Schools & Youth

Residentials for Key Stage 3 & 4

Challenge & Responsibility through adventure

Engaging residential experiences for key stage 3 and 4 children recognise the need for appropriate challenge and responsibility. We actively involve the young people in problem solving and safety management so that they don’t just participate in an activity but learn the skills necessary to fully understand it.

A warm welcome and genuine support throughout your stay is provided by your course coordinator. With a tailored programme, wholesome food and a comfortable nights sleep, we ensure that everyone is set up to make the most of their time outdoors.

Design the ideal programme for your group

Our residentials are tailored to your objectives to ensure you achieve the right balance and level of activity for your group. Encouraging and supporting young people to embrace new opportunities and challenges can play a key part in their development, building their self belief and resilience. Whether you are looking for a fun shared  experience or a programme with increased emphasis on team working and personal development we will work with you to design the ideal programme.

We utilise the wider landscape to immerse young people in nature

We believe that engaging and stimulating outdoor activities can help connect young people to the natural environment and so pay attention to this aspect of the activity. We believe that this broader approach of experiencing activities within and in partnership with nature leads to a richer experience.

Our aim is for young people to develop a lifelong desire to enjoy, engage with and protect natural environments and the flora and fauna within them. We hope to cement this through introducing stimulating outdoor activities and environmental information at the same time.

We respect the areas we work in and want to use them sustainably minimising our impact. Young people will be introduced to the Leave No Trace principles and Countryside Code through the ways we operate as well as discovering interesting facts and information about our surroundings.

Working with nature we have a flexible approach to our programmes, recognising the impacts of weather and tides on our plans.

Building close connections with you and your group

We understand the responsibilities of bringing a group of young people away and want to help make your stay with us as easy as possible.

A Brenscombe course coordinator will be with you for the duration of your stay. Their role is to make sure that the programme is working smoothly and being a point of contact for anything you need. During office hours there is also a friendly face in reception.

There is an on call duty system with a member of our staff available onsite overnight in case of any problems.

For continuity we aim to keep the instructors the same all week building close connections with you and your group.

Tea, coffee and a comfy place to rest will always be available to you. The centre is a short drive away from local towns and amenities, far enough to feel remote yet close enough for teachers to pop out for something if need be.

Experienced and pragmatic

We have experience designing programmes that can be inclusive and in supporting children with additional needs and disabilities during our programmes. We are not a specialist SEND provider but have an experienced and pragmatic approach, working in partnership with visiting staff and parents to support a wide range of children. Early conversations are essential to ensure supported and integrated programmes.

Example of a KS 3&4
4 night programme


Arrive at Centre
Welcome and introductions
Safety procedures and settling in


T.E.A.M Tasks

‘Together Everyone Achieves More’ is a competitive fast-paced problem-solving challenge that takes place around the Brenscombe site.


Night walk

An evening walk along the Purbeck Ridge with uninterrupted views, to the north, Poole Harbour and to the south, the Swanage cliffs. The evening can include a loop of Corfe Castle or simply enjoying the castle from the viewing point.


Watersports at Cleavel Point

The day at Cleavel can include a host of different activities such as aqua races, kayaking, raft building, Canadian canoeing or journeying in our 13-person Big Canoes, a fantastic way to explore Poole Harbour.


Orienteering Challenge

A chance to learn map and compass skills under the instruction of our team, followed by a challenge around the site or up onto the Purbeck Ridge.


Coastal Exploration and Rock Climbing

A hike along the Southwest Coast Path gives everyone the chance to take in an outstanding view of the Jurassic Coast. The hike culminates at Dancing Ledge or Hedbury for an afternoon of rock climbing and abseiling on the sea cliffs.


Sports Evening

Wide games and sports on the Brenscombe fields.


High and Low Ropes at Burnbake

Swinging in the trees or nestled on the forest floor, Burnbake has a variety of elements to challenge people’s confidence and teamwork.



A social campfire, relaxing and reflecting on experiences.


Strip beds & clear rooms

Archery, Air Rifle Shooting and Catapult Challenge

A rotation of activities that includes working together to build a giant catapult.


Farewells and Departure

An action packed week – our girls were stretched and supported to achieve more than they thought they could do

Britta - Tormead

Brenscombe gives us a great opportunity to build our student’s resilience. The activities were all challenging enough to help build confidence

Barry - The Centre School (SEND specific)

Feel welcomed & looked after Leaving with lifelong skills

A stay at Brenscombe involves more than brilliant activities, it also includes tasty food and comfy beds. The site has room for workshops or lessons in the meeting room and space to burn off a bit more energy on the fields.

A significant, often memorable part of a residential programme is communal living with friends. Our catering and facilities allow for these experiences to flow and for lifelong skills and confidence to develop.

Sleep inside or out

Spread across our traditional stone farmhouse and four other converted farm buildings, of varying capacities, our overnight indoor accommodation is warm and comfortable. Dormitory style rooms sleep between 3 and 10 people, with the majority of rooms sleeping 4 or 6.

A fully catered camping option for up to 60 people is an alternative option utilising our canvas tipis. Our open sided camping barn provides a large undercover shelter for the whole group to gather and to use as their dining space.

For a truly unforgettable experience, talk to us about camping at our private tranquil waterside site, Cleavel Point.

Everything you’ll need

Keeping you comfy

  • Conference Room with a capacity for up to 60 people. Can be equipped with tables and chairs for classroom use and has a small stage area.
  • Large open dining room, able to seat up to 70 visitors in one sitting.
  • Two fields with space to let off steam.
  • Tea & coffee facilities and comfy seating are available across the site for visiting staff in the evening.
  • Drying facilities.
  • Coach and car park.
  • A warden for overnight liaison.
  • A campfire area.
  • Wi-Fi

Fuel your adventure

We understand the importance of good quality, wholesome meals suitable for fueling full days in the outdoors. Providing comfort away from home our nutritionally balanced meals and choice of sandwich fillings cater for everyone.

A typical day’s meals include a cooked breakfast with choice of cereal, a packed lunch and two course evening meal. Cooked lunches, BBQs and additional meals or snacks can be added and sample menus are available upon request.

Our kitchen team is experienced in catering for all special diets and we are happy to discuss any specific needs.

For small groups (up to 16) there is the option of self-catering.

Activities for Key Stage 3 & 4

An action-packed programme

We believe in the value of rich engaging outdoor experiences and so take time to enjoy the activities as well the natural spaces they are in.

Key Stage 3 and 4 Watersports
Raft Building, Big Canoeing, Kayaking and Canadian Canoeing from Cleavel Point, our private spit of land on the south side of Poole Harbour.
Key Stage 3 and 4 High and Low Ropes
High & Low Ropes Course
Students can face their fears, with the help of their friends and our highly qualified instructors.
Key Stage 3 and 4 Climbing
Climbing & Coastal Walk
Students and staff alike can test their strength, balance and nerve as they climb only a stones throw from the sea.
Key Stage 3 and 4 Archery
Archery, Air Rifle Shooting & Catapult Challenge
A brilliant trio of activities based at the Brenscombe Outdoor Centre site.
Key Stage 3 and 4 Bushcraft
Create fires, build shelters and learn how to use the forest sustainably.
Key Stage 3 and 4 Team Tasks
Team & Problem-Solving Tasks
Bringing students together, developing fundamental interpersonal skills and creating bonds to last a lifetime.
Key Stage 3 and 4 Orienteering
Orienteering & Night Walk
Explore the stunning Purbeck Ridge with views over Corfe Castle, whilst learning to interpret a map and use a compass.
Evening Activities
Finish off the day with some activities around the Brenscombe site.
Durdle Door
Local places to explore
Supplement your programme by visiting other places of interest

Get in touch

Please get in touch to tell us about your group and we can design your perfect Key Stage 3 & 4 Residential.

Brenscombe Outdoor Centre © 2024. All Rights Reserved | Operated by Activate Outdoors Ltd | Privacy Policy | Website Design Dorset - Good Design Works