At the start of the Fourth Form, pupils must choose between joining the CCF and what is known as Basic Year, a non-military outward-bound option.
The CCF training is planned with 'serious fun' in mind. Our programme includes: shooting, physical training, first aid, fieldcraft, navigation, leadership, drill, unarmed combat, watermanship, campcraft, climbing, canoeing, hill walking as well as specialist skills related to all three sections - flying training in the RAF for example.
The CCF is voluntary albeit with a choice of only one other activity outside it. The 90 or so pupils who join each year choose between Royal Marines, Army, RAF and Navy sections, with the Royal Marines operating a selection system meaning each section recruits 20, 50 and 20 cadets each year. Pupils who opt to stay on are encouraged to join one of the Junior NCO Cadre courses on offer and generally prepare for NCO (non-commissioned officer) service within the CCF.
What would I do in the CCF?
The Combined Cadet Force uses military training to develop character as well as teach self-reliance, leadership and other skills. The focus is very much on skills development and fun. After learning the basics such as weapon safety, military knowledge and other military skills, you will choose one of four very different options:
- CCF Royal Navy
The focus here will be on ‘afloat’ activities and leadership. You will have a chance to operate a powerboat, develop seamanship and navigation skills and experience other water borne activities such as canoeing, raft building, try a scuba dive, as well as some land based activities. The section will have access to various school and Navy craft and it is hoped that weekend and holiday sailing expeditions will be offered.
- CCF Royal Marines
The RM Section at Shrewsbury has been one of the top UK Royal Marine sections for some years now. The emphasis is on developing character through fieldcraft training and the RM section develops excellent leaders via a devolved responsibility training method that seeks a lot of input from the senior cadets in the section. The best cadets enter the Pringle Trophy held each October. You should expect to develop infantry tactics skills in a water based environment, to learn fieldcraft and command skills, as well as shoot, camouflage yourself and work as a team. A good level of general fitness and resilience is expected.
- CCF Royal Air Force
The RAF section is all about flying. You will learn about Airmanship and the Principles of Flight, and there are some professional exams to take, all of which earn promotion points. In a very short period of time you should then begin your flying experiences. Via our membership of a local gliding club many RAF cadets have built up significant flying hours, and some have obtained their pilots wings whilst still at school. RAF Cadets also have the opportunity to fly in single-engine Tutor aircraft on summer camp as well as Squirrel helicopters based at a local RAF Station.
- CCF Army
The Army section won the Cadet Skills Competition last year. It aims to develop leadership and life skills by undertaking shooting, overnight exercises, fieldcraft and tactics, first aid, adventure training, leadership development and bushcraft. The section is organised around a British Army Infantry Platoon and like other sections adopts a devolved method that gives lots of responsibility to senior cadets. You should expect to use paintball guns, learn weapon safety and do some shooting, deliver briefings to younger cadets and hone your fieldcraft and tactics skills.
Note for current parents
A list of CCF events during 2018/2019 can be downloaded here: CCF Events 2018/19
Fourth Form CCF Camps Programme
Each year we hold CCF Camps for our Fourth Form cadets, We hope each pupil will attend one of the two camps on offer:
EASTER OUTWARD-BOUND CAMP
This is a non-military multi-activity adventure camp held at Talargerwyn, the school bunkhouse in Snowdonia.
SUMMER CENTRAL CAMP
A military-style camp based at Nesscliff Training Camp in Shropshire.
In the Fifth Form and beyond
Good NCOs are an absolute priority and their development continues to be the key part of our programme. We have introduced Cadre courses across the board and the core of this deals with Methods of Instruction and other leadership skills. We ask our NCOs to instruct wherever this is possible and try to give them real responsibility. Command appointments on exercises and leadership training weekends hopefully contribute towards a useful and enjoyable package.
Three annual Field Days are held, one per term with an additional voluntary weekend overnight exercise, again one per term. Summer and Easter Camps are held annually.