Cadet Force (CCF)
The Combined Cadet Force (CCF) is an MOD sponsored youth organisation run by CCF Officers from the school staff.
The aim of the CCF is to enhance the cadet’s personal development, to provide them with opportunities to develop leadership, teamwork, responsibility, self-reliance and resourcefulness.
UTC Reading initially formed a Combined Cadet Force Royal Air Force section in January 2018, which has been followed with the setting up of an Army section at Easter 2021. Both sections work closely following a curriculum designed to stretch and challenge our cadets, but also provide fun and experiences they are unlikely to get anywhere else. While both sections will develop leadership, first aid and team-building skills. There are distinct differences as the cadets gain more experience.
The RAF cadets will learn about principles of flight and airmanship, which they will be able to put to the test when they experience flying. The RAF provide instructors to take the cadets flying in two seat fully aerobatic aircraft. As the cadet improves their skills there is the opportunity to apply for a flying scholarship, where the RAF will train the cadet to a standard where they will fly solo and gain their ‘wings’ for their uniform. There are also gliding opportunities too. Army cadets can also experience the flying.
The Army cadets are parented by the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) and will learn about field craft, navigation and skill at arms. We do have an air rifle range in school for the cadets to practise their skills on. However, we do look to have all the cadets shooting with the full bore L98 rifles. The RAF cadets will be shooting also.
Adventure training (AT) is a big part of the CCF. We undertake one camp per year where cadets get to experience climbing, abseiling, canoeing, raft building and other fun activities. We have also been taking advantage of the good weather to take cadets sailing, to experience a 38ft yacht and the skills needed to sail it.
There are also annual camps for both sections. In 2019, the RAF section went to RAF Brize Norton for a week, where they experienced life on an operational unit, visiting working squadrons and doing fun activities with the fire section among others. There is also the opportunity for overseas camps. One of our cadets went to Cyprus for 10 days and experienced life on an overseas operational station. They also had lots of fun with activities such as scuba diving, go karting and working with the bomb disposal teams. In the summer of 2022, the Army section are attending camp at Crowborough.
We also offer qualifications through the cadet vocational qualification organisation (CVQO) where the cadets gain Institute of Leadership and Management qualifications to show evidence of their leadership journey. Cadets are expected to deliver training and lessons under the guidance of the contingent staff.
There are also opportunities to experience things that cannot be found anywhere else. This year Cadet Warrant Officer Elise Hammond is the Lord Lieutenant’s cadet for Berkshire, making her the top CCF cadet in the county.
WHAT ARE THE COSTS?
There is a small deposit for uniform when cadets first join. All uniform, with the exception of footwear, is provided.
There are no subscriptions. However, a small fee for activities is charged to cover expenses. Most day activities are around £10. Week-long camps around £80. However, all transport, food and accommodation is covered for that cost.
WHAT AGES CAN JOIN?
We start our entry in Year 10 and cadets can stay with us through Year 13.
WHEN DOES CCF HAPPEN?
This takes place weekly in the training and development slot on Thursdays, 3 – 5pm. During the year there are a number of midweek and weekend opportunities that will be shared with students and families to sign up to.