Outdoor Expeditions at XP

At XP, we connect with the world.

Watching our children standing on their own two feet is the most magical feeling for parents. Watching them fall can often be the worst, but sometimes we must. There is a saying that goes, “The safest place for a ship is in the harbour, but that is not what ships are built for”.

At XP, we create safe opportunities that support and challenge our students to do more than they thought possible, for them to never accept any less of themselves. These opportunities go beyond just preparing for tests in a classroom. Even beyond our learning expeditions, all our students go on outdoor expeditions.

Our students laugh and cry as they walk in the sunshine and rain, cobbling meals together on stoves, getting lost as they find themselves, creating stories that last forever.

As our students challenge themselves, developing their grit, determination and resilience which will stand them in good stead in their future years, we expect things to be difficult. We expect students will get some things wrong and make bad decisions. Some students will fall down. Because we expect this, we are there to help them back up and dust them off. Each student has different comfort zones and they will learn from each other. While we treat our students with equity, they step outside their comfort zones to stretch themselves and grow.

Our students draw on these experiences when they climb their own unique mountains, whether it be a maths mountain or a speaking in public mountain, they draw on these experiences to know they can push through and succeed.

And yes, all this helps massively when they sit down for their exams!

What does this look like at XP?

For detailed information on a year group, click on the year heading:

We go Outward Bound at either Aberdovey or Ullswater for a four day expedition on the first day at school with the guiding question, "What is Crew?"

After the summer holiday we return to school and spend the first week back with the focus on crew by answering the guiding question, "How crew are you?” Students and crew leaders will engage in a range of outdoor activities to help answer this question.

Students with the support and guidance of dedicated DofE Leaders and crew leaders, will spend time each week working on a programme of activities which include volunteering, learning a skill, getting physical and finally going on an outdoor expedition. By the end of the academic year students should have done enough to have achieved their Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award. Students are expected to achieve all sections of their Bronze award programme unless they have a valid reason not to.

Students will commence with a new programme of similar activities as in year 9. By the end of this academic year students should have done enough to complete their Voluntary, Skill and Physical sections of the Duke of Edinburgh Silver Award. Students at this level will be expected to undertake the physical section in their own time. At Silver level, the expedition is voluntary and Students must have completed the other sections of their programme to be able to take part in the expedtion.

Students will be focusing on their GCSE exams this year so after their exams have finished all students will do the NCS programme which includes voluntary work, learning new skills and going on a residential. The residential part of this programme can go towards their Gold DofE award.

All students will take part in learning new skills, volunteering and physical activities as part of their XP Diploma. In order to achieve the Gold DofE award, students must enrole onto the Gold DofE programme and their chosen activities must be completed over a set timescale and meet the guidelines set by the DOfE award scheme. Students will also need to complete a 4 day expedition in wild country and a residential.

All our staff go on an Outdoor Expedition as part of their new staff Induction programme.

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