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Outdoor Education

Outdoor Education

Participation numbers last year were amongst the highest of any Somerset independent school.
Last year, 56% of Year 9 pupils joined DofE, 34% of Year 10 joined Silver and 30% of Year 12 joined Gold.
All Silver and Gold DofE participants who had their awards interrupted by lockdown were still given the opportunity to complete their award.
 
  • Our Ten Tors teams are always amongst the very first teams to complete and we have entered a 35m and a 45m team for at least the last 10 years (not including 2020 & 2021, which were cancelled).
     
  • We run annual trips for the whole of Year 7, 8 & 9 with close to 100% attendance, meaning that every pupil will engage at least once with the OE programme.
  • The new climbing wall is built and there are 5 weekly clubs, with all bar one of these oversubscribed.
     
  • We have a paddlesports programme that annually sees pupils mixing across year-groups to complete 4 flat water and 4 white water sorties as well as weekly training. This activity is also at its limit for numbers this year.
     
  • We ran a virtual Coast-to-Coast walk during Jan-Feb ’21 lockdown with 40 teams comprising 70 pupils walking a combined total of 9845km over 9 weeks.
     
  • Annually we run trips to far-flung destinations (Morocco, Iceland, Nepal are all recent) and some closer to home (Hebrides, Cairngorms in winter). These trips not only supplement classroom learning, they play a huge role in the pupils’ personal development.
     
  • We support our staff to pursue training and qualifications that enable them better to support the programme and to pursue their own professional goals.

Our aspiration is for all of our pupils to grasp the opportunities that the outdoor environment gives us.

From a Year 7 pupil on their first camping trip to Exmoor with their new classmates in September, to Year 13 pupils ascending Toubkal, at 4167m the highest peak in the Atlas Mountains, with their best friends; the outdoor environment gives all of us the opportunity to develop resilience, teamwork, resourcefulness, leadership and public service.

Our belief is that a busy pupil outside the classroom will be a successful one inside it and that on our hills and rivers, in our caves and on our rock faces we have the opportunity to develop those soft skills that are not reflected in exam results.