At Pangbourne, every Form 4 pupil is a member of the school Combined Cadet Force (CCF) for a year. During the first meeting after lockdown, pupils were divided into groups to begin their weekly training in one of the following: first aid, building shelters, weapon handling and exercises in developing team-building and leadership skills.
For the latter, two groups were given the task of connecting two trees with a rope and transporting their manpower, plus supplies (including eggs to cook and eat), over an imaginary river.
Contingent Commander, Colin Hearn said: ‘It was a very good way to teach problem-solving, as well as to demonstrate some of the necessary characteristics of a good leader and good team player. For example, the value of good communication skills and creative thinking.
‘It was also a task which required developing resilience; for some, the idea of launching from a height onto a makeshift rope transport system was not that easy. But the majority succeeded and most enjoyed sampling the cooked fresh eggs at the end.’
‘After such a long time in lockdown, getting the pupils outside and enjoying the College’s extensive grounds, including its woodland, is also extremely beneficial.’