Skip to content ↓

Outdoor Education

Learning is not a journey that takes place solely during classroom lessons. At William Ellis we pride ourselves on the opportunities we offer for our young people to grow and develop outside of the classroom.

Outdoor education plays a vital role in the personal development of our boys here at William Ellis School. The outdoor education program has been developed with the intent of ensuring that every one of our students has the opportunity and resources to gain independence through an inclusive program of scaffolded and incremental risk taking. This allows the boys to build and develop vital life skills to become a well-rounded young adult through their journey while at William Ellis and beyond.

With our emphasis on getting the boys into outdoor education, unlocking unlimited, alternative potential within themselves, we are proud to boast about our very own outdoor education centre. Based in the heart of the Surrey hills, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, ‘The Mill’ is ideally situated at Forest Green.

Due to William Ellis being an inner-city school, it would be hard to replicate such an experience for the boys anywhere nearby. This is why having this amazing facility is of such great value to us. Please see the link on the right for more detail about The Mill.

Outdoor education is also a core part of the PE curriculum at our school, which is why it has been integrated into the timetable to fall directly before each year group’s residential trip to The Mill in Years 7, 8 and 9 and it is expected that all the boys participate in such trips. Research has indicated that outdoor education boosts self-confidence, social skills, communication, motivation, physical skills, knowledge and understanding, and has also been found to boost young people’s self-esteem, the ability to work co-operatively and to have a more positive attitude towards learning; all of which has tremendous effects when translated back into the classroom setting.

The progression of camps throughout the lower year groups of the school ultimately leads up to the Year 9 camp. During their week-long visit to The Mill, Year 9 students will undertake the Bronze Duke of Edinburgh expedition. This requires the boys to put into practice all of the skills learnt during outdoor education lessons and camps to navigate their way independently through the Surrey Hills on a two day, self-sufficient, expedition – the first step towards completing the four required sections for this level of the DofE award. Achieving this requires significant time and input from teachers and other staff members who are committed to outdoor education. This collaboration will also give the boys a unique chance to connect with staff members in a setting away from the classroom, allowing vital relationships to be built and developed through their time here.

Following the Year 9 camp, we continue to provide support and guidance through the subsequent levels of the award should students wish to progress within the DofE award scheme. DofE is also offered at the Silver level to students in Key Stage 4, with Silver and Gold awards also being offered to students enrolled within the whole of LaSWAP, being run through William Ellis. This can be accessed through the consortium’s enrichment scheme.

On the right you will find links to many of our extra-curricular activities and opportunities for personal development.