There is a wide range of outdoor pursuits activities on offer at Queen’s, led by a number of qualified and highly experienced members of staff. There is always something on offer during the week and trips go further afield most weekends.
This caters for everybody from the novice to the experienced Grade 4 paddler. There are regular sessions in the school pool to improve skills and Queen’s has a team which competes in the South West Canoe Polo league. River trips are run regularly to Dartmoor, Exmoor and North Wales. There is also an overseas expedition each Summer and recently these have included the Arctic, Norway, Austrian Alps and the French Alps.
Diving also takes place throughout the year. The training is based in the school pool and pupils often work their way up to the B.S.A.C Sports Diver and Dive Leader awards. There are also trips out to local reservoirs and the South Devon coast as well as overseas expeditions to Gozo and Tenerife during the holidays.
Climbing takes place throughout the year at a number of local climbing walls, and then when the rock warms up in the summer, pupils are regularly taken to some of the limestone crags of the Mendips, quarry crags or the granite Tors of Dartmoor. There are also regular trips each summer to the sea cliffs of Cornwall, the sunny beachside crags of Portland and the Gower Peninsula. Over the Easter holidays a group of students head out to Spain in search of unpolished bolted limestone and a tan!
Pupils are lucky enough to be only 15 minutes away from the Quantocks where there is some of the best cross country riding in England. During the Summer Term pupils of all abilities are able to experience technical downhill as well as fast open riding at the purpose-built trails of Haldon Forest, near Exeter.
This has recently been reintroduced at Queen's and after a highly successful water sports trip to France, enthusiasm is high. Year 7 sail at Wimbleball Reservoir during their integration day and sailing activities are also arranged on Sundays during the Summer and Autumn Terms.
This takes place occasionally and allows pupils to experience a totally different world underground. The limestone caves of the Mendips are 45 minutes away and South Wales also provides many excellent venues.
Groups of students ride on a bi-weekly basis at a local trekking and riding centre. Many local pupils have their own horses and achieve significant success not only regionally but nationally in show jumping, dressage and one day events.
Every year the Queen’s Expedition Group takes on a Challenge during the Autumn and Spring half-terms. Last October the group attempted the Welsh 3000s in Snowdonia (defeated by inclement weather) and in February we completed the Coast to Coast Cycle Challenge (Ilfracombe to Plymouth – 102 miles) in two days. Other Expeditions have included the River Dart Source to Sea – walking and open boating - and also cycling the Taff Trail from Brecon to Cardiff Bay.
Year 8 and Year 9 Adventure Challenges
Every summer term both Year 8 and Year 9 pupils go on a residential (camping) Adventure Challenge, Year 8 to the Wye Valley and Year 9 to the Brecon Beacons. The Year 8 activities include walking, cycling and open boating while the Year 9 pupils try gorge walking, geo-caching and caving and a walk around a number of impressive waterfalls. These two adventures provide a challenging but safe environment in which pupils can develop their self-confidence, initiative, self-reliance and teamwork skills away from the confines of the school site.