Staff Focus – Mr Godfrey

Mr Godfrey has taught at The Abbey since 2008 where there was very little Outdoor Education offered. Mr Godfrey started looking at Outdoor Education options and also saw the introduction of the newly popular DofE Award. 

However, Mr Godfrey has been involved in Outdoor Education since 1995, working at various Outdoor Centres as an Instructor and as an Expedition Leader before joining The Abbey. He has written below his thoughts on Outdoor Education and why he thinks it is an important addition to an Abbey education. 

‘It has been fantastic to finally get outside and run some Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Expeditions during October half term. The weather challenged us with gale force winds and torrential rain but this just added to the adventure. I am always impressed by Abbey girls’ ability to carry on with enthusiasm, their desire to enjoy the adventure no matter what is thrown at them and their developing dynamic mind set. There were some very wet students last week!! 

Why do we value Outdoor Education at The Abbey?

 It is this resilience, determination and adaptability that we hope to encourage, or to put it another way – giving the students the opportunity to find out how to cope when things are different or difficult. 

Our adventures are not just about climbing cliffs, canoeing down rivers or exploring mountains. It may well be that cooking for ourselves, sleeping in a different place, being away from home, managing our own kit or spending all day outside are key learning experiences.

 Another important aim of our Outdoor Education is to provide opportunities to engage with the outdoors, to actually spend time outside in the countryside and be away from the everyday routines and pressures including homelife, academic life and internet life. It is noticeable on our trips that there isn’t just a buzz from enjoying an activity but also a calm happy positive atmosphere which comes from just spending time outside with friends. 

We now have a fantastic progression of Outdoor Education which runs through the Senior School from year group camps in Upper III and Lower IV, through caving and rock-climbing weekends, overseas expeditions and unaccompanied self-sufficient Silver and Gold DofE Expeditions. As they move up the school the students can take part in some great adventures – be it hiking through the mountains, canoeing down rapids or sleeping in a tent and cooking on a camp stove. 

It has been a strange few months but I am now looking forward to organising our outdoor trips for 2021 and hopefully seeing the students enjoying the great outdoors.’ 

Mr Godfrey, DofE and Outdoor Education Director