Outdoor Pursuits

At Birkdale, we are concerned for the development of the whole person. To this end, we are committed to providing personal development opportunities to all pupils through a programme of outdoor pursuits. Our aim is to allow pupils to discover more about themselves and how they work with others in unfamiliar and challenging situations.

Birkdale Outdoor Pursuits Annual Programme

The programme starts in Year 8 (S2), and continues right through to the end of Sixth Form (Year 13). Some of what we do is a compulsory part of the school curriculum, some is optional for those who have developed a taste for the outdoor life.

Smaller numbers of pupils and ex-pupils continue their involvement in outdoor pursuits to a much higher level.

School Year Group
Term/month Activity
Year 9 (S3) C
Expedition training, 4-5.30pm 1 afternoon each week for 8 weeks, covering all the skills – mapwork, tent pitching, cooking, first aid, rucsac packing etc.
Year 9 (S3) C May Put all that training into practice – an overnight camp near Hathersage in the Peak District. Friday night after school, with a walk, carrying a heavy backpack and outdoor activities on the Saturday.
Year 9 (S3) O June Bronze level D of E qualification expedition. 2 days, 1 night on a campsite, 24 km walk in groups of 4-7 pupils, unaccompanied but with checkpoints. This is only for those pupils who decide to embark on the Dof E scheme.
Year 10 (S4) C May/June Expedition planning, 4-5.30pm 2 afternoons, preparing for Pensarn residential.
Year 10 (S4)
C July Pensarn Residential: 4 nights in Snowdonia, working in groups of 10. Each group has an expedition in the Rhinog range, plus 2 days of activities (rock climbing, gorge walking, canoeing)
Year 11 and above (S5+) O Many groups of fifth and sixth formers each year continue expeditioning, usually as part of the D of E scheme at Silver and Gold level. Pensarn+ is a higher level mountain activities trip open to S5 and U6 only, which takes place in July each year.

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