The Skinners’ School CCF has played an important part in the life of the school for over 100 years now. It is one of the oldest CCFs, founded in 1901 as an Officer Training Corps, being one of only 61 Contingents to be found in Maintained Schools, out of a national total of 261.
March Past, Remembrance Sunday
Significant support is provided by the MOD, who see it as providing a disciplined organisation for young people in which they can develop powers of leadership, by means of military-style training to promote the qualities of responsibility, self-reliance, resourcefulness, endurance and perseverance, and a sense of service to the community. It also offers a valuable insight into the role and function of the Armed Forces for those who may wish to make it a career.
For over 100 years the Skinners' CCF only had an army section, however we have now introduced an RAF section to allow more varied training. There are over 200 cadets on the roll, of whom around 50 are Sixth Formers.
Entry takes place at the end of Year 8. The great majority acquire their APC (Army Proficiency Certificate), usually allied with another specialism such as Advanced Infantry, Engineers or Signals.
Typically, around a third of each year’s entry become Cadet NCOs. Undertaking a Method of Instruction course (delivered by Regular Soldiers who are members of Cadet Training Teams), which equips them to take on much of the internal organisation and the instruction of younger cadets.
A number of cadets find that service in the CCF usefully complements the work they do elsewhere in the school as members of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme.
OFFICER COMMANDING - Major I A Kelso – Former member of Canadian Reserve Forces, now teaching RE and Latin. Transferred from Surrey ACF in 2006 where he gained significant experience in cadet training.
Sqn Ldr J Coltella – 2iC of the Contingent and head of the RAF section at the Skinners’ School. He ably led the RAF at Maidstone Grammar School where he gave many years of good service. He is an asset to the Contingent with his years of experience.
Major A J Holding – OC 1988-98, 2003-10, has been an officer in the Skinners’ School CCF since 1965. Former Head of Science (Chemistry) now retired from full time teaching, but still supporting all aspects of CCF training.
Captain M S Smith – Old Skinner and former CSM – now a Lawyer working for a London firm. Martin joins us for all out-of-school training, including Annual Camp. He is Training Officer for the annual Adventure Training on Dartmoor at Easter.
Lt J R Flanders – Old Skinner and former Cadet Warrant Officer. Jon takes part in all out-of-school training, including Adventurous Training, Annual Camp and cadet competitions.
Lt R A Pardoe - Old Skinner and former Cadet Warrant Officer – now a research team leader with an electronics firm in Swindon. Richard joins us for all out-of-school training, including Adventurous Training and Annual Camp.
Second Lt David Thorpe – Dave has come to the school as the SSI and has had experience of both the Regular and Cadet service. His main duties keep him running the office in an efficient manner and in a similar way he trains the cadets as well.
Weekly Parades – take place after school on Fridays, 15.35-17.00. Boys are expected on parade in uniform each week.
Field Days – one in the Autumn, one in the Spring - a full day out of school for everybody at the local Training Areas (Ashdown Forest and Crowborough Camp). Fieldcraft and map & compass training are the main activities.
Weekend Exercises - one in the Autumn (24 hours), using local areas, and one in the Spring (48 hours) with 2 nights in an Army Camp, usually at Folkestone. Range firing is an additional activity here, plus more extensive fieldcraft exercises. Attendance is voluntary; normally attended by 50 cadets or more.
Annual Camp - A full week out of school in July, spent at a UK Army Camp, eg. 2012 to Warcop in the Lake District and in 2013 to Sennybridge, Wales. Cadets participate in a full range of military and adventure training (eg. rock climbing, kayaking, hill walking) to be undertaken in a different, safe, but challenging environment. Attendance is encouraged, but remains voluntary; attendance varies from 90 to 120 and places are fillied rapidly, plus up to 14 Officers.
Adventurous Training - A week spent on Dartmoor during the Easter holiday. Training is non-military, comprising map & compass, hill walking, camping, expedition work, rock climbing. Available only to Junior NCOs, numbers attending are usually 15 – 25. The objective being to develop the Junior NCO's leadership skills and teamwork.
A wide range of courses, largely funded by the MOD, are available to cadets from Year 11 and above. These include Signals, Leadership, PT, Rock Climbing, Cooking, Parachuting, Kayaking.
Web links to courses:
Cadet Training Centre, Frimley Park - www.ctcfrimleypark.army.org.uk
Adventure Training courses (Army) - www.armycadetadventure.info
Royal Navy CCF Website - www.rncom.mod.uk/templates/CCFRN.cfm?id=1171&
BTec - www.cvqo.org
For more general service information:
The Royal Navy and Royal Marines - www.royal-navy.mod.uk
The Royal Air Force - www.raf.mod.uk
The Army - www.army.mod.uk
Army careers - www.armyofficer.mod.uk