Outdoor Education

Outdoor Education

"Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul." John Muir

The College recognises that as part of our student’s development as a whole, it is important to have the opportunity to spend time outside the classroom. Outdoor adventure helps our pupils to develop the intel­lectual, physical, emotional, aesthetic, and spiritual aspects of their personalities. Weekly outdoor education improves health and fitness through physical activity and also devel­ops long-term positive attitudes towards an active lifestyle. The progressive outdoor program is delivered through excursions, weekly after-school sessions, and ongoing in­itiatives.

At St Aloysius' College, we are fortunate to have easy access to outdoor pursuits in the variety of wild places that Scotland has to offer. Our programme offers pupils a broad experience of nature, a sense of open space, fresh air, adventure, and vital time away from the city and includes activities such as indoor and outdoor climbing, skiing, orienteering, mountain biking, trail running, team-building challenges, kayaking, and canoeing.

The Outdoor Education Department has a dedicated full-time Head of Outdoor Education, supported by a Duke of Edinburgh administrator, specialist climbing and canoeing coaches, along with a highly qualified and experienced associate instructional team, that supports the weekly co-curricular and curricular activities that the department runs throughout the year.

We offer weekly after-school climbing, available from P6 through to S6, both offering a recreational climbing club, supported by committed, high-performance climbing teams and coaches. We are able to make the most of Glasgow’s two, excellent climbing wall facilities as well as the International Climbing Arena at Ratho. Due to this, we have had past and present students selected as part of the GB teams.

Kayaking has been growing in popularity within the College, which is helped by weekly S1-S6 after-school opportunities at the College’s paddle sport base at Pinkston, which houses Scotland’s only artificial white water course, offering unique urban water sports facilities.

Weekly participation in outdoor pursuits and Duke of Edinburgh is complimented with a vast array of UK and International trips throughout the year. This includes:

  • S1 Outward Bound Residential
  • Senior Climbing Squad/Senior Kayaking Club days
  • Duke of Edinburgh Bronze, Silver and Gold walking, canoeing and cycling expeditions
  • Bi-Annual International Rock Climbing trip
  • Bi-Annual International Kayaking trip
  • a Winter Skills Weekend in the Scottish Highlands
  • Indoor Pool Kayak Rolling weekends 
  • S6 Leadership Programme

Duke of Edinburgh Award

St Aloysius' College is the largest sole provider of the Duke of Edinburgh Award in the West of Scotland.

The Duke of Edinburgh Award (DofE) is the world’s leading youth achievement award. The award develops a host of personal and interpersonal skills through physical, challenges, and commitments to skills and volunteering. Each level of the award culminates in a challenging, but rewarding, expedition. Over the past year, this has included walking or cycling in the Scottish Highlands, and canoe­ing in scenic lochs and rivers.

There are three award levels: Bronze, Silver, and Gold. Although most pupils will complete at least one award over their time at the College, we are proud to have many pupils who have completed all three awards. This achievement not only compliments our pu­pils’ academic attainment and CVs but gives them a life-enriching and unforgettable experience.