The stated aims of the CCF are to develop a young person’s powers of leadership through training, to promote the qualities of responsibility, resourcefulness, self-reliance and a sense of service to the School. The CCF also aims to give some background knowledge about the three services.
n the Shell year at St Edward’s, all pupils are introduced to the Combined Cadet Force as Army Cadets and everyone takes part in the full range of activities that it has to offer. Click the image below to watch a video pupils made at CCF Summer Camp:
This training is integrated in the Shell Activities programme and together, with the compulsory games programme and the array of cultural activities on offer, it is the foundation of a pupil’s co-curricular life at St Edward’s.
The Shell year culminates in a four-day expedition in the Brecon Beacons where basic field craft, self-reliance and leadership skills are developed and tested. In addition to a range of optional activities including canoeing, abseiling, caving, high ropes and horse riding, all pupils undertake a 24-hour walk and overnight camp. This provides basic training for those wishing to register for Silver Duke of Edinburgh’s Award at the start of the Fourth Form.
In the Fourth Form, pupils are encouraged to continue in the Army section or transfer to the RAF or Navy sections. A small number who would prefer not to continue in the Contingent undertake a programme of Lifeskills. This concentrates on adventure training, first aid and social skills with no military connections.
In this way St Edward’s operates all three CCF sections: Army, Navy and Air Force. Shells expedition training takes place on Tuesdays during the Spring Term whilst CCF and Lifeskills training for Fourth Form pupils is on Wednesday afternoon.
During the Autumn and Spring Term, all Fourth Form pupils spend two days away on a Field Weekend (usually a Sunday and a Monday). They travel to Army, Navy and RAF bases and undertake the more adventurous activities which cannot usually be undertaken during a normal Wednesday afternoon.
At the end of the Summer Term the CCF travels to various bases for a week of military and adventurous training. Optional Range and Flying Days are held twice a term on Friday afternoons.
The CCF holds an Inspection day each Summer term and also supports the local Wolvercote Branch of the British Legion at the yearly Remembrance Day Parade and Service.
School facilities used by the CCF include canoes, kayaks and raft-building kit in the Royal Navy Hut at the School boathouse. In addition to this, there is a twelve-element obstacle course, indoor bouldering wall, low-ropes and high-ropes course, permanent and temporary orienteering courses as well as archery equipment — all of course supervised by qualified staff. There is also a paint-ball area adjacent to the School fields, along with a small fleet of mountain bikes and a bike skills course.
The CCF maintains an extensive store and cadet centre in the Nuffield Health Leisure Complex. The latter doubles as an outdoor pursuits store supporting the Climbing Club, DofE Expeditions and other adventure training within the School.
The CCF Contingent Commander is Squadron Leader Nick Coram-Wright RAF VR(T). The Senior Schools’ Instructor is WO2 Simon Frazer.