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The Combined Cadet Force is an integral part of the pupil experience at Downside School and is an organisation of which the officers and cadets are immensely proud. The CCF does not seek to recruit young people into the forces; rather, it is a youth training group which is supported and funded by the MOD. Within the CCF we strive to bring out the very best qualities in each pupil. Our aim is to encourage resilience; managed risk-taking; pride in the contingent and wider school; service; duty; challenge; and leadership skills. Membership of the CCF is compulsory for all pupils in the Third Form. The focus is very much on fun activities which build confidence and leadership. Pupils who have found the classroom environment challenging have often discovered dormant skills and abilities through the CCF.

Downside CCF provides pupils with an experience that is markedly different from other areas of School life. In the Army section pupils experience progressive activities that are rooted in military doctrine of service, leadership and mental and physical challenge.

Annual Camp

Pupils in the Fourth Form and above are encouraged to attend the Annual Camp, which is the highlight of the CCF year. This takes place in the first week of the Summer holidays and is usually based in a major military training area in the South West. At annual camp pupils will be given in-depth lessons in military tactics, shoot the L98 A2 rifle on the 100m range and often practice their marksmanship skills on the Dismounted Close Combat trainer. The camp includes overnight exercises and adventurous training as well as fiercely competitive competition day, where pupils get to test themselves against other contingents from across the country.

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