The Combined Cadet Force (CCF) at Taunton School consists of four sections – Army, Royal Navy, RAF and Trek Force – and involves approximately 250 pupils and 20 staff.
All Year 10 and 11 take part and can choose the section they are in. Many choose to remain in the CCF for their Sixth Form years and one of the key things we aim to do is offer Sixth Formers the opportunity to demonstrate initiative, self confidence and leadership.
CCF takes place once a week for 90 minutes as a part of the curriculum. Cadets can also go on MoD sponsored courses – such as Sailing, Power Boating, Climbing, Lifeguarding and Leadership. There are sometimes opportunities for adventure training in foreign countries like Cyprus and Canada. Most of these courses are offered at little or no cost and all help young people to develop leadership, teamwork and sense of fun. Additionally the School organises a week long Summer Camp at the beginning of every Summer Holiday.
Our Senior Cadets develop these life skills, which are of great value in the world of work. They grow in confidence and are happy to take on responsibility.
Last Friday, our Biennial Inspection took place with Brigadier Mark Hallas OBE as the Reviewing Officer. Brigadier Hallas is also a School Governor.
This occasion showcases the CCF embodying the school’s aims to inspire, nurture and challenge.
After lunch in the Old Library, Senior Cadets spoke in front of 70 guests to present their Section reports for the year.
At 2pm, everyone was on parade and, as the Wind Band played, the Brigadier inspected the Cadets under the watchful eye of the Contingent RSM, Tom James. It was also at this time that the Goodson Sword was presented. Presented to the school’s CCF Contingent by Old Tauntonian Brigadier Goodson, the award is won by the Year 11 Cadet who has got the most out of his or her time in the CCF. The CCF Officers decide who should win and from a strong list of nominations Teagan Roberts is this year’s winner. Teagan is a member of Trek Force, she has excelled at navigation and has shown considerable leadership whilst motivating her fellow Trekkers and keeping them on the right track!
Once the formal proceedings were over, the different Sections presented examples of their training around the School including shooting, weapon training, casualty treatment, drill display, climbing and lifesaving.
The afternoon ended with an ambush and section attack by the Army Section and then all took part in the new Field Gun competition which was won by good teamwork from the RAF Section who beat the Royal Navy by half a second!
The School day is very busy and the CCF has inevitably to compete with many co-curricular activities but for anyone who watched or took part last Friday it was clear that CCF continues to be an important and enjoyable part of the co curricular program.
Lt. Col. Stephen Pugh, Contingent Commander