbol of their progress on the aviation training package.

The military and poetry have a long history going back thousands of years, through to the famous poets of the First World War and right up to modern engagements. It is therefore very fitting that Sgt. Bew was inspired to pen these lines which tell the story of the day…

A Glider’s Tale

Twas the 14th November

And not a sound to be heard

‘Cept 9 young Cadets

Who sought to be birds.

For today was the day

That they hoped to fly

Up in the air in a glider to distances so high

Mother Nature reminded us, that she is the boss

For a ground mist descended, we are at a loss.

Fear not said the pilots, learn how flight is done.

Then cometh the hour, the mists came undone

And gliders went soaring 

And Cadets had much fun.

Connecting the cables and running the wing,

Recovering an overshoot,

They took part in everything.

One by one, they went soaring 

High into the sky.

“It’s like a rollercoaster”,

I heard Cadets cry.

Mother Nature again descended

Her hand once again,

And with two fledglings left, 

She decried: this must end.

So two must return, in a week or few

And venture the mist and stand in the dew.

For they will once again

Hear “take up slack” and “all out”, those most shouted words

And go hurtling skywards

In those plastic birds

And see earth from a height and other great things.

And also to earn those precious blue wings.


RAF Cadets go Green, then Brown

Over the weekend, 39 Cadets took the opportunity to learn some basic military skills.  These included looking after yourself in an outdoor environment, communication in a tactical environment, formations and tactical movement.  The days were challenging as it rained during the two days, causing a small stream to form and meander across the training environment, generating the potential for the ultimate mud bath.  This however did not deter the cadets, as they threw themselves (some quite literally) into the activities.

Looking after yourself in an outdoor environment.  This included packing your rucksack, looking after your equipment and personal hygiene.

Communication in a tactical environment.  This involves using hand signals to pass messages between people.

Formations.  How groups of people move in a tactical environment.

Individual Tactical movement.  How to move across terrain whilst trying to avoid detection.

Halloween came early!

The day culminated with a stalk where half the cadets used the skills they had learnt over the day to try to get as close to an observation post as they could without being seen.  This involved moving as stealthily as possible through the terrain. 

Can you see them?


Examples of Boots suitable for Cadet activities

The following images indicate the type of boot suitable for cadet activities. This is an indication only: as long as the boots are above ankle length, laced, preferably made of all leather (but a leather/fabric mix is acceptable) and either brown or black then they are suitable. 

Any queries please contact Sgt Bew at


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.

Contact Info

Barr Beacon School
Old Hall Lane
Aldridge, Walsall
West Midlands

T: 0121 366 6600

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

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