The Combined Cadet Force (CCF) is a national youth organisation sponsored by the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

It aims to “provide a disciplined organisation in a school so that pupils may develop powers of leadership by means of training to promote the qualities of responsibility, self-reliance, resourcefulness, endurance and perseverance.” 

The CCF is not a recruitment organisation for the Armed Forces and there is zero obligation for Cadets to join the military.

Established in 1860 as the Rifle Corps, Rossall School CCF is the oldest CCF in the country with a vibrant and meaningful history. The Contingent has been an important part of Rossall life for generations and remains one of the School’s most popular co-curricular activities. The school has a rich history of providing the military with former cadets who have gone on to be senior ranking officers in the military such as Brigadier’s and Generals.

The priority of the Contingent is to provide pupils with the opportunity to experience and enjoy a variety of military and civilian training with an emphasis on leadership and character development. 

We offer a vast amount to pupils in terms of enjoyment, personal development and as an excellent addition to any CV or Personal Statement. Rossall Cadets are expected to be among the most professional, confident and well-rounded pupils in the School, but the primary aim of the CCF is to be fun and enjoyable for all.

How It Works

All students join from Year 9 until the end of year 10, after which they may remain in the CCF until Year 13. The longer they are involved the more opportunities become available to them.

The five-year programme follows the national syllabus provided by the MoD but retains aspects that are unique to Rossall. 

The full and varied programme includes:

  • Weapons Training
  • Drill and Turnout
  • Shooting and Marksmanship
  • Military Knowledge and Military History
  • Field-Craft And Tactics
  • First Aid
  • Navigation
  • Leadership
  • Instructional Techniques
  • Command Tasks
  • Adventurous Training Including:
    • Expeditions
    • Climbing
    • Caving,
    • Kayaking
    • Canoeing
    • Camping
    • Survival
    • Bush-Craft

Through the CCF cadets can achieve DofE criteria for the three sections, residential and expeditions are available to cadets through CCF/MoD sources.

Army Proficiency Certificate

The programme is progressive: in Year 9, Cadets learn the Army Proficiency Certificate (APC) Basic Syllabus. This includes:

  • Drill
  • Military knowledge
  • Weapons training
  • Basic shooting
  • Navigation
  • First aid
  • Field-craft
  • Command tasks

It is not solely military-focused, and there are many alternative activities such as sport, adventure training and having fun which is key!

In Year 10 – Year 12, Cadets learn the Army Proficiency Certificate (APC) Advanced Syllabus. This includes more in depth content:

  • Advanced drill, military knowledge and history
  • Advanced shooting and marksmanship
  • Advanced navigation
  • Infantry tactics and command
  • Leadership
  • Instructional techniques

The opportunity for 15-year-olds to attend multi-activity residential courses in North Wales and Bavaria, Germany is available. At 16 years of age, cadets are encouraged to bid for and attend residential foundation and leadership courses in many outdoor disciplines.

Please see Army Cadet Opportunities for Outdoor Adventure at:

In Year 13, Cadets complete the APC Advanced Syllabus and begin the ‘Special to Arms’ syllabus, becoming skilled at all the above subjects and receiving advanced leadership training. 

Year 13 Cadets are expected to assist in the delivery of training for Year 9 and 10 Cadets, to be role models, leaders and commanders. 

If cadets are keen to explore joining the forces the CCF is a great platform to inform and assist cadets on their potential careers as a service person in HM Armed Forces.

Additional Subjects and Competitions

Cadets also have the opportunity to participate in the following additional subjects at School:

  • Archery
  • Kayaking
  • Rock Climbing
  • Military Beach Fitness
  • Bushcraft / Survival
  • Hill/Mountain Walking
  • Air Rifle Shooting
  • Zombie Elimination patrols
  • Sailing (affiliation to Blackpool and Fleetwood Yacht Club)

These are optional subjects but the CCF programme sets aside time for all Cadets to get involved.

The Contingent also runs competitions throughout the year in Shooting, Foot Drill and leadership tasks.

Open Days

Experience Rossall.