Combined cadet force prepares for parade

Steve Harley 2

A new combined cadet force at Benenden School is preparing for its first public parade.

A group of sixth-form students is being trained ‘in the basics’, learning to support 40 more girls who will join in January.

Benenden is the third girls’ school in the country to launch a combined cadet force, CCF, a movement run in partnership with the MoD.

A Benenden spokesman said the initiative ‘gives young people aged 13 to 18 the chance to develop personal responsibility, leadership and self-discipline through a military approach’.

The school has launched the contingent in partnership with the John Wallis Academy in Ashford and students from both schools are preparing for their first public parade, on Remembrance Sunday (November 8) in Benenden village.

House mistress Rachel Johns, a former commissioned officer in the Royal Engineers and contingent commander of the CCF, said: “I am so pleased that we are able to establish a CCF at Benenden; so many schools are engaged and it opens up so many opportunities. It is about fun, adventure and challenge. It promotes responsibility, leadership, personal development and teamwork within the context of the military ethos and is something that the girls will undoubtedly reflect upon throughout their careers and lives ahead.

“On the strength of what I’ve seen so far, the girls are having a great time and I’ve been impressed at how quickly they have got to grips with the drill. I know they will do Benenden proud on Remembrance Sunday.”

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