Outdoor Pursuits

Outdoor Pursuits has a strong tradition at Malvern College. The school is equipped with its own climbing wall, a fleet of canoes, white-water and polo kayaks, mountain bikes and mountaineering equipment. The location of Malvern, with the Hills behind us and so close to the rivers Wye and Severn as well as to the Brecon Beacons, allows the organisation of regular trips of an adventurous nature. 

Crossing the English Channel on paddle boards - Malvern College to Paris Expedition.

The Outdoor Pursuits department run regular co-curricular clubs for climbing, kayak polo, mountain biking, horse-riding, scuba-diving and white-water kayaking. In addition to these weekly clubs, we run an outdoor pursuits trip each term, rotating through the different clubs. During most holidays, trips are run further afield; these include ventures into Wales, the Lake District, the Peak District, and more.

The provision of outdoor pursuits at Malvern College has a larger purpose than acquiring the requisite skill set. Here we make the most of adventurous activity to instil in our pupils, the important human values of teamwork, appropriate risk-taking, leadership and independence. They are all present in the activities we undertake and strengthen individual resolve and confidence.

Foundation Year

In their first year at Malvern College, pupils are encouraged to try a variety of adventurous activities through field days to outdoor centres, weekly co-curricular activities and clubs. There are many kinds of trips out of school, including a visit to our bunkhouse at Cwm Llwch, a cottage in the Brecon Beacons. In the Foundation Year (FY), pupils are enrolled in the ‘FY Award’ - a scheme which encourages our pupils to engage in a wide variety of co-curricular commitments and, in addition, take part in two walking expeditions, the first of which is across the stunning Malvern Hills. The FY’s final trip of the year is a whole year group expedition to the Isle of Man, where pupils try their hands at a staggering array of outdoor activities, including sea kayaking, coasteering, mountain biking, gorge walking, rock climbing, mounting walking and more. During this residential, the pupils complete their final expedition and the FY Award.

Remove and Hundred

In the Remove, a vast array of co-curricular activities are available to the pupils in the comprehensive CCA programme. During the Autumn term all Remove pupils take part in a ‘round robin’ exercise comprising a good number of the activities available, giving them a taste of what is involved in each. In the Lent term, pupils are given the option to pursue the activities which interest them most and they also have the opportunity to enrol for the Duke of Edinburgh Silver Award Scheme. A proportion of this award involves completing two expeditions and these can devise around walking, kayaking, canoeing, mountain biking or stand-up paddle boarding. The DofE Silver Award bridges the Remove and Hundred year groups.

Through these expeditions and activities our pupils are encouraged to build up their individual skills, their sense of working as a team, and their leadership potential. They work towards becoming self-reliant and confident that they can negotiate the task. Older pupils are often placed in positions of responsibility on these trips and progress to achieving nationally recognised leadership and instructional awards.

Sixth Form

Members of the Sixth Form have greater responsibility for the management of their own time and are free to choose from the array of activities on offer. Pupils can sign up to the Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award and every two years the Outdoor Pursuits department run a multi activity adventure expedition utilising all of the outdoor provision we offer at the College. In 2017 a team of pupils crossed the landmass and rivers of Costa Rica coast-to-coast by walking, kayaking, mountain biking and rafting for over 21 days. In alternate years, specialised activity trips are offered - in the summer of 2018 a group of Sixth Form pupils will head to the Soca Valley in Slovenia for a white-water kayaking trip in the Julian Alps. Other annual trips include skiing and surfing to various locations. In recent years, pupils have been mountaineering in the Pyrenees, scuba diving in Malta and paragliding to the Mont Blanc Massif. In addition, there is a yearly winter mountaineering expedition to the Scottish Highlands and many other expedition opportunities provided through the CCF and the Duke of Edinburgh schemes.

To keep up to date with the Outdoor Pursuits department at Malvern College, visit the dedicated social media:




Outdoor Pursuits and Leadership Co-ordinator: Jay Watts

Jay joined Malvern College as our Outdoor Pursuits Instructor in September 2014. In a past life he spent some years backpacking around the world, making the most of the opportunity to travel. Once back in the UK, Jay split his time between the Lake District where he worked with disadvantaged youths in the outdoors, and his adopted home, the Isle of Man, where he instructed in a range of outdoor activities such as; sea kayaking, coasteering and rock climbing. Working at Malvern College Jay leads the busy Outdoor Pursuits programme overseeing climbing, mountain biking, canoeing, kayaking, kayak polo, mountain walking and team building. He also helps to run Duke of Edinburgh & Combined Cadet Force trips throughout the year.