Bearwood College Combined Cadet Force (CCF)
The 2013 CCF Adventure Week ZipWire is now online. To share the experience, check out our video on YouTube.
The Combined Cadet Force (CCF) is a Ministry of Defence (MOD) sponsored youth organisation in the United Kingdom. Its aim is to "provide a disciplined organisation in a school or college in order that pupils may develop powers of leadership by means of training to promote the qualities of responsibility, self reliance, resourcefulness, endurance and perseverance". It is not a pre-service organisation. The MOD provides financial assistance utilising personnel and resources from the Regular and Reserve Forces. Some 140,000 young people across the United Kingdom belong to a cadet unit and benefit from the cadet experience.
Bearwood College Contingent
The Bearwood College Contingent is a well established CCF organisation which is led by a retired Regular Army Officer. All Bearwood scholars become CCF cadets in the Third Form, continuing into the Fourth. Many cadets then choose to extend their service into their Fifth and Sixth Forms prolonging the advantages and benefits until they leave the College. The vast majority of the Bearwood College cadets have benefited from the skills they have learnt throughout their cadet careers and the wide variety of experiences and ultimately fun they have had. Scholars choose to join either the Royal Navy or the Army Section; however participation in sponsored cadet activity is available for any Bearwood College CCF cadet. Cadets, partnered with the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme, benefit from the many on site training facilities including: 25 yard indoor range, clay pigeon shooting range, 50 acre sailing lake, well maintained boats and boat shed, obstacle course and extensive woodland training areas. The contingent also has the advantage of maintaining its own military clothing, expedition and ammunition stores and its own unit armoury.
The Royal Navy Section
The Royal Navy Section’s parent establishment is HMS King Alfred. Cadets who choose this section will cover the core CCF activities such as: Weapon training, shooting, drill, command and leadership. The Section also follows the Royal Navy Proficiency Syllabus which includes: study of the role of the Royal Navy, rope work, navigation and communications. They can also complete a wide range of sponsored activities and Royal Yachting Association (RYA) qualifications in sailing and power boating. The Royal Navy Section has three CCF Royal Navy Reserve officers who are all members of the academic staff. They are responsible for training, progress and safety of all Royal Navy Section cadets.
The Army Section
The Army Section is the most popular and forms the largest part of the contingent. Army Section cadets wear the cap badge of their parent Regiment, ‘The Rifles’. Similar to the Royal Navy Section, training follows a set syllabus called the Army Proficiency Certificate (APC). There are 2 levels of APC; Basic and Advanced. Generally Third Form cadets progress through the APC Basic with Fourth Form completing the APC Advanced. The Army Section has eight officers, with either Regular of Reserve Forces experience drawn from the College academic and administrative staff.
Training takes place on one afternoon per week. There is one Field Day every term which is attended by all cadets during College hours. A voluntary weekend exercise is scheduled in each term with an Adventure Training Camp during the Easter Holidays and an Annual Cadet Camp in the Summer. Bearwood College cadets regularly contribute to the following external events and activities: participation in the Lord Mayor’s Show, Mounted Cavalry Course (sponsored by the Light Cavalry, Honorable Artillery Company) and participation in the International Uniformed Services Show Jumping Competition (sponsored by the Royal Horse Artillery). Cadets have also represented Bearwood College in the Annual Cadet Military Skills Competition, Cadet Skill at Arms Meeting (CADSAM) and the CCF Schools Small Bore Competition (Staniforth Competition). Senior cadets often complete external cadet courses including the Senior Cadet Instructors Courses (SCIC) which enable cadets to become instructors, further developing teaching, leadership and supervisory skills.
Royal Navy Cadets may progress through the ratings to reach the rank of Chief Petty Officer and even attain the appointment of ‘Cadet Coxswain’. Army Cadets may progress through the ranks to Cadet Regimental Sergeant Major (RSM). The highest rank achievable within the CCF is Cadet ‘Under Officer’ awarded only to those who have demonstrated exceptional command and leadership ability and an outstanding level of commitment for the benefit of the contingent.
It is the aim of the Bearwood College CCF Contingent to provide “an exciting and challenging way for young people to learn teamwork, self-discipline and respect. It will help scholars to develop into well-rounded, accomplished adults fully prepared for life beyond school”.
To find out more about the Bearwood College Combined Cadet Force, see our video on YouTube.