Meriden girls find adventure, challenge and peace in the great outdoors. The School’s Outdoor Education program offers girls the opportunity to step outside their comfort zone, learn life lessons, build resilience and forge strong friendships. Students thrive while undertaking adventurous activities that transform their classroom curriculum into real-life experiences.
The Outdoor Education program in the Junior School focuses on developing students’ social skills, confidence and independence. Students in Years 2 to 6 attend a camp annually. Commencing with a single day camp in Year 2, the camps increase in duration as girls progress through their school journey.
Specialist outdoor education staff organise a range of interesting, challenging and age-appropriate activities which can include bike-riding, sailing, canoeing, orienteering, archery and hiking. All activities help the students develop the skills to move safely in the natural environment while also learning how to appreciate and preserve the natural world. Pastoral activities strengthen the connections between peers and between the students and teaching staff.
Educational research has shown that Outdoor Education supports students’ health and wellbeing, provides the foundations for ecological literacy, and helps young people to develop leadership, communication and teamwork skills, to assess risk and make sound judgements.
The School’s Outdoor Education programs bring much joy to the students who look forward to the new experiences and friendships they gain with each passing year in their time away from the classroom.
Year 7 students begin their Senior School journey by embarking on Friendship Camp, which offers team-building and other fun activities. The camp is designed to help girls form long-lasting friendships through shared experiences and shows the girls they are effective and valuable as individuals and as members of a team.
The Year 8 Expedition Camp expands students’ horizons and inspires their love for the natural environment. Students participate in challenging activities in a safe, supportive setting, building their independence, resilience and interpersonal skills.
Year 9 is known as the “Year of Service” and girls may volunteer to participate in a series of day trips or overnight camps. These programs allow the girls to undertake service activities that benefit local, Indigenous and remote communities, supporting their ever-widening worldview and demonstrating the power of the individual in effecting positive change in the world.
Duke of Edinburgh’s Award
The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award is a program of self-development, adventure and fun. It is open to young people between the ages of fourteen and twenty-five.
The Award operates in over 130 countries and Meriden is an Award Unit registered in New South Wales.
There are three levels to the Award: Bronze for those who are fourteen years and over; Silver for fifteen years and over; and Gold for those sixteen years and over. Students can commence the program in Year 9 and continue at their own pace to complete the different levels. There are four Sections that a candidate must complete in order to attain an Award. These are Service, Skills, Physical Recreation and Adventurous Journeys. There is also a fifth section, the Residential Project, required at Gold level. The attainment of an Award demonstrates self-discipline, enterprise and motivation.
Many girls at Meriden choose to be part of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and find the experience to be both exciting and valuable for their path to tertiary study and employment after school.
Senior School students can elect to become cadets of Meriden Company, part of the Trinity Grammar School Army Cadet Unit (TGSACU), from Year 8 onwards.
Meriden cadets are known for their outstanding achievement in the program and are appointed to leadership positions at the highest levels. Cadets follow the Army Proficiency Certificate and move through star levels until they reach four stars and the rank of Master Cadet. Weekly training sessions, along with a series of ceremonial events and adventure camps, teach and test cadets’ skills in navigation, fieldwork, first aid and many more areas.