Outdoor Education is key to Sherborne’s core vision. It helps boys prepare for adulthood by teaching them about empathy, leadership and risk evaluation. Lessons learned in the outdoors improve perseverance, organisation and problem solving – all of which are crucial to success in the contemporary world.

James Kimber BSc
Master in Charge

The Duke of Edinburgh Award provides an opportunity for personal development via a programme that includes volunteering, physical activity, skills and an expedition. 

The onus is on the participant to organise and see it through – making personal responsibility the key to success but each participant is supported individually to complete the award.

Boys have an opportunity to join the DofE Silver Award in the Fourth Form, and thereafter progress to the Gold Award.  We organise the expedition component, but boys are expected to design their programme for the other aspects to suit their own interests and preferences, making use of activities on offer at school or at home.

Boys are coached in safety skills and movement for indoor climbing. Their progress is monitored and higher-level skills are introduced at an appropriate time in their development.

Boys have the chance to follow the National Indoor Climbing Awards Scheme (NICAS), and senior and junior teams are selected each year to participate in the Independent Schools’ Climbing Competition.

We currently use the climbing wall at Sherborne Girls, and visit The Climbing Academy in Bristol for training. 

Those with an interest in mountain climbing are helped to develop map and compass skills while participating in demanding expeditions throughout the UK.

Coaching and assessment is offered to the National Navigation Award Scheme (NNAA) Silver Level. In addition, boys develop their winter and ice skills through trips to Scotland – equipping them for occasional adventures in the Alps or Himalayas. 

Surfing brings boys from all age groups together in an arena where they might not normally mix.  The activity encourages all boys to either try this activity out or look to gain the confidence to improve.  The surf coaches relate to the boys so well, making the day’s tuition great fun and they join in the lunchtime beach volleyball or football helping to build a sense that for one day our focus is solely on the beach, on each other and on the waves.

Those who develop the taste for more have joined us on the Sherborne Surfari;  a three-day residential expedition to the Cornish beaches and we have, in the past run trips to the National Surf Camp in Portugal.  Sitting on a board out beyond the breakers, chatting with the boys as we await the next set of waves is a great way to reset before heading back to Monday morning in the classroom!