Outdoor Education

The Outdoor Education Programme at Cargilfield provides an excellent opportunity for our children to experience learning through adventure!

Our location, close to the Forth and adjacent to local parkland, gives us easy access to a wide range of adventure sports including; mountain biking, climbing, skiing, kayaking, sailing, survival skills, hill walking and team building activities.

The Benefits

These activities are designed to promote team work, communication, leadership, resilience and fitness in a variety of outdoor environments. Although some of the team building activities will take place on the school site, there is no restriction on using local venues such as the Dalmeny Estate, Cammo Estate, Union Canal, Ratho Climbing Centre and parts of the Almond Valley and Forth shoreline, including Cramond Island.

We hope that this programme will offer a challenging alternative to traditional team games and be available to all those who are interested in trying something different.

It is widely recognised that Outdoor Education can provide skills for life; a recent conference in Edinburgh highlighted the impact of adventure activities upon personal and social development at Gordonstoun School.

Many old boys and girls pointed to the positive impact that “Out of Classroom Learning Experiences” had on their confidence, resilience and teamwork, leading on to success in their chosen fields later in life. We also hope that our children will enjoy and benefit from their experiences in a similar way!



Having the Climbing Centre at Ratho so close to us provides lots of opportunities for our keen climbers to head over twice a week to improve their skills on what is Europe’s largest indoor climbing wall. It is marvellous to see so many children keen to test themselves and develop the skills to unlock the many testing boulder problems. Although strength and agility are core to becoming a competent climber; determination, courage, teamwork and problem solving are also qualities which are developed in a sport which has been likened to “vertical chess”.

In addition to bouldering (low level climbing above crash mats without ropes), children can progress to roped climbing and are entered into the NICAS scheme which monitors and certificates skills and progress. Working together, supporting one another and learning new skills are key aspects of the outdoor pursuits programme here at Cargilfield and climbing is always a very popular past time with lots of children eager to take part and challenge themselves.



Mountain biking takes place every afternoon and groups of children head out in to the countryside which is just around the corner from Cargilfield, be that down to the beach at Cramond, up the River Almond or even further afield to the Dalmeny Estate and South Queensferry. The children thoroughly enjoy these sessions, giving them the chance to keep fit and encourage each other when the going gets tought. We are fortunate to have a large fleet of bikes here at school, suitable for all ages, and on return from muddy adventures, children even get to clean, oil and maintain the bikes too!

Hill Walking

There are lots of opportunities for hill walking on the many camping trips which take place throughout the year; from low level climbs to bagging munros, to the annual school sponsopred walk round the Pentland Hills to climbing Scafell Pike, there is something for everybody, and that sense of satisfaction on reaching the top and admiring the view is a feeling like no other!

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