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Mr Rowlands has shared with us his Outdoor Education report for this term, detailing what the boys have had the chance to enjoy since the beginning of term through our exciting and full programme. You can read his report here. We recognised that loss of competitive sporting fixtures would require an amended programme of weekend activities to keep our boys active and it is great to see so many boys enjoy the opportunities on offer. 

Merchiston Castle School pupil cycling round a tight bend on a mountain bike

I regularly reject the use of the label disingenuously given by some to our younger generation of today – this notion of a ‘snowflake generation’ is not something I see in our boys. Mr Rowland’s report gives ample evidence to support our belief that Merchiston boys have many tremendous opportunities to learn through the experience and the challenge of outdoor education.  At a time where society is (quite rightly) focused on minimising certain critical risks, there is still a valuable place for being able to experience risk and adventure, and perhaps at this time it is even more important that we have that in our lives. 

Merchiston Castle School pupils walking in the Ochil Hills

Here at Merchiston we value outdoor education because it encourages independence and helps develop the skills of resilience required to manage complex challenges in a safe way. Teaching young people to manage risks for themselves and take sensible decisions helps them to develop as thinkers, as well as being supportive and mindful of others. It helps our boys to develop the ability to cope with challenge; it encourages them to think carefully while under pressure, to make informed choices, and to understand and take responsibility for the outcomes. It also encourages a growth mind set by asking ‘what can I do to make this even better next time?’ Ultimately, it promotes a positive ‘can-do’ attitude – something we have been particularly keen to focus on this term when there is so much that we cannot do. 

We are incredibly fortunate to have such a committed group of colleagues who support our outdoor education programme and make such exciting and challenging activities accessible and safe for our boys. Thank you to each and every one, and in particular to Mr Rowlands for his leadership and oversight. I hope the following report inspires us all to find some time to enjoy our wonderful outdoors – safely of course. It has certainly inspired me to get out on my bike this weekend! 

Jonathan Anderson