Outdoor Education

Outdoor learning experiences are often remembered for a lifetime. Integrating learning and outdoor experiences, whether through play in the immediate grounds or adventures further afield, provides relevance and depth to the curriculum in ways that are difficult to achieve indoors.

The core values of Abbotsholme resonate with long-standing key concepts of outdoor learning. Challenge, enjoyment, resilience, courage, connecting with the environment and an adventurous approach to learning are at the core of outdoor education. The outdoor environment encourages staff and students to see each other in a different light, building positive relationships and improving self-awareness and understanding of others.

Our aims are to provide adventurous and challenging outdoor experiences for pupils, in order to develop skills, qualities and attitudes that will contribute to the development of the whole person and make for a more fulfilled life. In doing so, due regard is taken for the individual learning needs and abilities of pupils and their safety and welfare.

Outdoor Education Programme


Every October, for three days, the whole school goes hill walking in various areas of the U.K. (Peak District, Yorkshire Dales, Snowdonia and Lake District).

In Year 12 the whole year group goes to Snowdonia to participate in Gold Duke of Edinburgh training within the mountain environment. Pupils can then choose whether they wish to continue to complete their Gold Expedition on foot or by boat or bike.

In Year 13 pupils can participate in one of the senior hikes, or volunteer to help with one of the junior camps as a pupil leader.

Senior Expeditions and Duke of Edinburgh

Senior school pupils complete a mini expedition annually during the Summer Term. Year 12 have the opportunity to complete their Gold DofE Assessment Expedition in the last few weeks of the academic year travelling on foot, by boat or by bike in the wild areas of the UK.

Extra-Curricular Opportunities

Weekday Activities

Rockholme Climbing Club – Monday after school

Weekend Trips

There are outdoor trips for all years involving a wide variety of activities: orienteering, mountain biking, white water kayaking, and sea kayaking weekends.

Holiday Trips

Abbotsholme has an incredible history in going to amazing places across the planet in search of adventure. Trips within the holidays tend to be for Year 9 and above, and include such trips as sea kayaking in Sweden, mountain biking in Scotland, sailing across the channel to France, trekking in the Himalayas, cross country skiing in Norway, and canoeing in the Canadian wilderness.


In the sixth form pupils have the opportunity to take more of a leadership role within Outdoor Education. We welcome pupils who wish to gain experience leading some of the junior activities. This can help boost confidence, responsibility, maturity, and give valuable experience in planning and carrying out activities.