Combined Cadet Force
All pupils from Year 10 upwards can join the CCF, although it is not compulsory. Our aim in the CCF is to develop self-reliance, leadership, a spirit of adventure and to introduce pupils to the Armed Forces.
Our CCF was founded in 1901 and has continued to provide pupils with a wide variety of challenges, opportunities, skills, leadership training, military knowledge and teamwork. We have three sections RN, Army and RAF as well as a strong and active ‘Corps of Drums’, who lead the Remembrance Sunday and St George’s Day Parades every year.
We pride ourselves in producing well-rounded and confident cadets. In recent years, three of our cadets have been chosen as ‘Lord Lieutenant Cadets’, where they assist the Lord Lieutenant for Somerset with her duties.
The Contingent parades once a week on Friday afternoons, with a 48 hr exercise each term. Cadets join for one year, initially, to gain experience and undertake basic training, and a number then remain for four years, ending up leading sections of younger cadets. To begin with, cadets work towards completing the “Cadet Proficiency Certificate” in Year 10 and the “Advanced Proficiency Certificate” in Year 11. In the Sixth Form, the cadets join a Leadership Cadre and begin their development as junior leaders. Senior Cadets in Year 12 can also enrol for a BTEC in Public Services.
All cadets joining this section are provided with sailing and canoeing courses giving them basic qualifications accredited by the RYA and BCU. In addition they will learn the basics of naval life, and there will be opportunities to visit warships and occasionally go to sea. Our parent unit at Yeovilton also gives us the opportunity to go flying occasionally. A wide range of free courses, camps and qualifications are on offer from the RN, such as first aid, leadership, dinghy & yachting, powerboating, paddle skills & deep sea diving.
All cadets joining this section will learn the basic skills of a soldier, and later on can learn specialist skills in engineering, infantry, and signals. There is a lot of emphasis on fieldcraft and weapons handling with the new L98 A2 rifle, both in blank firing and live firing on ranges. Camps take place each year on regular Army training areas. The Army run Leadership Courses, overseas exchanges to Canada and Adventurous Training to a variety of places: two cadets trained in Kenya, and we have had two cadets on the Canadian Cadet Exchange Programme in the last few years.
Cadets are taught about the theory of flight and airmanship. Opportunities are provided for flying and gliding, as well as the usual range of cadet activities described above. The RAF also offers excellent leadership courses. Contingent Camps take place each year on regular bases, as well as specialist camps, including RAF Akrotiri, Cyprus and Gibraltar where a number of our cadets have gone over the last two years. Our cadets have also been selected for the Air Cadet Pilot Scheme, which involves them flying solo.
‘22’ shooting takes place at a local range in Wellington and our cadets also attend a number of the specialist Adventurous Training courses run by the Cadet Centre for Adventurous Training, gaining qualifications and experience in climbing, caving, kayaking, canoeing, mountaineering and mountain biking. A week-long central ‘Summer Camp’ is also run out of Sennybridge, to round off a busy year.