St John’s pupils acquire, refine and develop their leadership skills in countless ways during their time here. From acting as mentors to new joiners to taking on House Prefect roles, giving back to the community and learning to be both a valuable team member and a leader are integral to school life from Lower School all the way to Sixth Form.


The Combined Cadet Force has been an integral part of St John’s for over 100 years, originating in the School’s Officer Training Corps, founded in 1912. Initially CCF’s aim was to train youngsters to become future soldiers and sailors, but after 1945 the focus shifted from providing pre-service training to equipping young people with the essential life skills of self-reliance, teamwork, leadership and responsibility through a wide range of exciting and stimulating activities.

Today’s CCF comprises three sections: Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force. All Lower Fifth pupils participate for an introductory year, after which CCF is a voluntary activity. As well as midweek training, there is one Field Day per term and a week-long summer camp. A host of camps and courses are available to cadets, offering training in everything from mountaineering to power boating and diving, either free or at a substantially reduced cost.

Duke of Edinburgh’s Award

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme provides fantastic opportunities to develop skills and embark on adventures. At the end of the Lower Fifth Form pupils can opt to start the Silver Award and the Sixth Form they can complete the Gold Award.

Pupils complete a volunteering activity (typically through either the Combined Cadet Force or the Community Service Unit), a skill (usually hobbies such as photography or playing a musical instrument), a physical activity (any school or outside sport) and two expeditions (one practice and one assessed expedition). Activities from St John’s co-curricular programme or from outside school can be counted towards the award. Full details about the award scheme can be found at

This popular and worthwhile Awards develops personal skills ranging from self-motivation, organisation and self-discipline to leadership and teamwork. It requires a high level of commitment, especially at Gold level, and is highly regarded by universities.

2470 hours

of volunteering between 1 April 2022 and 31 March 2023