15th Mar 2021

15th Mar 2021
15 Mar 2021

We have been working with Queen Katherine School in Kendal for 5 years now.

The first job was to take over their pre-existing very successful D of E programme as they had reached capacity with their existing staff and way of working. We let things run for a year then started to tweak. QKS had previously offered D of E to a select few – we enabled them to broaden and enlarge the offer to include all those who wanted to take part – and started working with around 120 pupils in year 9 for their bronze award.

As children get older and progress through the school – silver expeditions grew to run with around 50 pupils and an adventurous gold programme was established with expeditions to the Cairngorms, Knoydart and canoe trips on Loch Sheil and the River Tay.

The ethos behind these trips is to inspire and instil a sense of adventure and self-reliance which will stay with young people – I have had a few postcards from ex pupils who have found themselves in the mountains so feel proud that this is working!

At the other end of the school, it was important that we primed the younger pupils so that when they were offered D of E, they would take up the challenge. Weekly Adventure Club gets them out into the Lake District and Dales after school, and to the climbing wall in the winter.

This also feeds into the annual Yr 9 trekking adventure to the Jebel Sahro region in southern Morocco. Read the school newsletter here.

We believe that people need various ‘peak experiences’ in their lives, something on which, at some point in the future, they can pin their dreams – something that they have done, feelings that they have had that they can again strive for.

So we organised some….at an affordable price rather than the usual several thousand pounds that some external companies charge (after all, I am also a father and know how much school trips can cost!) Our Moroccan trips have cost around £800 pp.

Some of the feedback from students and parents is below……

Just wanted to say thank you for an amazing trip! Really enjoyed it and hope we can do it again!

…..we were encouraged to try challenging activities and felt safe in a dangerous environment thanks to the teachers and other members of staff….

…..I liked the fact that we were treated as adults and given independence and responsibility – it teaches us valuable skills for when we do it alone…..

Thank you for such an amazing trip, it was honestly one of the greatest experiences. While being physically the hardest thing I have done it was also an incredible experience to spend such a focused time with different people without the distractions of school work, pressure and a phone constantly buzzing or without noticing it taking time away from amazing moments which we would have otherwise missed. In reflection it has made me evaluate and consequently delete social media so I can now appreciate the empty moments which would have once been filled on a phone. I think I realised in the evenings when the group bonded over little games or conversations that a phone wasnt even missed in that moment. For me the two most fulfilling moments was reaching the summit in such lovely weather and the kindness and happiness of the people. I was nervous before leaving but now it feels like such a positive, proud memory! Thank you!

Parents’ Feedback:

A massive thank you to you and the rest of the team for organising and running the trip. Maddie had an amazing time. It was her best trip ever – above any family holidays! This type of excursion gives them so much more than a ‘normal’ school trip. They are challenged to do something they wouldn’t normally do and with a small group of people they have the opportunity to get to know them all. She has returned with even more confidence and is hoping you are going to organise another one soon!

Just a quick note to say a huge thank you for taking the group out to Toubkal and organising everything. Jonah had a fantastic time. Last night he showed us the footage of him sprinting summit!  By all accounts everyone got on really well and we know how much hard work will have been involved to make sure they all enjoyed themselves.

What a brilliant expedition! …an amazing time with such a lot of fun and challenges galore. Lucy is buzzing for the next adventure. Thanks for your vision in leading such a bold trip for 6 th formers, with freedom for them to push their limits in terms of safety, climb Toubkal, and explore Morocco along with you and the leader team. What a lucky group they are… a massive thank you to you and all adults involved.


Tim Deighton

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *