At Finborough we offer a fun, exciting and rewarding Outdoor Education Programme. You are encouraged to experience things outside of the classroom that you would not normally do, whilst learning new things about yourself and your friends.

The activities on offer will challenge you both mentally and physically whilst boosting your self-confidence. Nothing beats that feeling of achieving something that you once thought impossible. All activities are provided by fully qualified instructors and safety at all times is paramount.

At Key Stage 3 you will have the opportunity to experience all of the activities offered on a rotational basis, whilst at Key Stage 4 & 5 you are able to select those you would like to be involved with.

Archery is awesome and if you have always fancied yourself as the star of the Hunger Games then archery is definitely the activity for you. Archery is a great sport for boosting your mental and physical health and fitness. Excelling in archery requires concentration, patience, and a great deal of self-control whilst waiting for the perfect moment to release your arrow. You will learn not to get emotional when you make a bad shot, instead you will analyse the shot, learn from it, and prepare for the next one. For this reason, archery is a great sport for teaching self-control, patience, and emotional intelligence. A good archer will remember to focus on improving themselves rather than worrying about what everyone else is doing, and with that in mind, archery becomes a lot of fun.

Kayaking is pure fun; nothing beats the feeling of your paddle dipping in to the water as you surge forward on a wave of adrenaline! Your first series of lessons is based around getting you comfortable in a kayak before teaching you all about boat control and basic paddle strokes. These lessons take place in the safety of the flat, quiet river running through the school grounds. Also included within the curriculum are theory-based lessons and drills focussing on river safety and awareness which will allow you to take on a kayak expedition if you so wish. Once you are familiar and confident with your kayak, we could then take you out on to the open water! Throughout the course, instructors will be watching to see how you are progressing whilst creating goals and challenges for you that are within your skill level, but they will push you to reassess what you are capable of. So let’s get out on the river and have some fun!

Kickboxercise: Want to develop your fitness, strength, flexibility and co-ordination? Want to improve your levels of discipline and calm? Stressed at the end of a hard day at school? Then kickboxercise is for you! Each week you get to participate in a 45 minute training session where you will get to kick, punch, knee and block to your heart’s content. Sessions start with a quick warm up, exercises on core strength followed by punching and kicking techniques. The best bit? There is NO contact! All the skills taught are done by shadow boxing or pad work, so you go home without the bruises and black eyes, but you will certainly be aching by the end! You may even get the chance to try some of your new found moves on one of your teachers!

Yoga: New for this year, Finborough now offers Yoga as part of the Outdoor Education programme. Rest assured you will not require a leotard or legwarmers! Yoga makes you feel better; by practicing the postures, breathing exercises and meditation you will be healthier in body, mind and spirit. Yoga lets you tune in, chill out and shape up – all at the same time. What’s more, yoga improves muscle tone, flexibility, strength and stamina; reduces stress and tension; boosts self-esteem; improves concentration, creativity and circulation; stimulates the immune system and creates a sense of well-being and calm. So if you would like to finish the school day feeling ultra-relaxed then maybe yoga is the choice for you!

Rock climbing is probably the most challenging activity we offer students, yet it is the one where we see the most rapid progress. We make full use of the Cragg climbing wall at Stowmarket leisure centre for our climbing programme, where all students are enrolled onto NICAS (the National Indoor Climbing Award Scheme). The scheme is administered by the Association of British Climbing Walls Training Trust (ABCTT) and is recognised by the British Mountaineering Council, the Mountaineering Council of Scotland and the Mountaineering Council of Ireland. It comprises of 5 levels and takes around 100 hours to complete. You will maintain your own logbook and on successful completion of each stage you are awarded a certificate. You will develop climbing movement skills and climbing rope-work; learn how to use equipment appropriately; develop risk assessment and risk management skills; and work as a team, communicating with and trusting a climbing partner.

Camp craft: In the Summer term, as we approach our Summer Expeditions, everyone participates in a number of Camp craft sessions. Skills covered include putting up a tent, map reading & navigation, outdoor catering and basic first aid. These are designed to equip you with all of the skills required to have a successful Summer Expedition in the penultimate week of the term.

In previous years Key Stage 3 have experienced the delights of North Norfolk, whilst Key Stage 4 have been amazed by the beauty of the Peak District. The Summer Expeditions take you away from home for 3 nights and allow you to put into practice everything you have learnt over the year with the Outdoor Education programme. Everyone has a fantastic time no matter what the weather and it is the perfect way to end the year.

Duke of Edinburgh at Finborough:

We are re-launching the Duke of Edinburgh award at Finborough this year. DofE gives everyone in Year 10 and above the chance to develop skills for work and life, fulfil their potential and have a brighter future. By doing your DofE, you’re in for an amazing adventure and masses of fun as you take part in a range of activities, all leading to the achievement of an Award that’s recognised by universities and employers alike. You can do programmes at three levels, which when completed, lead to a Bronze, Silver or Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. We will be starting this year with the Bronze award only, rolling out the remaining two levels over subsequent years.

You achieve your Award by completing a personal programme of activities in four sections  – Volunteering, Physical, Skills and Expedition. The minimum time commitment for the Bronze award will be 6 months.

The best bit is – you get to choose what you do! Your programme can be full of activities and projects that get you buzzing, and along the way you’ll pick up experiences, friends and talents that will stay with you for the rest of your life.

If this sounds like something you would enjoy then the next step is easy! Complete an enrolment form and pay a small DofE participation fee.  However, before enrolling you do need to give careful consideration to the Volunteering section of the award.

Volunteering is all about making a difference to other people’s lives. You are expected to volunteer for a minimum of 3 months and must be willing to give up at least one hour a week. Your volunteering must not be done for a business but can be undertaken for a charity or not-for-profit organisation. Where your volunteering is in support of surplus generating work, for example a charity shop, then some Local Authorities may require a work permit. The charity you are volunteering with should be aware of this and support you as required. From conservation to youth work to fundraising for your favourite charity or caring for animals, there’s an endless list of the types of projects you can get involved in.