As part of the Enterprise system designed to give pupils a wider experience and develop their communication skills, leadership and confidence, Canford runs a number of enterprises, one of which is the Combined Cadet Force or CCF.
From their second year onwards at Canford, pupils undertake an enterprise each Tuesday afternoon. 80% of the pupils join the CCF and are then committed to completing two years (ie their second and third years at Canford) with an option to continue in the sixth form - assisting the officers, where they gain valuable experience in leadership, management and instructing. About 20% stay on to become NCOs.
The Corps runs three sections; Army (60%), Royal Marines (20%) and the Royal Navy (20%), totalling 220 cadets. Cadets are obliged to attend at least one course, expedition or camp in their first year as a cadet.
The emphasis of the Corps seeks to develop a cadet's personal confidence, motivation and leadership in a variety of arenas catering for individual tastes. This is supported by the following trips away from school:
A weekend is given over to Enterprises each term and this sees almost all the cadets deploying to various regions and training areas from Dartmoor to the Purbecks through to Portsmouth to camp, exercise (military), adventure train, shoot or prepare for various competitions such as Ten Tors.
In addition a variety of other courses are available on Tuesday afternoons within the CCF including diving, power-boating and sailing, expedition skills, kayaking, climbing, clay-pigeon shooting, first aid, advanced infantry skills, leadership, marksmanship, Duke of Edinburgh expeditions and survival. These are run in the second year of the CCF.
Support is generously provided by 19th Regiment in Larkhill, 1 Assault Group Royal Marines in Poole, The Royal Armoured Corps Centre in Bovington and Army, Navy and Royal Marine Cadet training Teams.
In summary the CCF is there simply to expand horizons, offer new experiences and enable pupils to achieve much of what they thought that would be beyond them, whilst developing important personal, teamwork and leadership skills.
"...during my four years in the CCF I have had many unique opportunities and invaluable experiences which have undoubtedly left many a Canfordian far more competitive, confident and ready to give anything a go......" Daniel Wilkinson, a recent Headboy