Outdoor Education Field Day and CCF Overnight Exercise

2018_ss_Outdoor Education 12-10Outdoor Education Field Day

20181012_144353On Friday 12th October, 120 pupils from Lower Fifth to Upper Sixth took part in the first Outdoor Education field day of the year.

The Lower Fifth spent the day completing two activities. The first activity involved pupils learning about survival techniques in the wild, followed by shelter and den building.  These ‘luxury’ accommodations were constructed to varying degrees of success. Fortunately, this time, pupils did not have to put their functionality to the test!

The other activity tested the skills they have been taught as part of the Friday programme and involved navigating a 5km walk, unsupervised, around the Kent countryside.  Needless to say, the pupils did exceptionally well during this navigation exercise, and, apart from a couple of mistakes here and there, all will have learnt some valuable lessons about using a map and compass when navigating in the wild!

2018_SS_Out EducationThe Middle Fifth Duke of Edinburgh award scheme pupils learnt all about camp craft, from our in-house expert Mr Kincaid.  Blindfold tent pitching, and competition cooking, kept pupils on their toes. They all performed very well throughout.  Their own navigation exercise was also completed successfully, in the afternoon, which bodes very well for this year’s expeditions.

The Combined Cadet Force spent the morning in the company of soldiers from the Princess of Wales Royal Regiment. The Middle Fifth carried out reconnaissance training, which culminated in a stalking exercise, followed by a full section attack. Our new recruits, from overseas, were instructed on the cadet weapon system, the L98A2, whilst the NCO’s were given an orders cadre from former pupil Sgt Soord-Gurney, now a platoon sergeant with 3rd Battalion.

In the afternoon all the cadets were taught platoon harbour drills. Then spent time securing a perimeter, before constructing bashas under the eagle, and expert eye, of Sgt Ganesh Limbu from 11 Brigade Cadet Training Team.

All in all an excellent day’s work from all involved; with special thanks due to the staff who gave of their time to facilitate the running of the programme.

Mr Anderson & Major Jones

Combined Cadet Force Overnight exercise

IMG_5465Once the Lower Fifth pupils, and cadets not doing the overnight exercise, had departed the 32 remaining cadets set up a harbour area to make our home for the night. 

A model of the area was built by the section commanders Jacob Niffikeer-Robins, Matilda Trueblood, and Gemma Humphries, whilst I planned a recce patrol based on this. After the section commanders were briefed on this plan they set about informing their sections of the intended operation, and carried out rehearsal drills. The Platoon Sergeant, Ella Gibbons, then gave out 24 hour ration packs and the cadets prepared and ate their food. 

IMG_5474 (1)At 1900 hours the three sections set off to recce the enemy position. After scaring some dog walkers, it was confirmed that there were three enemy positions in the tree line adjacent to a small field. The sections returned at 2100 hours to be greeted by bacon and egg sarnies, lovingly made by Colour Sergeant French. Sleep quickly followed. 

The next morning all cadets woke up at 0600 hours, some with a ‘delicate’ wake up call from Major Jones, and had cleared the harbour area by 0700. Having been given more information on the enemy position, I was able to plan a deliberate attack on the enemy to be carried out in the morning. This consisted of advancing across the field, and into the tree line, using the three sections in the platoon cycle of ‘assault, suppress, reserve’. This process was tricky due to the enemy changing position, and the density of the trees. However, we cleared the enemy positions and went back to base to clean the rifles. Soon after, we returned to school. 

Thank you to the CCF staff for braving the haunted house, and for organising and carrying out this overnight.

CSM Lily Gibbons