Combined Cadet Force
The Combined Cadet Force is an important but voluntary part of school from Year 9. It is sponsored by the MoD and, using the best of the ethos of the British services, helps to develop our young people, in personal responsibility, in teamwork and leadership, and in outdoor education.
Fully supported by the Headteacher, and run by volunteer teachers, parents and friends of the school, the CCF meets during term-time after school, on every Wednesday evening until 5.45pm.
Training is by experienced instructors and every evening, we start with a parade and then split up into sections and year groups, learning new skills, taking part in training and games, and having fun.
Uniform is issued free (with the exception of boots) but to cover essential costs for additional activities, we sometimes need to charge a small fee. We do a wide range of activities, some away from school such as at the indoor climbing centre on Anglesey. All young people get map-reading and first aid training and many get the opportunity to pass national assessments.
Lieutenant Colonel Jim Wood
School Staff Instructor SMI Trevor Lloyd
Mr Maurice Linaker
Major Brad Percival
Captain Ann Bunn
Flight Lieutenant Phil Roberts
The Army Section
The Army is the largest section and everyone has opportunities to take part in everything from working as a team whilst moving about the countryside to living in improvised shelters.
Whilst everyone learns to live in the field on our introductory exercise for Year 9’s, the Army Section learn more skills for traveling through the countryside (patrolling), living in the field and competition shooting.
Every year, we take part in the UK’s premier cadet patrolling event, the Cambrian Patrol, and have been very successful. Everyone also gets the opportunity to train for an annual shooting competition and the best can become experts at an Olympic sport that is well served by ex-members of the cadet forces.
The RAF Section
The smaller RAF section follows a syllabus with a more technical emphasis. As well as learning many of the same skills as in the Army section, RAF cadets learn all about flying and engineering, and everything that is required to safely take part in activities on airfields.
There are opportunities for everyone to experience gliding and powered flights. From 16 years of age, young people have the opportunity to learn how the fly gilders themselves, and from 17 years of age, there is the same opportunity for powered planes.
The highlight of the year is the annual ground skills competition against other schools.
The Duke of Edinburgh Award
From Year 9, everyone is given the opportunity to register as part of the Nationally-acclaimed Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. Everyone must complete four sections over a period of time, volunteering, skill, physical and expedition. We offer advice and help to complete the sections by making the most of activities that most young people are already doing.
We also train everyone to take part in an expedition, supplying much of the clothing and equipment. For the Bronze level, this is for two days and one night, and for Silver level, it is for three days and two nights. In the last few years, we have held expeditions in the Clwydian Range, on Anglesey and in Snowdonia.
We have had a successful Gold programme since 2014, running trekking and canoeing expeditions across the UK.
The cadet forces offer fantastic opportunities to take part in every kind of outside activity.
Everyone gets the opportunity to experience indoor climbing at a nearby climbing centre and those that excel take part in competitions, achieve awards in the National Indoor Climbing Award Scheme and move on the climbing outdoors.
Map reading is an essential skill for both Army and RAF syllabi and is vital for taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh expeditions. There is an enthusiastic orienteering team (in combination with the rest of the school) and there is the opportunity to achieve awards in the National Navigation Award Scheme.
First aid training can save lives and everyone has basic training. There are opportunities to take adult qualifications and selected cadets take part in the national competitions.
As well as our Duke of Edinburgh expeditions, we aim to walk up Snowdon each year, there are adventurous activity skills courses available through the cadet training centres, and we support cadets going on overseas expeditions. In 2014, four went to Kenya, and in 2016 eight went to South Africa (see report elsewhere).
BTEC in Public Services
The hard work of our young people is recognised nationally through the BTEC in Public Services, a qualification sponsored by the Cadet Vocational Qualification Organisation. This award is available to many uniformed youth organisations, and pulls together everything completed as part of the CCF syllabus. It demonstrates that service to the community is a worthwhile activity and helps develop further opportunities in education and work.
We also offer opportunities to complete the Level 3 (equivalent to A-level) qualifications in Leadership and Management. These awards recognise the enrichment made to our young people by service in the CCF.