Wakefield students enjoy Outward Bound residential at Ullswater

A group of students from Wakefield schools travelled to the Lake District this term for an exciting five-day residential with the Outward Bound Trust. Following a rigorous application process, 46  students from Airedale, Featherstone and Freeston Academies were chosen to attend by Wakefield District Housing (WDH) as part of their Community Leadership Programme.

Aiming to inspire and motivate students in a natural environment, the residential encouraged students to hone their listening and communication skills, as well as working co-operatively and collaboratively in mixed school groups.

Airedale Academy’s Higher Education Progression Officer Tracey Heptinstall takes us through the five day programme:

Day One

“We set off by coach from school to Ullswater, where on arrival students were allocated their rooms and told who they were sharing with. Every student had to make their own bed (don’t be fooled, parents – they can do it!) before being split into groups for activities, including the famous ‘Jog and Dip’ where student job down to the lakeside and take a dip in the water!”


Day Two

“After an early rise and breakfast, two groups set off on their overnight expedition equipped with tents, sleeping bags and dehydrated food for a night of camping in Helvellyn. The remaining groups spend the day gorge walking and cliff jumping!”


Day Three

“The remaining two groups set off their expedition, rowing across the lake before settling into a day of climbing and walking. Having successfully completed their trip, the other expedition groups returned to the centre to clean and put away their equipment.”


Day Four

“Whilst some of the campers were picked up by canoes and paddled the five miles back to the centre, others went out gorge walking or took part in team building exercises. In the evening, the groups came together to work on presentation skills.”


Day Five

On the final day, each group did a presentation to WDH mentors, Outward Bound and school staff on what they had learned from the week. One student went on to say, “We arrived as three separate schools but leave as one.” Another commented on how much they enjoyed feeling able to be themselves, making new friends who accepted them as they were. A common theme from students was that of overcoming fears.”


By Laura Bareham, Higher Education Outreach Officer at University of Huddersfield