Malvern St James Outdoor Pursuits 

Outdoor Pursuits

As part of the provision of co-curricular activities and opportunities at Malvern St James, we offer a programme of outdoor activities ranging from campfires after school to four-day expeditions in wild country.

During the school day, at weekends and after school there is plenty of opportunity to get out and about. We offer a number of different activities according to the season.

Rock-climbing and abseiling, caving and skiing, snowboarding, kayaking and canoeing, mountain biking, windsurfing, woodland school and sailing are some of the events on offer. With our own school swimming pool and kayaks, we can enjoy kayaking in warm waters before venturing out onto local pools and rivers.

Girls are encouraged to take part these challenging activities. They work together in teams, discovering each other's strengths and weakness and how to harness the best out of those taking part. The girls develop skills such as confidence and resilience enabling the girls to be better able to face the challenges of the real world.

Studies have shown that many who take part in Outdoor Pursuits and residentials achieve higher grades than those that don't.  

Special residential trips are organised for Years 7, 9, and 12 particularly timed for important stages of the girls’ school life. A three-day trip for the Year 7s, and an overnight trip for Year 12, serve to ‘break the ice’ and is designed to help the pupils get to know each other, forming new, strong friendships, and to work effectively with each other.

The Year 9 Residential goes to South Wales, where personal challenges, caving and canoeing the River Wye help learning, build up individual confidence, whilst emphasising the importance of teamwork. Both trips promote the importance of having fun as well.

Overseas skiing trips are on offer, taking place in different location annually from Verbiers in Switzerland, to the USA.

There is something happening every weekend. A programme of activities is published every term and girls are encouraged to sign up. These are valuable opportunities to learn and enjoy, be challenged and be adventurous in a safe environment, to make new friends and enjoy new experiences. It is a chance to sample different activities, which may then be continued as a way of life in later years.

Duke of Edinburgh’s Award

The Duke of Edinburugh's Award Logo


Malvern St James is proud to offer The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award at all 3 levels, Bronze, Silver and Gold. The DofE is a national and international Scheme of Achievement recognised by schools, universities and employers worldwide.  The different elements of the Award are designed to be a balance to the academic life, in that they are activities that happen outside of school and outside of the classroom. It fosters self-sufficiency, resilience, responsibility, independence, leadership and teamwork, all within a safe and enjoyable environment.  It encourages the participants to learn new skills, meet new people and to be of service to others outside of school.

Malvern St James BRonze DofE

The time and commitment required to complete the Award increases up through the Levels. Bronze (the gentlest) is open to girls from Year 9, Silver from Year 10 and Gold from the age of 16. Each girl needs to complete four sections - Skill, Volunteering, Physical and Expedition.

The range of activities open to the girls within these sections is huge and is designed to encourage them to learn new skills, leave their comfort zone and develop their own potential. Many of our girls achieve all three levels culminating in a trip to either Buckingham Palace or St James’ Palace where they receive their Gold certificates in the presence of HRH Prince Edward, Duke of Wessex.

The expedition section is overseen by the Outdoor Pursuits Department and it is designed to foster a spirit of adventure and discovery. The girls go out in groups to undertake a self-sufficient journey, which they have planned and prepared themselves. Full training is given in navigation, First Aid, hill craft and campcraft. Training days and expeditions take place in some of the most scenic areas of England and Wales such as the Peak District, Lake District, Snowdonia, Black Mountains and the Brecon Beacons and, of course, in our own Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – The Malvern Hills.

Malvern St James Gold DofE