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A Place Where Leaders Are Made

Published on isbi School News dated Monday 13th of November 2023

There are more than 50 extra-curricular clubs and societies at Bradford Grammar School, one in particular has a track record for instilling confidence in its young people and creating future leaders.

It was one of Matthew M’s proudest moments as he shook hands with the Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire, Ed Anderson.

Matthew, who has been in BGS’s Combined Cadet Force (CCF) since he was in Year 9, savoured the moment as he was named one of the Lord Lieutenant’s Cadets – the highest possible award for a cadet – in a special ceremony at Carlton Barracks, in Leeds, West Yorkshire.

“It’s a great privilege to represent my school and area in this way,” says Matthew. “I’m looking forward to working with the Lord Lieutenant and his deputies who have a wealth of experience to share with myself and my fellow cadets.”

Equally as proud, was BGS’s Contingent Commander in the CCF, Major Jim Greenlee.

Says Jim: “It brings me immense joy to see the cadets at BGS excel and achieve great things. From seeing some of the cadets in their initial days as enthusiastic post Junior School kids to becoming responsible young adults who take charge and assist the staff in delivering the training, I’ve witnessed a remarkable transformation among them. They learn skills such as teamwork and leadership, which are highly transferable to the professional world, and their confidence grows exponentially.”

Training sessions at the CCF cover various subjects, including field craft (referred to as battle training by younger cadets), weapons handling, marksmanship principles and first aid, all of which can be used towards Duke of Edinburgh awards. The CCF is open to both boys and girls and membership is balanced, with a 50-50 male-female ratio.

At BGS, the CCF includes both Army and Royal Air Force contingents. Last year, the RAF students participated in activities which included visits to an RAF base and flying experiences in both gliding and powered flight. The Army section students attended the Senior Cadet Instructor Course, which enhanced their leadership skills and allowed them to achieve the Army four-star award. This year, six cadets are going through the same course.

Through the affiliation with the Army Cadet Force (ACF), BGS cadets have had opportunities to progress and advance. Matthew attended the Master Cadet Course at the National Cadet Training Centre in Surrey before he achieved his Lord Lieutenant’s Cadet award.

Matthew, who is studying Maths, Politics and History A Levels, says being part of the CCF has taught him a great deal, such as teamwork skills, which will stay with him for the rest of his life.

“It’s been a great way to get to know other people from around the country,” he says.  “I’ve also grown in confidence as time has gone on. I’ve learnt so much and I couldn’t recommend it more.”

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