The Combined Cadet Force (CCF) provides a fun, varied and challenging co-curricular programme in leadership, military and adventure training.
It aims to develop important skills for later life including leadership, responsibility, self-reliance, independence, teamwork, endurance, determination and service to others.
Cadets meet weekly on Thursday afternoons to participate in a range of activities making full use of the schools 1,200 acre site. Activities recently undertaken by cadets include sailing, kayaking, ocean diving, Nordic skiing, flying, parachuting and military tactics. Senior cadets are encouraged to deliver as much of the training as possible themselves.
Cadets participate in many courses and international exchanges during the holidays, with many leading to recognised qualifications. This year, Christ’s Hospital cadets participated in adventurous training trips to Canada, Norway and Scotland. The contingent also deploys as a whole for two weeks of camp a year. All these opportunities are heavily subsidised by the Ministry of Defence.
The CCF provides full support to students completing their DofE Awards up to Gold and runs expeditions throughout the year for cadets participating in the scheme. CCF counts as “Volunteering” and can count towards the Gold residential requirement. As it is subsidised by the cadet force, it is also cheaper than doing the award through a civilian provider.
An annual Mess Dinner celebrates the efforts and achievements of the cadets over the course of this academic year. The format follows closely the traditions of a British Army Officers’ Mess. Although primarily intended to be fun, the dinner will also offer students the opportunity to learn the etiquette and protocol of formal dining and of a military mess. The dinner also includes presentation of the Pooley Sword, the contingent’s “Sword of Honour”.
The contingent numbers around 150 cadets (half girls, half boys) divided into specialist Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force sections. Membership is entirely voluntary and open to UF students (Year 10) and above. Pupils do not have to be a UK citizen to join.