A Uniting Church coeducational independent day and boarding school in Adelaide,
South Australia

Early Learning to Year 12

Head of Outdoor Education - Edition 4 - 2021

Mount Arapiles

The two Year 12 Outdoor education classes, which includes more than 25 students, have recently spent five days climbing the crags at Mount Arapiles in Victoria. Students completed top rope climbs, multi-pitch climbs and displayed the talent to be an independent rock climbing expedition member. Numerous environmental issues and studies were also undertaken.


Our Westventure Camps were a great introduction to the school year for over 133 students from ten Houses. Sam Ferguson ('10) has quickly settled into the coordinator role with a highly skilled instructor team of Fraser Darcy ('12), Michaela Mooney ('14), Emily O’Sullivan ('18) and Cam Watson ('20). Sam and the team are also ably supported by an enthusiastic voluntary Old Scholar involvement of Bri Puckridge ('17) and Tom Reardon ('20). The weather has tested the students and staff, with the flexibility of the program proving that the student outcomes can be achieved despite a degree of modification and adapting to deal with heat, monsoonal rain or strong winds.

Students have excelled in 5km and 17 km running/jogging/walking activities, kayaking and sailing instruction, two significant two and three day expeditions and a wealth of learning activities that foster growth, development and self-discovery.

The Outdoor Education Staff have been impressed with the Year 10 cohort and this has been re-enforced by the many visitors, including the Principal, Head of Senior School, Heads of House and School House leaders who have visited the Westventure campus.

Holiday Expeditions

We will be conducting a number of expeditions over Term 1.

20 Duke of Edinburgh's International Award Program students can visit Innes National Park on the Yorke Peninsula for a four-day bushwalk, intermixed with a bit of snorkelling and beachcombing activities. A consent form can be downloaded below.

Duke of Edinburgh's International Award Program

Now that we are in term 1 of a new year, students should be looking at their Bronze, Silver and Gold ORB (Online Record Books) and assessing whether they could finish their relevant Award Level early this year in anticipation of moving onto the next level.

Sometimes many areas are completed and it just needs the recording and sign-off requirements to be met. Given the extra incentive of 10 SACE credits for each of the Bronze and Silver Awards and 20 credits for the prestigious Gold Award, I urge students to take this task on.

2021 Outdoor Education Calendar

All consent forms for all trips are available on request by contacting me via Email.

2021 Year 7, 8 and 9 Camps

Following on from the introduction of Year 7 in 2020, and modifications to Outdoor Education Program offerings due to COVID-19 interruptions, we are pleased to confirm the following arrangements for Term 2 2021.

Year 9

During Week 1 (Tuesday 20 to Friday 23 April) and Week 2 (Tuesday 27 to Friday 30 April) of Term 2, all Year 9 students will complete a four-day lightweight expedition from the following choices:

  1. Innes National Park Bushwalk - Involving scenic coastal and beach walking and opportunities to snorkel in secluded bays.
  2. Katarapko Creek Kayaking - Involving scenic kayaking on the backwaters of the Murray River between Berri and Loxton with opportunities for swimming and fishing.
  3. Mawson Trail Mountain Bike touring - Involving biking on the Mawson Trail between Laura and Wirrabara and opportunities to trail ride on the famous Melrose mountain bike tracks.

All expeditions will be aimed as an introduction to the outdoor activity and expedition skills building on the experience gained on the Year 8 Camp. 9.1, 9.2 and half of 9.3 will attend in Week 1 and 9.4, 9.5 and the rest of 9.3 will attend in Week 2.

Numbers will be capped at a maximum of 20-25 students for each offering due to equipment and risk management protocols.

Year 8

During Week 5 (Monday 17 to Friday 21 May) of Term 2, all Year 8 students will complete a five-day Outdoor Education program involving staying at Mylor Baptist Adventure Centre participating in high ropes and other adventure challenges, plus an extended bushwalking expedition in the vicinity of Kuitpo Forest.

Year 7

During Week 3 (Monday 3 Friday 7 May) of Term 2, all Year 7 students will complete a three-day Outdoor Education program at Douglas Scrub and Onkaparinga Gorge near McLaren Flat. Students will participate in their class groups and involve themselves in orienteering, abseiling, high ropes and bush-dancing activities whilst camping in tents and cooking on Trangia stoves.

Details for these camps have been emailed to parents.

New Zealand 2021

In December a group of 33 Duke of Edinburgh students will complete the famous Gillespie Pass alpine walking circuit. The students will encounter snow in the pass, ice-laden lakes and glorious scenery. The four-day walk will be followed up with two days of white-water kayaking on the Hawea River and then a few days of rock climbing, canyoning and optional adventure activities in and around the Adventure Capital of Queenstown. These end-of-year trips are a great culminating experience for students who are keen to pursue their involvement in expeditions in environments totally diverse from SA.

Only 1 vacancy for the trip remains. Further details about the Trip can be found in the document below.

To see a video of the 2018 trip, please visit https://youtu.be/d5RsNLNwo84. If you have any queries about the Trip, then please contact me via Email.

Gordon Begg
Head of Outdoor Education