Wilderness Campus & Yacht

At KA, we believe the outdoors provide one of the richest and most influential learning environments, within which lifelong friendships and unforgettable moments are born.  Learning goes far beyond the walls of a classroom.  The school focuses on developing independent, resilient and creative young people through a variety of innovative initiatives.

Central to our philosophy is the school’s outdoor education programme, which is part of a wide-ranging educational strategy implemented throughout the school. As part of this, pupils are given regular opportunities to step away from the typical school environment, explore the outdoors and reconnect with nature.

Outdoor learning helps pupils to understand how to look after themselves, make sound judgements and decisions, and take responsibility for their actions.

A growing body of literature links mental, physical and spiritual health directly to our association with nature.

Some of our outdoor experiences are designed so that pupils can learn about how they react, behave and cope when things become uncomfortable, difficult or challenging. Whilst other parts of the outdoor learning curriculum afford our pupils time and space to focus solely on the rejuvenating power and beauty of nature and wild places.

Wilderness Campus

As part of a drive to transform the curriculum, Kelvinside Academy opened its Highland Wilderness Campus in May 2018, following a generous donation from former Rector, John Duff.

Located in the heart of the Cairngorms, just two miles from the Lecht Ski Centre, the campus provides year-round access to mountains, forests and glens. The building has been renovated to accommodate large dormitories, group catering facilities and generous social areas. The Wilderness Campus also boasts two fly fishing rods on a 3-mile beat of the River Don.

For at least one week a year, pupils leave the textbooks behind to go climbing, gorge walking, hiking, mountain biking and more. The Wilderness Campus now plays a vital role in school life and has already been used for Duke of Edinburgh expeditions, CCF camps, S6 team building trips, writing weekends and choir retreats, as well as providing a novel setting for the delivery of core curricular subjects such as Maths and Science.  The John Duff Lodge is also available for hire - see brochure below.

School Yacht

In the summer of 2017, the school took ownership of a 32ft sailing yacht, named ‘Level Best’. Embarking on sail training voyages from her berth at James Watt Dock Marina in Greenock, pupils will benefit from the challenges offered, sailing around the waters of the River Clyde with possibilities further afield on the West Coast of Scotland.

Kelvinside is also affiliated with the Clyde Cruising Club in order to run a dinghy sailing program at Bardowie Loch throughout the summer term. RYA qualified school staff run the sessions at Bardowie on a weekly basis, after which pupils will have the opportunity to gain RYA qualifications in sailing.

The waters of Bardowie Loch and the River Clyde make for a very good schoolmaster and provide a perfect environment for pupils to build their life skills outwith the walls of the classroom. Pupils have the opportunity to gain more self-confidence and develop great teamwork and leadership skills, whilst also gaining new skills in the more practical aspects of sailing such as boat handling, passage planning, interpreting weather systems.

Level Best is available for private charter.  Please see brochure below.