The Prep School Year 5 pupils set foot on a great adventure to Oakwood, located in Wokingham. Oakwood is a fantastic outdoor activity centre which gave pupils an opportunity to obtain their Level 1 NIBAS (bouldering qualification) as well as challenge them on their personal development skills.  

Amongst the charm of the location, accommodation was split between the comfort of ensuite dormitories or the thrill of embracing nature in safari tents! Half-way through the week, the pupils swapped over so that each one of them experienced the wild side. We were not surprised that majority favoured the safari life. The experience instilled a sense of responsibility as pupils took charge of maintaining their rooms and spaces with a nightly room inspection. Furthermore, community spirit was embraced as everyone pitched in for the clean-up of mealtimes with wiping down tables and hoovering up the crumbs left behind.  

The centre was fantastically run by Julie, whose values and ethos reflected that of the school almost identically. The staff at the centre demonstrated a complete sense of community and personalised sessions depending on the needs of the groups. Getting to know the pupils and their interests allowed for a positive rapport to be built which in turn allowed for the staff team to guide groups through challenges. Whether it was finding courage to conquer climbing walls, abseiling and high ropes courses, or embracing teamwork on low ropes courses and team games, everyone found a way to support somebody else or challenge their own abilities.  

From mastering the art of mountain biking to refining core strength through mountain boarding, Oakwood offered challenges for each pupil’s interests and abilities. Our Year 5 pupils not only progressed towards their bouldering qualifications but also received invaluable life lessons in resilience, teamwork, and self-discovery.