Outdoor education at Dover Court starts as young as Early Years with children having flexible access to outside spaces to spark their imagination and develop their gross and fine motor skills. Learning in early years blends child-initiated learning and teacher-led activities, and the outside spaces are key to this programme and their development. Our lush campus is where students can go on expeditions, climb trees, run on real grass and get muddy during playtime.
The Dover Court outdoor education programme is fully integrated into the curriculum and has been designed to balance challenge with independence. The programme graduates from day trips in Early Years to Expeditions in Secondary, with students spending more time away from home and participating in increasingly challenging activities. Students are encouraged to step outside their comfort zones to build their confidence and develop key skills, such as resilience and collaboration. We want all our students to leave DCIS as global citizens, well aware of the world around them and prepared for any challenges their future may hold.
In addition to the residential trips that commence in Year 3, our students also have access to expedition opportunities through Nord Anglia Education. Each year students from years 9 and upwards can join students from schools all over the world at one of two expedition centres, located in Switzerland and Tanzania.
In May this year, two groups of Secondary students travelled to Switzerland for their Alpine adventure; for some this was their second trip and as such were taking part in the advanced mountaineering challenge. The purpose of the expeditions is to guide students in setting and achieving their own personal targets and milestones. Students are encouraged to take calculated risks and persevere when the challenges become more difficult. They learn to lead others, as well as be an active part of a group.
The Personal Challenge Expedition took the students to Les Martinets in the Swiss Alps. It is one of our physically most challenging expeditions, where the students must push their limits. Set in the breath-taking Swiss Alps, the students undertook a journey through the mountains, while working in teams together with students from other Nord Anglia schools to overcome challenges such as weather, altitude, navigation and cooking.
“The Les Martinets expedition was an amazing trip, I was challenged to do things I’d never thought I’d be able to do and I loved working together with students from the other NAE schools, we became really close friends during our time together.” Jenna, Year 9
“I have been on two of the Switzerland expeditions, this year I was part of the advanced expedition. It is one of the best things I’ve ever done in my life.” Hugh, Year 10
“The Personal Challenge Expedition was a fantastic experience for both students and staff. It truly tested the students’ determination and character, the highlights being an epic two day hike up into the snow, where we saw marmots and ibex and visiting a Glacier at 3000m, walking across it on snow shoes to eat our lunch overlooking the blue ice of the glacier itself.” Mrs Harris, Trip Leader