The College aims to foster a love of the outdoors through a diverse outdoor activities programme which runs throughout a pupil’s school career. In their time here, every single pupil has the opportunity to experience mountain biking, canoeing, climbing and mountaineering.

Most weekends see pupils travelling to the Peak District for mountain biking, the River Wye or Great Glen for canoeing. Climbers tackle one of the many climbing walls in the area or the local rocks in the Peak District, and mountaineering trips to North Wales, North Yorkshire and the Lake District run over exeat weekends.

First and Second Formers enjoy adventurous outdoor weekends which enable them to experience the basics of navigation whilst walking in the Peak and Lake Districts, learn outdoor catering skills and improve self-sufficiency in general. These are a great preparation for the Third Form when many pupils embark upon the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme. The College supports pupils through all three levels, with the Bronze Award being offered in the Third Form, the Silver Award in the Fourth Form and the Gold in the Lower Sixth Form. Typically around twenty Denstonians will achieve the Gold Award each year, demonstrating self-discipline, commitment and capacity for teamwork, all of which are distinguishing features for university admissions tutors and employers. World Challenge has traditionally run successfully alongside this, but we are now working with a new venture. True Adventure is a company which runs a variety of expeditions around the globe, and True Adventure are our new partners in delivering this type of experience for Denstonians.

Denstone employs a full time, dedicated Outdoor Pursuits Instructor (OPI) who manages all these programmes and who is assisted by a number of enthusiastic and committed staff. Our OPI is a qualified Duke of Edinburgh Assessor who has taken over 20 expeditions, including both World Challenge and True Adventure. She has numerous skills and qualifications in her field, ranging from shooting, canoeing and dinghy sailing to mountain biking and leading mountaineering expeditions.