These law-abiding year 6 pupils from Scotch Orchard Primary School, part of the Arthur Terry Learning Partnership (ATLP), have successfully graduated from an innovative cadet programme – and they even have the badges to prove it.
The young cadets stepped up to receive their commendations from Staffordshire Police’s chief inspector, Mark Smith, at a presentation ceremony on 16 November. They were joined by PCSOs Elaine Ford and Andy Lovatt, along with Scotch Orchard parents, headteacher, Jo Bishop, and chair of governors, Paul Devlin.
Children were presented with certificates and goodies, to mark their completion of the seven-week programme, which aims to equip young people with core life skills and covers themes including safety, bullying and engagement. Andy, Elaine and fellow PCSO, Alyx Hart, delivered in-school training and Scotch Orchard’s ‘rookie’ police officers had the opportunity to operate ‘walkie-talkies’ and learn the phonetic alphabet.
Teacher Gemma Foster said: “We’re so proud of our children and their achievements – they really are quite a force! Pupils developed their confidence, teamwork and leadership skills and learned how to stay safe, which will serve them well throughout the next stage of their education and as citizens of Lichfield.”
During the awards ceremony, headteacher Jo Bishop described the pupils as ‘trailblazers’. She said:
Scotch Orchard children take their duties very seriously – they stepped up to the mark, demonstrating hard work and excellence at every stage. Our classrooms are in safe hands thanks to these determined future leaders! We’re grateful to the officers who volunteered their time and expertise and to Mark and the team for making this a day to remember – we salute you.”
And proving that it is never too early to start planning for a future career, Scotch Orchard’s reception pupils donned police hats and uniforms to greet the VIPs.
Chief inspector Smith, who first joined the police 28 years ago as a cadet, spoke to parents, staff and pupils about Staffordshire Police’s commitment to delivering its cadet education programme, in consultation with schools and community. He asked the children if they had enjoyed the course and the answer was a resounding: “Yes!”
What a privilege to come to Scotch Orchard. The children have shown such hard work and commitment and learned some valuable life skills. These awards are well deserved – we have some budding police officers in our midst!”
PCSO Elaine Ford said:
“It was a joy to work with the children, who were so enthusiastic throughout. If we can build positive relationships from an early age then we can carry that through to secondary school and beyond and strengthen community cohesion across our fantastic city.”