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Gravesend Grammar School opens new Sea Cadet Unit

Gravesend Grammar School opens new Sea Cadet Unit
27 September 2017
The Royal Navy’s most senior representative in the region has opened a new Sea Cadet Unit at Gravesend Grammar School in North Kent as part of the Combined Cadet Force Expansion Scheme.

Commodore David Elford, who is the Naval Regional Commander for the East of England (NRCEE), was guest of honour at Gravesend Grammar as Cadets from the newly formed Unit paraded for his inspection.  

“The Royal Navy is committed to the enduring success of the Combined Cadet Force Expansion programme, by providing access to world class facilities and expertise to enrich the development of students,” said Cdre Elford.

“I was also a Cadet in a CCF unit in my own Grammar School in Plympton in Devon, and I know how important this day must be to all of you on parade. It is a huge personnel privilege for me to be asked to open Gravesend Grammar’s Sea Cadet Unit, and I wish all the greatest success in the future."

The New Royal Navy CCF section at Gravesend is part of the Cadet Expansion Programme (CEP), whose aim is to promote a military ethos in schools and instil values in young people that will help them get the most out of their lives, as well as contributing richly to their communities.

Pupils learn how to develop qualities such as self-discipline, loyalty, respect, leadership, teamwork and resilience. The programme focuses on CCF units, ensuring that as many pupils from state schools have a chance to experience life-enriching activities of military cadets as part of their school life.

This creates positive benefits in all areas of the school including character skills of leadership, teamwork, communication, and integrity and career progression, strongly valued by employers.

The Royal Navy is committed to the enduring success of the Combined Cadet Force Expansion programme, by providing access to world class facilities and expertise to enrich the development of students

Commodore David Elford, Naval Regional Commander for the East of England

Gravesend Grammar currently has a growing group of Cadets who are eager to get to grips with the Royal Navy in Portsmouth.

“It has taken a long time to get up and running, and we are all thrilled that we have finally started with a core of 30 Cadets," said Sub Lieutenant Claire Warner, Commanding Officer of the new Unit and a Sixth form tutor in the school.

“Everyone is generally excited and has been really looking forward to this grand official opening parade as well as getting a chance to get  on the water as much as possible in the coming months.”

Senior Cadet of the school Cadet Mitchell Taylor (16) has been part of the Unit since it opened its doors.

She said, “It's filled with me with a real sense of pride in the school and the Sea Cadets to be part of this parade and I'm looking forward to all the great opportunities we can get involved in."

"Gravesend itself has a very long and proud maritime history stretching back centuries," said Head Teacher Geoffrey Wybar.

"There are obvious opportunities to get involved with the Royal Navy support. But it's also a fantastic chance for pupils to develop leadership potential and teamwork qualities, after all we are building movers and shakers of the future and I can think of no finer way to do so, than with the Royal Navy."

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