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.
In Years 7-9 the pupils take part in a series of overnight trips
- In the second week of term, all of Year 7 travel to Exmoor. They are dropped off in small groups with an instructor and find their way to the campsite where their tents and camping kit will be waiting. Pitching tents, a BBQ, sleeping under canvas and a series of taster activities the following day are a great way for pupils and staff to get to know each other.
- The Year 8 exams finish on the Thursday lunchtime and we head up onto the moors for some orienteering and a BBQ and camp. The next day we travel to the coast for a day of activities on the beach and in the water.
- September of Year 9 sees the last of our whole year group trips as we travel to Snowdonia, staying at Pen-y-Pass Youth Hostel. An ascent of Snowdon on the Friday is followed by a choice of activities on the Saturday including: scrambling on Crib Goch, Mountain Biking, climbing, paddlesports and deep sea fishing.
By the end of Year 9 the pupils will have tried a variety of activities in the outdoors and we hope that they will have been inspired to continue this in later years, either inside or outside of the school environment.
If they choose not to, they will have camped, climbed a mountain, lit a fire, paddled a canoe and learned some of the soft skills of resilience, teamwork and leadership that are not measured by exam results but are increasingly important in everyday life.
In Years 9-13 there are a myriad of opportunities for pupils to take part in the Outdoor Education program. This might be through team activities such as the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme and the Ten Tors Challenge or more individual pursuits such as rock climbing, caving and paddlesports.
Our aim if for pupils to develop specific skills in the outdoors, but also to gain the less measurable soft skills such as resilience, teamwork and leadership that are so important in modern life.
In Years 12 and 13 the pupils have an opportunity to go on a major foreign expedition, which in the past few years has involved trekking in Iceland, Morocco or Nepal as well as exploring the local culture in these countries. For many pupils this is a highlight of their time at Wellington spending time with their friends in a far-flung destination and pushing themselves both mentally and physically.
At this stage of their education there is the opportunity for pupils to gain instructor qualifications and to put these to use helping to instruct the younger pupils in the school.