RAF Brize Norton
Carterton Community College has a long standing partnership with the RAF Brize Norton, now the biggest Station in the UK and the world. Needless to say many of our students are from RAF families and the College has developed particular expertise in helping them adjust to their new lives here following moves from other locations.
Recently the community of Carterton has been host to the repatriation of service personnel killed in action. This has brought a special challenge for the College, supporting the young people and families who have been touched in some way by the regular repatriations. Students here accepted the responsibility of being invited to contribute to the design of the Repatriation Bell, installed in Monahan Way in the early summer of 2012. The design prepared by Ellie Simmons was chosen and was cast into the Bell. Ellie had the privilege of helping to unveil the Bell at the special opening ceremony.
The RAF Community Development Officer (CDO) works closely with the College and is a member of the Governing Body alongside other RAF personnel. The CDO has supported successful bids made by the College for grants from the Armed Services Community Covenant which aim to build relationships and opportunities for both the service and civilian population of the town and the area. There has been close co-operation about the development of the Allandale Centre for young people in the community between the RAF, the Town Council and the Community College. Young people from the College, notably the Community Champions, support special activities and projects such as the opening of the Faulder Avenue Play Park, funded by the RAF Benevolent Fund and the Remembrance Service held in the town each November.
The RAF Station has supported the curriculum, the teaching and the learning of our students. In order to obtain our specialist status in Engineering in 2007, the RAF provided £5000 in sponsorship. The work done by JADTEU (a specialist engineering unit for all three armed services) gained national recognition for “Getting off the Ground”, a one term introduction to physics programme for year 7 Science students. The Forward Support Wing and the Parachute Squadron have made big contributions to the Design & Technology. For all the schools in Carterton, the RAF has sponsored along with other partners “Dragon’s Den” which allowed the primary schools to design, build and test a mechanical dragon which had to perform in public on May Day.
RAF Brize Norton is growing fast, as is the community around it. People come and go, but the partnership between the Community College is a constant factor which provides mutual support, understanding and benefits for all involved.