Colston’s School's Combined Cadet Force (CCF) is about developing leadership and teamwork qualities and through it both Duke of Edinburgh and other vocational qualifications may be acquired which contribute to points needed for University entrance.
Our CCF is made up of three sections: Navy, Army and RAF. It is currently compulsory for all members of Year 9, at the end of the year they are then able to volunteer to remain on for the remainder of their time in the school. Many remain in the CCF until they leave school; taking full advantage of the leadership opportunities the CCF offers and ultimately become cadet instructors, responsible for aspects of running the CCF as NCOs.
The first term is spent training in sections and as a contingent. Training in the safe use of the cadet weapon is carried out so that cadets can take part in a Field Weekend later in the year and attend a voluntary Summer Camp - usually a week at an army base in Wales. This is certainly a highlight of the year for all the cadets
Army Section training comprises instruction on camouflage and concealment, section attacks, ambushes, patrolling and shooting (including practices on the School’s 0.22 range and full bore shooting on range days), drill, leadership and current affairs.
After the first year cadets are encouraged to stay on for Advanced Proficiency training. Since NCOs give instruction at proficiency level to Year 9-10 cadets, there are further opportunities for leadership training. Each year we see cadets interested in a career in the Armed Forces, either directly on leaving school or, more usually, after university where cadets can often continue to enjoy their connection with the Armed Forces through the Officer Training Corps. Many cadets attend courses, either at the Cadet Leadership Course or Cadet Adventure Training Centre or a on a number of specialist courses.
The Royal Navy Section exists to develop the individual, promote teamwork and foster qualities of leadership amongst its cadet members. This is achieved through a nautical environment where seamanship skills are mixed with an appreciation of the customs of the Royal Navy and experience of the modern Navy at sea.
A cadet is expected to learn to sail a dinghy, learn basic coastal navigation and how to handle him or herself in a military fashion. Cadets who stay on beyond this basic stage will attend a residential course on a topic of their choosing and will undergo leadership training, before taking on responsibility for younger cadets within the section.
Amongst the courses recently attended by cadets are courses in first aid, weapons firing, sailing, yachting, and power-boating.
The RAF Section supports the overall aims of the contingent and shares the same basic training as the other sections in drill, shooting and map reading. Additionally, the RAF proficiency training gives air-minded cadets the opportunity to develop their interest in flying. It is at this stage of training that air experience flying and gliding with the Royal Air Force may become available. The opportunity for further leadership training as a potential NCO is also provided and there is also the possibility of going on an Easter or Summer cadet camp at an RAF station.