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Drill Parade at RAF Abingdon

First year Public Services students from City of Oxford College showcased their end of year drill parade, at Abingdon airfield, on Wednesday 14 June.


The drill, taught and directed by Staff Sergeant SJ Starling, was a culmination of months of hard work and practice from both students and staff.


Nicole Symes Frazer, teacher of Public Services at Activate Learning, said: “All our first year students take part in the drill parade, from Level 1 through to Level 3.  Although today was a formal test, it’s also a platform for them to showcase the skills that they’ve learnt this year, and the parade was successfully executed by all."


“Historically our public services faculty has strong ties with the military, which benefits our students with some great learning opportunities.  Staff Sergeant Starling (a Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineer) is a Staff Instructor at Oxford University Officers' Training Corps; he has been assisting us with taking the students for drill during the last two years, and we are extremely grateful that he kindly gives him time to teach and help our students.”


Gavin Edgar, also a teacher of Public Services, added: “The drill is part of our ‘Discipline’ module, a really important part of the public services programme and an essential skillset for our learners to acquire.  It will help them with any future career choice or academic route.  A high expectation was put on our students today, and I’m really proud to say that they all stepped up to the mark.”


Hayden Venning, Level 2 public services student, aged 17, said: “Today was quite nerve wracking at first, but once we got into it was really good, we’d put a lot of practice in, so I knew we’d all be fine”


Bradley Towe, Level 1 public services student, aged 16, added: “Today was great, and I would say this course is brilliant for anyone who wants to join the Army.  When I first started last year, I wanted to join the police force, but now I’d like to get into the Royal Marines.  I’ve learnt so much and you get to do some of the best things at college, like bootcamp and going to SKERN [an outdoor activity centre].  I was quite shy before I started, but the course has given me loads of confidence”.


A drill parade is a formation of military personnel whose movement is restricted by close-order manoeuvring known as drilling or marching.