Outdoor education was introduced as a permanent feature of the school curriculum in September 2014. Dedicated sessions take place every week on Tuesday and Friday afternoons, offering pupils in all year groups the opportunity to explore the outdoors, try new activities and learn new skills. The main activities included in the programme are archery, canoeing, mountain biking, climbing, kayaking and sailing.
Multiple staff members possess climbing qualifications which allow students to learn bouldering skills and play games to challenge their balance. Pupils also learn about the safety features of a climbing wall, belaying, abseiling and tying knots. Climbing is often included in outdoor activity trips.
An affiliated membership with Reading Sailing Club, based at Sonning, has been established and is working well. This venue provides excellent watersports facilities for sailing, kayaking and canoeing. Some pupils with significant experience in the sport are enjoying the opportunity to coach younger pupils, while the school is continuing to train existing staff and recruit specialists to further improve our outdoor activity provision.
The Duke of Edinburgh's Award scheme, which incorporates several elements of outdoor education, is increasingly popular with Shiplake pupils. Further information can be found here.