L really enjoyed Yenworthy. She came back much more confident and with a real 'I can do this' attitude'

J got to succeed at Yenworthy in a way he often finds challenging to do in class. His self esteem really improved

S benefited hugely from this visit. He is definitely within his comfort zone when doing adventurous activities. S has low levels of speech and language skills but this was not evident during the week! Since returning to school, S has enjoyed sharing his experiences and has produced some great writing.

A struggles at school but the opportunity for him to go to Woodlands meant he could succeed just like his peers and even outshine them. He usually would give up easily but Woodlands staff encouraged him to persist and we expect this will change his attitude to school work

S's biggest challenge was her own fear. She appeared at times on the verge of disengaging but was open to supportive interventions and made huge steps forward in addressing her fears. It was a privilege to work with her and her peers strongly endorsed her achievement

J performed wonderfully all week. He seemed to embrace the kinaesthetic nature of the programme, taking on every challenge and engaing in a mature and effective way with our staff. This all surprised his teachers.

T had a wonderful week and triumphed over his concerns about being away from home. His enthusiasm and commitment carried him through all the challenges - a great effort.

A came home buzzing from Woodlands. He learned that he can give anything a try, even if it frightens him and trying new things has made his confidence grow. Thank you for giving him that opportunity.

Since going to Yenworthy, S has gained so much more confidence in herself. She did things I never dreamed she would manage. She said she trusted B (instructor) and talked to him - a real surprise!

I have learned that T can do anything if he puts his mind to it. He has become more confident in lots of ways. He was so brave to leave us and go away. He has come back being much more helpful doing things around the home!

I really enjoyed Yenworthy and am really glad I went. I hadn't wanted to go and leave my family for 5 whole days. I felt scared. My friends and teachers all helped me. The best activity was the zip wire. I felt so proud when I'd done it; I learned to be much braver.

The best thing was caving. I found the jobs we had to do difficult to remember but learned that everyone helping makes it all easier for us to do them.

My favourite part of the week was pushing myself to be the leader when we were climbing the waterfall.. I struggled doing the spaghetti tangle; we really had to try hard to work as a team for it to work. I learned to include others more. I learned a lot about my friend, that he was brave and helpful.

M was scared sometimes but he found his courage and distracted himself by helping other children who were more frightened (parent)

The outdoor learning experiences were great opportunities for him to challenge himself as well as overcoming fears. This was certainly a beneficial trip for M both educationally and socially and he has become more independent in his learning (teacher)

Although I was really frightened, people encouraged me and made me confident. (child)

After completing the high ropes course, T became very calm and collected and offered advice to others, including the headteacher, to help them cross one of the high obstacles. (teacher)

The best thing was spending lots of quality time with my friends, getting to know them better and enjoying the experiences together (child)



COMPETITION (1) OOLT was a founding member (membership number 14) of the COUNCIL FOR LEARNING OUTSIDE THE CLASSROOM

The Council is 10 years old this year and is celebrating with a competition : win a fantastic LOtC experience for your class!

To celebrate our 10th birthday during 2019 we and our media partner, School Travel Organiser, are offering you the chance to WIN one of 11 fantastic learning outside the classroom experiences.

Prizes have been donated by our LOtC Quality Badge providers so you can be assured of a safe and great visit.

Competition closes at 5pm Wednesday 27 March 2019

Please find more details and a link to enter here.

COMPETITION (2) FRIENDS OF HILL END 'We love Hill End because...'

Tell us why you love Hill End with a picture or a photo(s) - mounted and with a descriptive caption

entry by 12.00 on Saturday 15 June at the Hill End ffennell festival - the competition will be judged by public vote on the day

Please see this PDF for details and an entry form


THANKS AND BEST WISHES to retiring Trustee CLIVE PETERS, one time headteacher of the Ormerod School and then of the SENSS team. Clive was a Trustee from January 2004, and was Chair from 2005 to 2017. He did an amazing amount of work promoting outdoor learning and searching for grants for the Bursary.

There are now only 4 OOLT Trustees - PLEASE CONTACT US if you would like to explore the idea of joining us or supporting us in any other way


GS Exiles MC AGM raffle

St Michael's School, Marston cake sale

Whitchurch School CD sales


17 children & young people from 8 schools received bursaries totalling £2,440


GS Exiles MC AGM raffle

Stadhampton School cake sale

Lesley Williams wingwalk sponsorship


Just 5 children & young people from 4 schools received bursaries totalling £720. There were no further applications

Lesley Williams, OOLT Secretary to the Trustees : reports on her WINGWALK (aka Wingsit) on Saturday 2 September 2017

At Chiltern Air Park, Ipsden near Wallingford, at around 1.10 pm, I landed having completed my promised crazy, just slightly scary 10 minute 'wingwalk' - it's more accurately a 'wingsit' but that doesn't sound nearly so challenging - strapped in a harness & rig on the top of a 1945 Boeing Stearman biplane. The most accurate adjectives to describe the experience : surreal and stimulating.

It was a beautiful sunny day so the view from 500 feet was stunning. We didn't loop the loop but banked quite steeply several times and there was one dive, increasing the speed from 80mph to 130mph.

At that speed, it's of course very windy (surprise!) so waving is difficult and the most annoying problem was a runny nose! Thus the video taken by the wing-mounted camera shows several inelegant sleeve wipes! I actually find it scarier to watch that than the actual flight.

It was great to have 17 supporters including 2 OOLT Trustees - and 11 of us enjoyed a relaxed lunch at the Perch & Pike, South Stoke afterwards.

I 'won' the experience in a Dorchester Festival online charity auction, which benefitted the Sue Ryder hospice, Nettlebed, and used it to raise funds for Christian Aid - a paper form - and for Oxfordshire Outdoor Learning Trust with an on line Just Giving page.

I raised £650 for Christian Aid and £1,240 for OOLT, both with gift aid added.

FUNDRAISING WINERY EVENING : Friday 11 September 2015 : 6.00-8.00 pm

At award winning Brightwell Vineyard, Wallingford, OX10 8LJ

Enjoy a tour of of the vines where the grapes will be nearly ripe - hear about and see the winemaking process - taste the results! £15 a head

Book your places now, enquiries to Lesley Williams (Secretary) on 07982 439 828
[email protected]


This support group for the Hill End Centre was established through the auspices of OOLT early in 2013. It is now independent, offering family workshops, person power for Hill End's own events and applying for grants. In November 2014, the Friends were one of 161 Community groups who won a £500 grant in a public vote through Skipton Building Society's Grassroots Giving scheme. The money is to purchase a mower for the Hill End Volunteer Team which undertakes maintenance work on the site and the local footpath network.



We acknowledge donations to the Trust/Bursary during 2014

  • GS Exiles Mountaineering Club - proceeds of a raffle at their AGM
  • Glasbury Charity Quizzers
  • Doris Field Charitable Trust - for updating leaflets & certificates


The OOLT Trustees (as at February 2015) are

  • Clive Peters (Chair)
  • Lesley Williams (Secretary/Treasurer)
  • Graham Jones
  • Keith Eaton
  • Maggie Willis
  • Keith Ponsford
  • Mike Salter
  • Yvette Fay

We thank those who have served as Trustees but stepped down over the past 18 months, because of change of their work role or pressure of work: Nancy Townsend, Carol Nielsen, Sally Withey, Helen Atkinson, Sam Larsen, Alan Parsons, James Watt

Outdoor Learning Cards | course 2 | 01.01.14

A further 18 staff from 10 schools were trained and demonstrated how imaginative and creative primary teachers can be, in adapting activities

Feedback from the two courses indicates the impact of the training can be downloaded here.

Outdoor Learning Cards | course 1 | 24.10.13

by the Outdoor Education Advisers' Panel

On October 24, 18 staff from 9 Oxfordshire primary schools enjoyed a day's practical training on the use of the Outdoor Learning Cards which have been developed by the Outdoor Education Advisers' Panel, at Hill End, sponsored by OOLT. They experienced challenge team games, bouldering, building a shelter, firelighting in order to cook lunch in a cooperative fashion (and wash up), compass work and orienteering. All went home with the excellent pack - cards, handbook and cd - ready to develop the outdoor learning in their schools.

They have committed to sharing good practice with local schools during next year.

OOLT hopes to repeat the sponsorship for another 10 schools in 2014. Any school interested in taking up the offer (OOLT pays the £100 per staff member course fee; the school pays for the resource pack) should contact Lesley Williams (who also enjoyed the course!)

End to End Trail, August 19th 2013


Over 50 family and friends - including his grandfather Brian, who established Yenworthy Lodge on Exmoor, the Outdoor Education Centre which inspired Chris to fundraise for OOLT - celebrated Chris' achievement at a garden party back home in Barnet, North London on 11 August - and helped to raise the sponsorship total to £2,590 plus gift aid. The Just Giving page will remain open for a couple of months to receive further congratulatory donations.

Chris is now back at work at Go Ape, Trent Park, prior to embarking on an Outdoor Leadership degree course at University of Derby, Buxton in September. He is already talking about finding a further challenge.......

THANKS AGAIN to him and his family for their support for OOLT

End to End Trail, August 9th 2013

JustGiving | Facebook | Twitter

CONGRATULATIONS AND THANKS to Christien Greaves who reached John O'Groats on Friday 9 August, day 98 of LEJOG, having started on Saturday 4 May. Current sponsorship is (£2,400) but he's sure to hit the £2,500 target at the celebration party back home in Barnet on Sunday 11 August. OOLT is as excited and proud as are his parents of his achievement!

End to End Trail, May – July 2013

JustGiving | Facebook | Twitter

19 year old Chris Greaves is using the last part of his gap year to raise funds for the Dave Thorne Bursary by walking 1,200 miles for us! He was inspired by a few weeks’ work experience last September at Yenworthy Lodge on Exmoor (where his grandfather Brian was Head of Centre) and his observation of the impact of their time spent there on the children. He is determined to help ensure young people don’t miss out!

The trail doesn’t come through Oxfordshire but Chris will visit Yenworthy Lodge and Woodlands and would welcome anyone who can arrange to meet him and share a day or two’s walking.

Download his leaflet HERE

OOLT wishes to thank the following companies and organisations for sponsorship in cash or kind:

We know Chris will complete the challenge - he won't be beaten - but let's ensure he reaches his fundraising target, too

September 2012

15th: Outdoor learning and play day at Hill End Centre. OOLT had an information stand with co-operative games for families to enjoy.

Download poster HERE

June 2011/12

Toby West, an Oxfordshire teacher celebrated his 40th birthday by accepting 40 challenges during the year including a headshave, the Iron Man Challenge on Exmoor and the five UK peaks in 48 hours. He raised £1,332 in sponsorship for the Dave Thorne Bursary.

Facebook JustGiving © 2011 Roy Nielsen