Trophies awarded in Air Squadron National Trophy Finals
14th April 2015

On Saturday 14th March, thirteen RAF cadets travelled to RAF Halton to compete in this year’s Air Squadron Trophy Finals. Having achieved 2nd place in the Regional competition at RAF Cranwell in November, they had qualified for the National Final, where the performance of two cadets was acknowledged with trophies at the final parade.

The team were competing against eleven other schools from all over the country in seven activities - drill, shooting, fitness, RAF knowledge, command task, aircraft recognition and shooting.

Corporal Jemima Burgess (17) commented, “After a hectic Saturday evening polishing shoes and ironing uniform we were raring to go. The team competed well overall and we were happy with our performance, in particular during the all-important drill competition. Our flight was commanded to perfection by Corporal Peter Anson (17) and the team worked in unison to deliver a performance which received praise from the Commandant Air Cadets herself. The uniform preparation was worthwhile as a few of us received 9/10 in inspection; a 10 is almost impossible. The Drill is always very competitive and we were pleased to come 5th.”

The School’s shooting team did particularly well, shooting at a DCCT (Dismounted Close Combat Trainer) Range; this does not involve live firing but simulation instead. The team managed to score an incredible 93/100 on their snap shooting which placed them 2nd out of all of the schools. Corporals Hayley Harris (16) and Jemima Burgess were two of only seven cadets on the day to score 20/20. Hayley’s impressive grouping size earned her the well-deserved title of best shot of the day and she was rewarded with a trophy at the final parade.

Another excellent performance came from Peter Anson (17) who achieved the highest score (29/30 in 92.4 seconds) in the Aircraft Recognition competition. This was also rewarded with a trophy during the final parade.

The fitness part of the competition involved a bleep test. Lance Corporal Poppy King (15) and Corporals Jaren Liu (17), Peter Anson and Jemima Burgess took on the challenge and excelled. Jaren ran the furthest, reaching an impressive level 11.7 which scored him 21 points for the team. Jemima reached level 9.7 which is above the female average. As a result, Jemima was named the highest scorer, marking 25 points for the team. Other schools proved difficult to beat with some boys reaching almost 14.5 and the Oundle team was happy to be placed 5th overall.

The Command Task, led by Jemima Burgess was a true test of leadership and followership with a complex task put in front of the team which proved difficult. The First Aid Team enjoyed the brilliant acting from the actors but were in some cases unsure as to how to deal with the situation put in front of them.

Jemima concluded, “Every cadet thoroughly enjoyed the day and we all learned and experienced a lot. We came 8th overall and will be back next year - hopefully to try our hardest to take the cup from Kimbolton School, the overall winners. The team would like to thank the members of staff who helped us during our training.”

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.”

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, including a new 1st XI cricket pavilion due to open April 2015. 


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. 

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