Camps Week at Bedales Prep

Bedales Prep

The corridors of Bedales Prep School were quieter than usual during the week leading up to half term (20-24 May) as staff and students from all year groups embarked on Camps Week. The annual trip saw the students venture away from the Bedales estate to exciting locations across the UK and overseas for five days of team building, thrilling activities and new experiences.  

Children in Group 1 (Year 4) spent the first two days locally, with a pool party at the Bedales swimming pool on Monday and a trip to the Andrew Simpson Centre in Portsmouth on Tuesday, where they took part in a range of activities, from standup paddleboarding and climbing to archery.

On Wednesday they eagerly headed to the New Forest for the remaining three days of Camps Week, where they stayed at the sustainable and environmentally friendly ‘pod village’, enjoying laser tag, low ropes, wildlife walks and more.

Group 2 (Year 5) journeyed to Hindleap Warren Adventure Centre in East Sussex, where they spent five days embracing the outdoors and developing their teamwork skills despite the less-than-favourable weather. Groups took part in shelter building, orienteering and the ‘Mud Olympics’, with particular highlights of the week being the leap of faith and obstacle course. 

Group 3 (Year 6) travelled to the Pembrokeshire coast in Wales for their Camps Week, fortunate to experience good weather and stunning sea views for their adventures. The children’s positive ‘can do’ attitude was striking as they took on challenging activities such as surfing, rock climbing, coasteering and abseiling.   

Block 1 (Year 7) headed to Dartmoor in Devon, getting stuck in with adrenaline-fueled activities such as axe throwing, raft building and gorge scrambling, where they climbed up waterfalls and braved the rapids. The students also completed an impressive 13km scenic hike to Yes Tor, the second highest point on Dartmoor, where they encountered a variety of flora and fauna including horses, frogs and even an adder. 

Students in Block 2 (Year 8) felt particularly excited about their week as they took the ferry from Portsmouth Harbour to Normandy, France. The oldest year group in the Prep School embraced the warm sunshine and spent their first evening playing tag on the beach at sunset. The following days were filled with new experiences and learning opportunities such as sand sailing (char à voile), exploring the streets of Le Mont St Michel and expanding their knowledge of D-Day at Arromanches-les-Bains. Their stay in France also allowed students to develop their linguistic skills, providing them plentiful chances to practise their French speaking and listening skills to support their language learning. 

Camps Week provides students with valuable learning opportunities beyond the classroom, where they can build confidence and strengthen meaningful relationships through shared experiences with peers and teachers. The trips aim to inspire, motivate and challenge children, providing them with a sense of achievement, adventure, and discovery, all whilst creating lasting memories. It is especially poignant for Block 2 (Year 8) students celebrating their time at the Prep as they prepare to continue their Bedales journey at the Senior School in September.

Head of Bedales Prep Colin Baty was able to join many of the staff and students on their adventures, making his way from East Sussex, where he spent time with Group 2 (Year 5), to St Davids on the Pembrokeshire coast, Wales, where he caught up with Group 3 (Year 6). Colin was also able to visit Block 1 (Year 7) on their camp in Okehampton, Devon.  

Colin said, “Real world experiences, lasting memories and skills for life – that's why we’re so passionate about Camps Week. Watching our students work together, embrace challenges and come back with unforgettable stories is what makes this week so special."

Read more about Camps Week 2024 here