Boys at Sherborne are encouraged to exercise leadership in every sphere of their lives. But a number of features of School life play an especially important role in helping them develop appropriate skills and acquire a lifeline passion for adventure benefiting mental and physical wellbeing.


Boys are coached in safety skills and movement for indoor climbing. Progress and development is monitored and higher level skills introduced as good safety practices are consistently demonstrated.  Boys access climbing as either a sport commitment or a recreational club. The boys have access to our new climbing centre that boasts a modern bouldering room and a dedicated roped climbing wall facility.

Flickr album: Climbing and Bouldering Wall | Height: auto | Theme: Default | Skin: Default Skin


From internal trials each year a senior and junior team is selected and entered into the Independent Schools' Climbing Competition. This combines elements of speed, bouldering, top-rope and lead climbing disciplines. There are other visits to The Project Climbing Centre in Poole for training and competition. In the summer we put the skills learned indoors to good use on the cliffs of Portland.


Duke of Edinburgh (D of E)

The Duke of Edinburgh Award involves participants in committing to four activities: a Physical challenge, a Skills based programme, a Voluntary activity and an Expedition. The Gold Award has an additional section: a Residential experience. The boys can use activities they are already doing outside the main school curriculum or use this as an opportunity to try something new. It has been great to see such a wide range of activities being undertaken both in school and out from horse riding to scuba diving; from helping with the library to supporting children in local primary schools; we have also had boys getting their hands dirty helping to support the National Trust and Forest Schools.

Depending on the level, each section must be undertaken as a regular activity over a set number of months.

Flickr album: Duke of Edinburgh's Award with Sherborne Girls | Height: auto | Theme: Default | Skin: Default Skin

Assessing the Award:

The Expedition Assessors are arranged by the School, for the other sections, it is up to the participant to arrange. The Assessor might be a Coach, Teacher, Tutor, Shop Manager or Volunteer. Almost any adult can be an Assessor except family members. The participant should check that the nominated Assessor is happy to take on the role and that you are both happy as to how it will be ‘assessed’. For many activities this will be an organised session such as a sports or music lesson. In this instance, the fact that the participant is turning up will show commitment. In other situations where the activity is done remotely from the chosen Assessor, a logbook, photographs, a portfolio can all be used to evidence improvement and commitment. Once the commitment has been carried out for the set amount of time, the participant can request an Assessor’s Report. This is often done by sending an email to the chosen Assessor.


The Expeditions:

For many of us, when we hear of the DofE, we automatically think of the Expedition, as this is often a very exciting experience. Each Expedition is different and each group, each person receives a different experience. Whether you love the outdoors or are ready for a challenge, the Expedition section has it all (expect perhaps for a guaranteed comfy night’s sleep!).

Bronze: a one night, two day expedition

Silver: a two night, three day expedition

Gold: a three night, four day expedition

At the end of the Training and Practice, the boys undertake a Qualifying Expedition, where they are required to fend for themselves within their team. It’s an experience like no other with happy memories that last a lifetime!      


Achieving the Certificate:

One of the main principles of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is that it is pupil-led and non-competitive. Some boys like to move through the sections quickly, whilst others prefer to spend a little more time considering their choices. All levels must be completed before the participant’s 25th birthday and it is a pleasure to hear from, and support, past Shirburnians who are keen to complete their award and to whom the value of the award still appeals.

For more information about the Award, please click here.

Adventurous Activities

As well as rock climbing, canoeing, kayaking, mountaineering, caving, coasteering and surfing, we provide boys with ample opportunity to get into the fresh air and test their intellectual and physical stamina. One of the high points of the year for many is participation in the Ten Tors: a gruelling hike over Dartmoor that many boys find profoundly formational and hugely satisfying to complete.