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Canford CCF - The "Best of the Best"
Canford School’s CCF is celebrating an exciting start to the new academic year, welcoming pupils back to the school campus, national recognition for the department and a brand new, purpose-built facility.
CCF staff were honoured to see Canford selected as the independent school with the best CCF in the country in The Week Independent Schools Guide Best of the Best Awards 2020. The Week judges wrote:
“CCF is a hugely popular part of Canford’s Enterprise scheme, which also includes an extensive volunteer programme and the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (a third of each year group achieving Gold). Pupils have the choice of joining either the Army, Navy or Marine sections, all of which make the most of Canford’s location and proximity to the Dorset coast.
The School has its own assault course, a rifle range and climbing wall and the CCF also runs courses in power boating, mountain biking, first aid, kayaking and clay pigeon shooting. Cadets can take part in the Ten Tors challenge, survival training and expeditions further afield, such as tall ships sailing along the south coast, cross – country skiing in Norway or diving in the Red Sea.”
Facilities for the CCF have always been impressive, but the recently opened Outdoor Education Centre offers a modern, purpose-built dedicated building for briefings and equipment storage alongside a new 5 lane rifle range. Ideally situated next to the school assault course and just a short jog from the school’s wooded areas perfect for combat training, the new centre complements the flourishing CCF offering at the school.
Lieutenant Colonel Dan Culley is delighted with the latest developments:
“Our Outdoor Activities and Challenges programme is integral to the co-curricular education at Canford and provides pupils of all abilities a crucial opportunity to develop their core skills. The emphasis in this context is placed on offering significant challenges and demanding activities, each of which will generate a real sense of achievement whilst optimising the learning process and imbuing valuable life skills. Most pupils opt to join the CCF and benefit enormously accordingly. I am delighted that we have been recognised as the best CCF in the country and thank The Week for selecting us for this prestigious award. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank my colleagues for their commitment and imagination in providing the most rewarding experiences possible for all our pupils.”
One recent Upper Sixth leaver summed up the feelings of many of her peers when writing about the Canford CCF experience
“I have loved these four years in the CCF and have been exposed to so many new skills and activities that I never would have had the opportunity to do otherwise, including cross country skiing in Norway, Ten Tors, whole day enterprises and the Rifles Cup – winning this was my highlight in the Upper Sixth. I acknowledge just how high the level of teaching we as cadets get, and I am very grateful for it. The CCF programme is so complex and well planned out, resulting in us learning so much and gaining important life skills. My abilities to plan, communicate to a group, lead and work as a team began and developed in the CCF and I will carry these skills with me. They have already helped me complete DofE Gold, carry out a position of responsibility as prefect and in public speaking. The excitement and adrenaline that you get from section attacks and all the drills we put into practice at Lulworth camp have encouraged me to continue onto the OTC at Nottingham University which looks like a lot of fun. I know a lot of hard work goes into running the CCF programme and I am again thankful for the staff efforts as it benefits so many people; especially if they really get stuck in.”
For more information about the Canford CCF and Activities programmes, please visit the CCF page on the website.