GCSEand BTEC outdoor activities

GCSE & BTEC courses

A number of secondary schools visit Bowles as part of their ongoing studies. There are many practical activities on the syllabus that can be completed at Bowles. We are able to offer training and assessments in many adventurous sports for both GCSE and BTEC.

Book a residential GCSE training course and receive and assessment day half price!


We can offer assessment in many of the outdoor sports available at Bowles. It is possible to design assessments and training for isolated, conditioned and competitive conditions for;

  • Rock climbing
  • kayaking
  • Orienteering
  • Archery

The time needed for each of these sports will greatly vary depending on the previous experience of the learners.


Due to the nature of the ‘new’ syllabus in GCSE PE we have developed new schemes of work that fit into the new ORC, AQA, WJEC and Edexcel examination bodies.

What we recommend – in order to achieve in these sports we recommend a training course (either residential or a number of day courses) which should then be followed by the students gaining more experience as part of a school club or local group. Once the learning from the training course has been consolidated, we can then run an assessment day.

Examination Board Training days required Consolidation period Assessment days required
OCR 2 days climbing
2 days kayaking
Minimum 6 months or 20 hours 1 day climbing
Kayaking assessments only available for small groups due to the moving water element.
Edexcel 2 days climbing
2 days kayaking
Minimum 6 months or 20 hours 1 day climbing
1 day kayaking
AQA 2 days climbing Minimum 6 months or 20 hours 1 day climbing assessment
WJEC 2 days climbing
2 days kayaking
2 days orienteering
Minimum 12 months or 40 hours
for climbing
(students should be able to lead a indoor sports climb before assessment)
6 months or 20 hours for orienteering
1 day climbing
Kayaking assessments not available
1 day orienteering

GCSE intensive courses

Some schools prefer do do a training and assessment week combined. This can be done for some of the examination boards – the details are below.

ORC – we are unable to offer  intensive courses in rock climbing or kayaking due to the moving water elements and lead climbing section of the syllabus.

Edexcel – The Skills in Isolation can be taught and assessed to a high level but in order to perform well in the Application of Skills the students will require prior experience in rock climbing. This could be part of a climbing club or regular use of a climbing wall. Kayaking or Canoeing can be trained and assessed at Bowles, this would take a three day specific water sports program.

AQA – we are unable to offer kayaking and canoeing assessments as we don’t have access to suitable white water courses or slalom equipment. We can offer assessments in climbing but these are extremely performance based and are only suitable to people with a high degree of skill and prior experience.

WJEC – the new syllabus is similar to AQA in that it is very performanced based. We believe that the syllabus cannot be taught and assessed to to high standard in a short period such as a week. The intensive course is only suitable for people with prior experience. The skills required can really only be learnt through many of hours of practice and an intensive course is therefore only suitable to schools which have their own kayaking/climbing clubs.

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