Oakington Air Cadets meet between 7pm and 9.30pm every Tuesday and Thursday
We know that as a parent you will have a few questions about how the Squadron works and other things, so we have tried to answer a few of them below. If you have any other questions please contact us.
Where do you meet?
We meet at the Cadet Centre in Magadelene Close, Longstanton.
When do you parade?
We parade on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7.00pm to 9.30pm. We ask that the cadets arrive promptly so that we can start the evening on time and make the most of the training time available.
What are the aims of the ATC?
The ATC has three aims:
To promote and encourage among young people a practical interest in aviation and the Royal Air Force.
To provide training which will be useful in the Services and civilian life.
To foster the spirit of adventure and develop qualities of leadership and good citizenship.
Despite receiving funding from the Government through the RAF, we are not a recruiting organisation. The majority of cadets do not go on to join any of the Armed Services, but those who do have a much better appreciation of what they will be doing than those with no cadet experience.
What training will my son / daughter receive?
The ATC has a training syllabus that, once completed, allows the cadets to gain a BTEC qualification. This training starts from the moment they join the Squadron.
The ATC has a defined academic syllabus based around aviation and aviation related subjects. This training takes place is stages and enables cadets to obtain Classification badges. Once they complete their academic training they are awarded a BTEC Award in Aviation Studies, which is equivalent to 2 GCSEs at grades A to C. This qualification is paid for by the ATC.
For cadets aged 15 and over, it is also possible to complete a BTEC First Diploma in Public Services. A small amount of extra work is required for this qualification, but the majority of the requirements can be filled by attending cadet events and activities. This BTEC is equivalent to 4 GSCEs at grades A to C, and again is free to all cadets.
Outside of academic training, cadets complete project work in areas such as first aid, communications and engineering. They also have the opportunity to take part in the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme, with the Bronze Award pack being offered free to all cadets.
How much time will my son / daughter be expected to give?
The amount of time each cadet puts in to the ATC varies, but the old adage of "the more you put in, the more you get out" applies.
The Squadron fully supports cadets in their studies at school, and accept that during busy times, such as exams, attendance may be sporadic. All we ask is that the cadets inform us that they are going to be absent so that they can be marked as such on the register.
How do you ensure my son / daughter is safe?
All adult staff in the ATC are subjected to DBS and Security Checks prior to their appointment.
Activities are always run by staff with the required qualifications, which in the case of Adventure Training will be those issued by National Governing Bodies.
Activities are risk assessed and appropriate cadet to staff ratio and first aid cover is always in place.
How much does it cost?
Current Squadron subscription costs are £20 a quarter. These funds are used to pay for equipment and activities that cannot be covered by public money.
All uniform except shoes and boots is provided. This equates to around £500 of uniform so if your cadet leaves they will need to return it to the Squadron.
Camps usually cost around £50, although overseas camps can be considerably more depending on the mode of transport used. We do not like to exclude cadets due to costs, so if your cadet would like to attend but the cost is an issue, please come and speak to the staff and we will approach the Civilian Committee on your behalf.
Are there many weekend activities?
Yes. Most weekends there is an activity on, whether it be sports, a course, flying or gliding. Cadets aren't expected to attend every weekend, but will get more out of their time in the ATC if they attend more activities.
Places on ATC activities are often limited so we do ask that if a cadet "signs up" for an additional event they make every effort to attend, and, if they are unable to attend, we ask that they notify the squadron in plenty of time so that the place can be offered to another cadet, either from our squadron or another. If the activity has a cost, a cadet who drops out once a place is booked for them may be liable to cover the full cost of the activity.
The only event that we ask all cadets to attend is Remembrance Sunday.
When do camps take place?
Camps normally take place in school holidays, although sometimes summer camps can take place late in the summer term.
If requested, the Squadron can provide letters to schools explaining the activities the cadets will be taking part in and their educational values.
I don't want to be an instructor, but is there another way I can help?
Yes. The Squadron has a Civilian Welfare Committee made up of parents. Their role is to help with fundraising for the Squadron, control the Squadron?s funds and to ensure that the welfare of the cadets is considered in a major decision.
The Civilian Committee meets for a few hours at the Squadron on a parade evening every 6 weeks. If you would like to know more, please contact the Squadron.