secondary school outdoor education by winter mountain walking in Snowdonia

Secondary Schools

Outdoor Education Residential

Our activity centre is ideal for secondary school outdoor education courses. We use real outdoor venues for true adventures. Leadership and team building skills are developed, enabling group success on the adventure activities.  We encourage pupils to take responsibilities while they are exploring the outdoor world, learning real life-skills. Through the challenges, achievements will be made that they will always cherish and remember. This is all run from our catered accommodation, for a well rounded residential experience.

rafting on lake with school pupils

“As a result of our week at Arete the students have emerged with organisation skills, self confidence, risk taking resilience and self management. It has been an invaluable week. … All [Arete] staff were focused on the delivery of high quality activities and food.”

Hodgehill College, February 2017

activity programme

for Secondary Schools

Each outdoor activity day will be based in Eryri (Snowdonia) or over on Anglesey. The area is renowned for its mountains, coastline, rivers and lakes – the ideal area for a secondary school outdoor education courses. We have full range of activities to excite and engage the pupils, all of which are tailored for your secondary school group. Each day a general activity theme is chosen to suit the conditions and the groups needs.  Extra add-in activities are often incorporated such as bushcraft and team building exercises built in. The pupils are kept continuously active throughout the day, meeting groups after breakfast and heading out until 1630 to 1700.   Our staff are well qualified and extremely experienced which is important, allowing for an outdoor programme that matches the needs of each individual pupil. We don’t use onsite venues that try to simulate real outdoor activities, we have the natural venues that excite even seasoned professionals. Adventures pupils will never forget.

We are fortunate that the outdoor centre can provide a flexible activity programme that evolves through the week, allowing the secondary pupils to define their own goals. Inevitably the pupils will grow in confidence as the course progresses and suitable further challenges can easily be presented. See the full list of activities.

It is possible for the instructional staff to provide an evening programme of activities too. Evening bouldering sessions, beach walk and team building activities are just some of the ideas that can be discussed. We can also provide resources and ideas for school staff members if they want organise the evening activities themselves.

Outdoor Education

for Secondary Schools

Secondary school outdoor education courses can incorprate a range of oudoor learning from personal and social development to specific curriculum based topics. More educational benefits are listed in the teachers and leaders guide.

PLTS – Personal Learning Thinking Skills: We work to support and develop the 6 areas of the PLTS: Independent Enquirers, Creative Thinkers, Reflective Learners, Team Workers, Self Managers, and Effective Participants.  Through outdoor activities it is possible to develop the different behaviours, skills and personal qualities to achieve these areas. We work closely alongside our schools to help achieve the main goals of the government to develop young people to become confident and successful learners, and ultimately responsible citizens.

Team Building and Leadership: The activities require the pupils to work together, to complete a task and reach a given goal. This could be navigating the whole group to a given location, creating a hole in the snow to spend the night in or finding the best way to traverse across a sea zawn. Problem solving and communication skills are key with a team working together to succeed. Supportive instructors, giving advice and support when necessary, allow everybody to feel the sense of achievement, a real motivator.

Life Long Skills: A few days on a residential course can provide children with skills which will last them a life time. Using communication skills, leadership, team work in situations out of children’s comfort zones allows for skills to be enhanced.  They will use skills learnt in the classroom to succeed in these new situations.  They will be supported in developing new skills, which they can use in everyday situations.

outdoor education on the beach with secondary school pupils

“Really impressed with all the instructors at Arete. They were very knowledgeable and went above and beyond to make our trip memorable. The students achieved so much on the trip from organisation skills to the ability to push themselves further.”

Walkwood Middle School, May 2017

gcse field work notes on a geography course

“The instructors made the river processes come to life as we ascended the gorge. We covered all aspects of our GCSE fieldwork study,and so much more!”

King Edwards VI Five Ways, May 2017

Field Studies

for Secondary Schools to GCSE & A-level

Field Studies are ideal to offer secondary school pupils an opportunity to gain ‘hands on’ experiences to support their studies. We are able to offer courses to support all curriculum areas, but specifically Geography and Biology. You can complete GCSE and A-level field work at the centre.

  • Collection of data for specific studies
  • Observing particular features e.g river movements and glaciation, which have been studied in the classroom
  • Develop subject knowledge and reinforce and embed previous knowledge

We have developed and run many successful programmes:

  • River study in North Wales- following the watercourse from mouth to source through adventurous activities including, gorge walking, open boating and white water kayaking. Seeing both erosional and depositional environments and flood defences
  • Mountain formation and shaping of Eryri (Snowdonia)- Study the geology and evidence of glaciation as we explore the mountains. Can be combined with the human impact on this environment
  • Flora and fauna identification- looking at the location of species related to location with ’cause and effect’ e.g light, soil conditions etc. This was achieved through mountain walking, climbing and more advanced multi-pitch climbing
  • Coastal Studies – identifying physical features that have been shaped through the effects of  erosion and deposition. Human studies can be done on coastline defences around Anglesey. All this can be studied from a sea kayak or scrambling along the cliffs during sea level traversing or coasteering
  • Extreme Environments -through adventurous activities in summer and winter, looking at ways you can look after yourself in mountainous conditions

Residential Experience

for Secondary Schools

Arete Centre, is a fully catered residential centre which provides nutritious meals. The accommodation is split into dormitories of different sizes, for girls and boys. There are communal areas for relaxation for staff and secondary pupils.  The games areas have options of a pool table, table tennis or board games and a room for evening entertainment.

Arete Centre has a fleet of minibuses that can be used for transporting students to venues. All minibuses are serviced appropriately and members of staff are fully qualified.

The Learning Outside the Classroom (LOtC) award we hold covers the safe use of vehicles, building and fire regulations among other criteria. It is recommended by the Department for Education that the LOtC award can be used a check of competence as seen on the government website.

secondary school trip sea kayaking around lighthouse

“Great food and a friendly atmosphere around the centre. Everyone was always keen to help and make you feel welcome”

Royal Grammar School Worcester, March 2017

Reasons why Arete Outdoor Centre will be perfect to develop your secondary pupils.

Common questions on safety, accommodation an logistics.

Simple steps of how you can secure a date for your school on their next residential.