Outdoor learning

Outdoor learning is very important to us at NGHS, and we like to keep expanding all the exciting opportunities as we go.

Benefits of outdoor learning

From Reception through to the Sixth Form, our girls are encouraged to embrace the great outdoors, whatever the weather. Taking part in outdoor activities helps build character, stamina and resilience, while promoting leadership and teamwork skills – it’s also a lot of fun!

We have several outdoor areas suited for different levels of experience so girls in each year group can take part. Whether as part of the curriculum or our enrichment programmes, girls of all ages take part in a variety of activities, including den building, bushcraft and scaling the heights of the climbing wall.

There are many adventures to be had away from school too. Our wide range of trips and activities include a thriving Duke of Edinburgh’s award scheme (for girls from Year 10 upwards), a newly established Exploration Society that’ll take your daughter on adventures like canoe trips, and Overseas Expeditions that’ll really test your daughter’s endurance with gruelling terrains like ice caps and mountains.

The benefits of outdoor education speak for themselves and our girls love it too. It provides great opportunities for fundraising through charity events like the Three Peaks Challenge and Coast to Coast bike rides. It’s a valuable experience in so many ways.

OutdoorLearningUpnah Wood and climbing wall

Upnah Wood was developed in green space behind our Sports Hall. It’s a safe, exciting and fun outdoor area for girls of all ages to enjoy.

The wood incorporates a low ropes course, cargo nets and the very popular firepit, where team building, physical challenges, den building and special themed days happen. The girls love the opportunity to get some fresh air and do something active that’s more exciting than the playground.

The same can be said for the climbing wall, another great use of space of our Sports Hall’s huge outdoor wall. You’ll see girls from across the school challenging themselves on this wall in absolutely safe and supervised conditions. Our Junior School girls are not only encouraged to embrace the outdoors as part of the curriculum, but also as part of our enrichment programmes and extra-curricular learning.

I love the Upnah Woods and the climbing wall best about our school, and I love the marshmallow toasting on the campfire too! – Year 6 girl

OutdoorLearning (2)Duke of Edinburgh Award

Currently girls from Year 10 upwards take part in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme and it’s incredibly popular. It offers the girls a chance to complete expeditions on foot, canoe or horseback, and includes overseas missions too. It’s a great way to experience the beautiful countryside of the Peak District, Yorkshire and the Lake District, while learning teamwork and leadership skills.

Our success rate is phenomenal; last academic year we achieved the highest rate of completions out of all schools in Nottingham!

Achieving things you never thought were possible with my amazing friends! – Year 13 girl

Exploration Society

Our outdoor activities are so popular that there’s demand for even more adventures for the girls. They feel the benefits and their parents can see how much they enjoy themselves, and so our Exploration Society was created.

Providing for year groups 7 – 9 and 10 – 13, opportunities include weekends and whole weeks away, local and national, offering anything from canoeing to climbing and caving. Take a look at our Year 9 outdoor learning week photo gallery.

Even more exciting is the possibility of achieving recognised leadership qualifications as part of these activities.

Overseas Expeditions

There’s a big world of adventure out there and we want our girls to experience it. Overseas Expeditions take them to other countries and cultures, where they pursue various physical activities and learn about geography, history, religions and foreign affairs, first hand.

This equips our girls with academic knowledge and empathy for those in other countries, some less fortunate then themselves, and they return with memories they’ll always treasure. Take a look at some of the amazing recent trips to Norway and Tanzania, including climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.


Take a look at our other Senior School extra-curricular activities and Sixth Form enrichment opportunities and see how much fun the girls have learning valuable skills outside of academia.