Resilience, Respect and Responsibility are at the core of the Priory School’s Outdoor Education programme. We aim to give all students the opportunity to experience life changing experiences in the outdoors throughout their time at school.
At the end of Year 7, all students have the opportunity to join us on our annual trip with The Bushcraft Company. Here students solidify the friendships they have made over the last year as well as developing new skills, such as fire lighting, shelter building and outdoor cooking. More information can be found at The Bushcraft Company’s website: http://www.thebushcraftcompany.com/.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is the world’s most recognised non-academic award. Universities and employers see it as evidence of a young person’s resilience and self-development. For each level of the award student’s complete a volunteering, physical and skills section over a period of time, before challenging themselves with a final expedition section. The award can be completed at three levels Bronze, Silver and Gold. Students can begin their Bronze Award in Year 9, their Silver award in Year 10 and their Gold award in Year 12. At The Priory School we are committed to offering this opportunity to as many students as possible. All of our expeditions are run by highly experienced staff from within the school, rather than relying on outside providers which allows us to make our expeditions as affordable as possible.
|Award Level||Timescale for Completing Volunteering, Physical and Skills section||Timescale for Expedition|
|Bronze||6 months||2 days, 1 night|
|Silver||12 months||3 days, 2 nights (+2 travelling days)|
|Gold||12-18 Months||4 days, 3 nights ( +2 travelling days)|
Every year we offer students the opportunity to travel with the market leaders in overseas school’s expeditions. A World Challenge expedition is more than just a school trip. Students take a lead role in planning the expedition which will include a trekking phase, a community interaction phase and a rest and relaxation phase. These expeditions give students the opportunity to explore a range of exciting and exotic destinations, as well as learn key skills such as budgeting and organisation. Students are supported in raising the money for the expedition themselves and we have a fantastic track record of students achieving their fundraising totals.
We have successfully sent students all over the world from North India to the Mongolian Steppe and to the Nepalese Himalayas. We have organised expeditions in Year 9 for Students to travel to Morocco and attempt to climb Jebel Toubkal, the Highest Mountain in North Africa, and then offered a ‘Long Haul’ Expedition further afield when they are in 6th form. Our next long-haul destination is Malaysia in summer 2024.
The Climbing Wall
The Priory School is able to offer students the opportunity to learn the exciting sport of Rock Climbing on the schools own custom built, indoor climbing wall. In P.E lessons students learn the skills of bouldering and spotting, before being given the opportunity to join the schools popular climbing club. Students can also secure exclusive use of the wall as a prize in the schools rewards store. With multiple members of staff being qualified on the wall, we are lucky to be able to ensure that every students has the opportunity to challenge themselves and scale the wall.
The TPS Award is an innovative programme that we run in Year 9, which is designed to give every student the opportunity to develop their Resilience, Responsibility and Respect. Students learn first aid skills and develop their expedition awareness through volunteering their time, developing a skill and engaging in physical activity. Upon competition of these, students are awarded their TPS Nevis Award. If they also get involved in a Trek section then they can earn their TPS Kilimanajro Award or even take part in the overnight stay to earn their TPS Everest Award. They can then opt to ‘upgrade’ their TPS Award to a DofE Bronze Award simply by completing a further two-day, one-night expedition. Last year we saw 110 students manage to achieve the highest level (TPS Everest) of the Award.
In Year 8 certain students are selected to take part in our TPS Survival Students course. This is a programme run over a few months where students are taught the skills needed to survive alone for 24 hours. They then get the opportunity to test these skills out in their own camp. It’s designed to build on the skills learnt on the Year 7 Bushcraft residential and develop the self-belief and resilience needed for the Year 9’s TPS Award programme.
Climb Hitchin is a charity group promoting and supporting indoor and outdoor climbing. They provide a range of services to other schools and the general public from ages 5+. Climb Hitchin offers instruction to beginners and lead climbers, provides the National Indoor Climbing Award Schemes (NICAS), coaching to groups and individuals as well as outdoor climbing trips. For more information go to: www.climbhitchin.rocks.
- Rob Findon: DofE Lead Person
- Tony Foster: DofE Silver Lead
- Claire Gormill: DofE Bronze Lead
- Deborah Stokes: World Challenge Short Haul Lead
- Bret Coverdale: Climbing Wall Instructor
- Cameron Omar: Climbing Wall Instructor