Computing students tested to the limit during outward bound challenge

Sixth form computing students at Ron Dearing UTC were pushed out of their comfort zones during a challenging outward bound exercise designed to test their skills to the limit.

Nine Year 13 students embraced the five-day challenge in Ullswater in the Lake District, which aimed to build their confidence, communication, teamwork abilities, leadership skills and resilience.

The trip, which went ahead during half term, will help the students to draw on these skills as they approach their coursework and exam period in school and prepare for their futures.

It is the second time Ron Dearing UTC staff have organised the visit through the Outward Bound Trust, which inspires young people to exceed their potential. The charity partners with schools, colleges, employers and youth groups to teach young people to believe in themselves.

Jason White, Head of Computing at Ron Dearing UTC, and Digital Teacher Robbie Olsen accompanied the students on the trip, which is now part of the annual school calendar.

The Ron Dearing UTC students on the outward bound challenge.


The challenge included team games, a jog and dip into a lake, cliff jumping, mountain climbing and gorge walking up waterfalls in pairs while guiding their blindfolded peers to the top.

They also completed an overnight expedition, which unexpectedly fell during the recent Storm Ciarán, and the students had to brave intense wind and rain to reach their camp and set up tents for the night.

Robbie said: “We’re so proud of all the students who completed this amazing challenge. They showed such resilience and faced each situation head-on.

“It was a fantastic team effort and they all helped each other through it with grit, determination and perseverance.

“On the final night, we sat around a campfire and reflected on what everyone had achieved and learnt, followed by the students presenting their thoughts to the group.

“They will be able to draw on these skills and use them in school for their upcoming studies, coursework and exams, as well as in future employment or at university.

The Ron Dearing UTC students camped in Ullswater in the Lake District.


“If they’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed, they know they already have the skills and tools to achieve their goals and deadlines.”

Year 13 computing student Zakk Amers-Delph, who completed the challenge, said: “I found the whole experience very enjoyable but the expedition pushed me most.

“We were in the middle of a storm and it was a really hard challenge, which meant most people were out of their comfort zones. I helped others up the mountain and hopefully provided some encouragement and support, helping to set up tents.

“I learnt a lot about my classmates and about myself and what I’m able to achieve. I also gained more time management and communication skills, which will be great for projects, apprenticeships or university in the future.”

Fellow Year 13 computing student Liv Brown said: “I definitely built up my resilience and communication skills and learnt more about leadership and public speaking during the challenge.

“The expedition was very challenging, especially in harsh weather, and I carried my body weight on my back. I have a real sense of achievement from it and have gained skills for life.”