Outdoor Education

Despite the summer sunshine and flurry of end-of-year activity, thoughts are turning already to the start of the new year in September, with planning underway for the year’s Outdoor Education residential trips.

Running for almost 40 years, the Outdoor Education trips are among the most anticipated events of the year, especially for the new Year 7 pupils. Set in sites of spectacular scenery, the activity-packed weeks provide some of the most memorable experiences for our pupils throughout their time at Colfe’s, forming memories that are treasured for years – many of our Year 13 Leavers still cite the Year 7 trip to the Lake District as one of the highlights of their time at school.

The programme starts in Year 3, with two days of pond dipping, raft building, low-ropes courses and zip wire at Swattenden in Kent. In Year 4, pupils participate in two days of activities at Grangewaters in Essex, experiencing archery, sailing, climbing and abseiling. By Year 5 pupils are ready for their first residential trip and spend four days at Grosvenor Hall in Kent, where they experience adrenalin-filled challenges on high ropes and the 3G swing, alongside teamwork exercises and bonding around a camp fire.

These experiences prepare pupils for a week-long visit to Dorset in Year 6, where they camp in tepees in stunning locations and experience sailing, kayaking and coasteering along the dramatic Jurassic coastline.

In Years 7, 8 and 9 pupils attend residential weeks in the Lake District, North Wales and Oxfordshire, taking part in activities such as canoeing, kayaking, rock climbing, abseiling, caving, mine exploration, gorge scrambling, mountain walking, high ropes courses and bushcraft.

Major Chris Cherry, Head of Outdoor Education, said: “It is impossible to overstate the personal and social benefits that the Outdoor Education programme brings. Our video shows just a small flavour of the programme. On every trip in every year group we see a tangible change in our pupils’ personal development. By overcoming challenges they grow in confidence, they learn teamwork and leadership skills, and they develop resilience, all invaluable skills in later life beyond Colfe’s.”

Deputy Head Donna Graham said: “We believe that education takes place both inside and outside the classroom. The Outdoor Education programme give our pupils a chance to grow in resilience by challenging themselves, to form firm friendships and, of course, to have fun.”

For more information please watch the video below or visit the Outdoor Education section.

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How to apply

Find out more about how to apply for Colfe's School. Our main entry points are at ages 3, 4, 11 and 16.