The school boasts one of the oldest CCFs in the country having been established in 1871. It is unique in that it is the only CCF in the country not affiliated to an Army Regiment or Corps and wears its own school capbadge.
The CCF is open to boys from Upper Fourth upwards and girls in the Sixth Form. It also accepts girls from Oxford High School from year 10 upwards, making it the only co-ed activity in the school open to non-Sixth Formers.
Cadets have a choice of joining one of two sections: the Army or the RAF. Both services train on Tuesdays between 1630 and 1800 during term-time as well as whole day Field Days at least once a term. Both sections also conduct the Method-of-Instruction Cadre where the cadets train to become military instructors and will go on to teach other cadets. The majority of training within the CCF is covered by the termly subscription fee, although some camps and courses attract extra cost, though this is heavily subsidised by the MOD.
The Army section spend weekly training sessions learning how to live and operate in the field through both campcraft (living) and fieldcraft (military operations) training. This includes training and live firing the L98A2 Cadet General Purpose Rifle which is very similar to the British Army’s SA80 standard issue weapon. The Upper Fourth also complete a first aid course in Trinity Term.
The Army also go on a field day each term where they put these skills into action, practising their camouflage and concealment, survival skills, marksmanship (both live firing and paintball), section attacks with both blank firing and laser weapons, sleeping out under bashas, and many more skills.
Recent highlights have included a TIBUA (Training in Built up Areas) exercise in Imber Village, Salisbury Plain, as well as a range package at Longmoor Camp.
The RAF section’s weekly training focuses around the principles of flight, aircraft history and recognition, and skills such as navigation, first aid and drill.
Field days are run separately to the Army and often include visits to places of aviation interest such as the RAF Museum at Duxford. Cadets also have occasional extra days at the weekends where they get to go flying in powered aircraft and, in the near future, pure gliders. Multiple gliding and powered flight scholarships are available and it is even possible to get time towards a private pilot's licence for minimal cost.
There are a variety of camps in the UK and abroad where the cadets go to RAF Stations to meet personnel and see kit and equipment in action. Fun and adventurous activities are also laid on for the cadets. Specialist courses include Air Cadet Leadership, Drill and Ceremonial, and Qualified Aerospace Instructor.
Recent highlights for the RAF include Cadet Warrant Officer Lauren Rynsburger (OHS) winning the George Cubby Sword for best leadership potential in the Air Cadet Leadership Course, and Cadet Sergeant Philip Parker becoming the first CCF cadet in the country to graduate from the Qualified Aerospace Instructors Course.
Senior cadets are trained in Method of Instruction and expected to lead training. This includes planning the weekly sessions, carrying out section duties, and delegating tasks.
Camps and other activities
Cadets from both sections are able to apply to attend a variety of different camps and courses throughout the year. Most of these attract extra cost but are heavily subsidised by the MOD. Some are simply exciting courses where you get to improve yourself by trying new things, but the majority end with some form of qualification, many of which apply outside the CCF. This includes "Adventurous Training” training that challenges you and puts you outside of your comfort zone in order to build your confidence such as sailing, mountain biking, rock climbing, skiing, and many more.
Cadets get to travel all over the world. Recently there have been trips to Israel, America, Canada, Germany and Austria, to name a few, with cadets enjoying a range of activities, from flying in fighter jets to white water rafting.
The staff are made up of a mixture of teachers from both MCS and OHS, as well as external staff from the University and other areas. All have undergone specialist training from the MOD and have particular areas of interest that they specialise in. We are also supported by staff from 11 Infantry Brigade Cadet Training Team and RAF CCF Training Evaluation and Support Team.
Both sections are run by experienced Officers and the whole Contingent is overseen by the Contingent Commander: Squadron Leader Alan Cooper, and the School Staff Instructor: Captain Oliver Perera.
Aim of the CCF
The CCF’s mission statement is: "The function of the Combined Cadet Force is to provide a disciplined organisation in a school so that the pupils may develop powers of leadership by means of training to promote the qualities of responsibility, self-reliance, resourcefulness, endurance and perseverance"
We are a school activity that is sponsored by the MOD. We are not a recruiting branch of the MOD and upon joining there is no obligation to join the forces, nor can you be called up for service.
All uniform other than footwear is provided on a free loan from the MOD; cadets are responsible for looking after it whilst in the CCF and are expected to return it upon leaving (note that charges may apply if you fail to return it). Footwear can be purchased through the school, where MCS can obtain preferential rates from suppliers, or they can be privately purchased (providing they meet suitability guidelines).