Combined Cadet Force

The Collegiate has its own Combined Cadet Force (CCF) contingent. It offers pupils the chance to develop powers of leadership, responsibility, self-reliance, resourcefulness, endurance and perseverance through military themed activities.

Students can volunteer to join the CCF at the start of Year 9 and recruit training focuses on turnout (looking smart), drill (marching) and skill at arms (weapons training). Learning how to iron trousers properly can be as difficult as re-assembling the Cadet GP Rifle after it has been stripped, but both demand self-discipline and attention to detail from the Cadet.

Recruit training lasts until Christmas when the recruits decide whether to join the Army or the RAF Section of the QE Contingent. Although the emphasis of the training is different in the two sections, there is common training which both sections take part in:

  • Map Reading
  • Drill
  • First Aid
  • Marksmanship Training
  • Military Knowledge
  • Adventure Training
  • Community Service

Training is varied and exciting and places great emphasis on self-reliance and responsibility. For cadets who enjoy the CCF way of life and stay beyond Year 9, the emphasis of the training switches increasingly to leadership as the Senior Cadets are encouraged to motivate and train the younger Cadets. With this added responsibility comes promotion and the opportunity to attend external courses to develop their leadership potential.

CCF Cadets not only learn valuable life skills such as First Aid and Map Reading but can also gain nationally recognised qualifications such as the Duke of Edinburgh Award.

The CCF is about more than just military skills, there are a wide variety of opportunities available to the Cadets:

  • Practical leadership tasks which make high demands of resourcefulness, command and control and teamwork
  • Initiative exercises which require courage, determination and teamwork to complete
  • Adventure training which puts individuals in challenging situations
  • Visits to military units where the Cadets can see and even try out high-tech equipment
  • Camps where they are taken out of their comfort zone and their self-reliance is developed.
  • Whilst taking part in all these exciting activities, Cadets are also working towards their BTEC in Public Services which all cadets can achieve.

The Army Section

After recruit training, the emphasis for those who join the Army Section shifts to field-craft and marksmanship training. Becoming a good shot requires self-discipline and control and live firing clearly demands a responsible attitude. Field-craft covers a wide range of skills from how to improvise a shelter and cook food in the field to remaining hidden from the enemy.

For the Senior Cadets planning and carrying out a patrol or an ambush with up to 10 Junior Cadets is hugely demanding. There is an awful lot of information for them to assimilate. They have to come up with an effective plan and then brief their troops. Then they have to ensure that their plan is carried out by leading the patrol. A successful lead of this type gives a cadet a huge sense of achievement and if it all goes horribly wrong there is always the next time to get it right!

The RAF Section

The CCF (RAF) revolves around flying and aviation. The Cadets must learn basic aviation theory such as principles of flight, aircraft operations and meteorology.

They get to put this theory into practice in the air in both powered aircraft and gliders and for many of the RAF Cadets that is the most exciting part. The RAF Cadets will get the opportunity, at least twice a term, of Flying with experienced RAF pilots in a light aircraft, Cadets are given the opportunity to experience all the thrills of flying. They are encouraged to fly manoeuvres themselves and this is incredibly exciting for them as well as doing wonders for their self-confidence.

For Cadets who show aptitude and a positive attitude there is scope to undertake a gliding or flying scholarship, either of which gives them the opportunity to accrue a lot of flying hours, which would be very expensive to achieve through a civilian club and could be a stepping stone to a rewarding sport or career.

RAF Cadets can fly solo in a Glider before they can learn to drive a car. Within the CCF (RAF) the sky really is the limit!

Adventure Training

In recent years Cadets from the Collegiate have undertaken rock climbing, canoeing, mountain walking and ski-ing.

Cadets get the opportunity to attend a week long Adventure Training Camp in Windermere each year and in the past year Cadets have even attended an Adventure Training camp in Cyprus.

Expeditions such as the National 3 Peaks Challenge and the Welsh 3000s Challenge were long and arduous and the Cadets raised hundreds of pounds for charity. Recently the contingent raised money for SSAFA – the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association.


QE Cadets represent the school at many ceremonies, anniversaries and events throughout the year.

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