Last month we welcomed pupils and staff from local Kilmersdon Primary School for an exciting day of CCF (Combined Cadet Force) Outdoor Adventure.

The event was run by some of our CCF staff with Downside Sixth Formers Michael (Junior Under Officer, Army section), Daisy (Head of Third Form, Army section), Wiktoria (Sergeant, Army section) and Matilde helping out.

During the morning Kilmersdon pupils enjoyed fire-building, bush craft, archery, team-building, and learned how to go on a recce patrol. After a picnic lunch, they took part in a range of different sports with some of Downside’s sports graduates including learning tennis and cricket skills. The final activity of the day was to make flags using Tataki Zome – the Japanese art of flower pounding. The pupils collected flowers and leaves from around the grounds of Downside and extracted their colour by pounding them onto cotton using a small hammer. The resulting flags were impressive. 

The event concluded with some of the Kilmersdon parents joining us for a tasty afternoon tea on the Worth Lawn in the summer sunshine.

CCF Outdoor Adventure is one of several ‘experience days’ that Downside hosts for prep and primary schools. Other events include Languages, Coding, Choral, Art, Race the Line (building and racing rocket-fuelled cars), and Science & Sport.

Downside CCF
The CCF has always been an integral part of life at Downside. It exists to enable the development of personal responsibility, leadership and self-discipline. From the Third Form (Year 9) pupils are able to take part in a broad range of challenging, exciting and adventurous CCF activities including a Learn to Sail course, a Caving course, Duke of Edinburgh and Ten Tors. At the end of the Third Form, pupils can elect to move onto the Royal Navy or Army section in their senior years at Downside. One full afternoon per week is allocated to CCF activity, with additional camps, expeditions and training sessions scheduled throughout the year.