Our approach to learning

Powerful learning experiences in the real world

“To experience uncertainty, excitement, challenge, failure and success on a journey in the mountains, and, on rivers and lakes, is the most powerful learning experience available. People learn more about themselves and their capabilities through outdoor education and adventure activities in wild places, than is possible to measure.” – Matthew Ellis Centre Director Derwent Hill 2017

We work in partnership with you to provide:

  • powerful learning experiences
  • real adventurous activities
  • an experiential learning process

A residential outdoor education course at Derwent Hill is a powerful learning experience which helps young people to be ready for the challenges of school, work and life.  Young people develop confidence, resilience, personal and social skills and teamwork.  They widen their horizons, develop their character, and take away a reservoir of experience from which they draw back at home and school.

Learning is most effective when activities are both enjoyable and challenging, and when they are chosen to match the needs of individuals and the intended outcomes.  We use real adventurous activities out among the inspirational lakes and mountains of the Lake District National Park, and carefully balance the risks and benefits to provide powerful learning experiences.  Our courses are based on an experiential learning process, where individuals have opportunities to reflect upon their experiences and learn from them.

To maximise the learning, each activity group has its own dedicated tutor for the duration of the course where possible.  We work in partnership with you to enable the residential experience to be an integrated part of your children’s education.  We have an inclusive approach, and welcome participants with disabilities.

contact us to discuss your needs

Learning Framework

We have developed a Learning Framework which describes outstanding learning at Derwent Hill:

  • Vision – All students share a vision of why they are involved and what they expect to learn.
  • Challenge – All students face an appropriate level of challenge, and experience working in their stretch zone.
  • Engagement – All students are meaningfully involved for sustained periods of time.
  • Creativity – All students are involved in exploration, experimentation, inquiry, reflection, or self-expression.
  • Ownership – All students are involved in the group’s process, contributing to real decisions and taking personal responsibility.
  • Progress – All students gain knowledge or skills, or improve their attitudes or behaviours, which relate to the intended learning outcomes.

Useful links