Pupils are empowered to pursue a huge range of interests, shared experiences and activities. They begin learning life skills from their earliest days at the School, taking part in adventure training and team-building events. From Year 9, the Combined Cadet Force (CCF) and the Duke of Edinburgh's Award scheme open up a whole range of opportunities.
The CCF aims to enhance the qualities of responsibility, self-reliance, endurance and perseverance and to develop leadership and resourcefulness. The School has a long-established CCF and all Year 9 and 10 pupils take part and although not mandatory after that, many opt to continue through to the end of Sixth Form. There are four sections - Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Army and Royal Air Force. Training is carried out in school on Friday afternoons and on termly field days and camps that take place during the holidays in and around the UK or overseas.
Cadets meet every Friday afternoon and there are termly field training days, leadership courses and adventure training camps in the UK and overseas. Pupils develop teamwork and leadership skills, as well as acquiring proficiency in map reading, first aid, navigation, shooting, field craft, safety skills and self-reliance. There are also opportunities for sailing, flying, sub-aqua, rock-climbing, coasteering, power-boating and many other outdoor pursuits.
The CCF offers opportunities for personal development and pupils can work towards becoming an NCO (Non-Commissioned Officer) after some additional training. They will also have the opportunity to pass on the skills they have learnt to younger cadets and to exercise leadership skills.
Through the CCF, senior pupils can work towards a BTEC First Diploma in Public Services, join the Devizes to Westminster Canoe Marathon squad, compete as part the CCF equestrian team at the Windsor Horse Show or be part of the Royal Marines Pringle Trophy.
We have a thriving Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme and the School is one of the few to be awarded the status of an Independent Operating Authority. All Year 9 pupils are encouraged to pursue the Bronze Award and some 400 pupils are registered on the Scheme, 100 of them following the Gold Award Scheme. Expeditions for Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards take place locally and in Scotland (Rannoch Moor) or Northumberland (Cheviot Hills). There is also the option to complete the expedition on water in the School's Cornish Shrimpers or on horse-back.