Calshot Activities Centre

Key Stage 1

Students starting a mapping activity

Key Stage 1 courses are usually day courses. They involve learning and experiencing different environments and can include some of the centres adventurous activities too.

We provide education and adventure in an exciting learning environment, and to offer academic, physical and social challenges in a safely managed environment, benefiting the students personally and academically.

Each full day consist of four daytime sessions, two in the morning and two after lunch. The number of session an activity runs for is written in brackets next to the title.

We have also put the ‘student friendly’ title in brackets. We can provide a packed lunch or you might want to bring your own.

All sessions can be tailored to your individual needs.


Beach Scavenge (2) (Beach Bonanza)

Stepping out of the classroom students explore our beaches and investigate the adaptations of coastal marine life. Students experience the surroundings using different senses, and share their findings with each other.

Bushcraft (2)

Venture out to learn about survival in the New Forest and work together to build a shelter. They complete an exploratory tour of the New Forest, playing games and completing tasks that help students to gain a sense of place for the Forest.

New Forest Experience (2) (New Forestation)

Students use all their senses to gain a hands-on (and eyes, ears, mouth and nose!) feel for the forest. They then use their experiences to create poetry or forest art as they explore the New Forest.

Mapping Calshot (2) (This is Calshot)

Students explore the Calshot Coastline using all their senses. They collect information on voice recorders, with cameras and by picking up interesting objects. Students will discuss how the different views make them feel and spot how the site has changed over time. We visit Calshots Tudor Castle and the Hangers that were used to house flying boats during the World Wars, and compare this to their current use. After completing their exploratory tour they recreate their steps on giant floor maps, and place all their information in the appropriate place where it was found.

Minibeast Study (2) (Creepy Creatures)

The terrestrial invertebrates of wood and grassland are collected using pooters and nets. They record the area of the woodland in a variety of ways including doing bark rubbings and sound recordings.

Pond Dipping (2) (Aqua Animals)

An exciting and engaging session where students collect and identify freshwater invertebrates.

Terrific Trawling (2)

Using our 8.5m trawling boat, students catch a variety of marine life which they then identify and draw back in the classroom. Plankton is examined using a microscope and video camera. (This topic is weather dependent).

Tudor History (2) (Troublesome Tudors)

Students explore and investigate our on-site Tudor Castle and create a besom broom using Tudor technology, a shave horse and draw knife. Re-enacting Henry VIII’s reign in play form, students dress in period costume and discover more about Tudor life.


Climbing (1 or 2)

We possess the South’s premier indoor climbing facility, 520m2, from short easy angled slabs, to a 13m overhang with abseiling platform. Groups work in three’s and have therefore plenty of opportunity to learn and practise the skills associated with this fast growing and accessible sport. The session is adapted for Key Stage 1 to allow students to develop their team skills, and gives all students the opportunity to feel a great sense of achievement.

Hangar Orienteering (½)

Usually combined with ski-bobbing, an indoor photo orienteering course in our large hangar.

Initiative Course (1)

Elements such as ‘The Spider’s Web’, ‘The Tunnel’, ‘Washed Out Bridge’, and ‘Mushroom Field’ emphasize different team qualities and stimulate discussion when reviewing. Students are encouraged to think about how they are perceived within the team, and how they contribute to its success.

Ski Bobbing (½)

For our younger (and young at heart!) visitors. These are small steerable toboggans – just pure fun.


The John Muir Award

The John Muir Award is an environmental award scheme focused on wild places. This could be any where from a mountaintop to a city garden. It encourages the discovery and conservation of wild places, in a spirit of fun, adventure and exploration. The award is non-competitive, open to all and is the educational initiative of the John Muir Trust. There are three levels of the John Muir Award, encouraging a progressive involvement. All levels of the award are based on meeting the same four challenges of: Discover, Explore, Conserve, Share.


  • Discover (D): Get out in a wild place. This could be your garden, a nearby park, a high mountain, or a local beach. This challenge is all about discovering your own wild place.
  • Explore (E): Find out more about your wild place. Look at the plants and animals that live there, travel through it, or spend a night camping out and find out what it sounds like at night. Exploring is about getting to know and experience a place.
  • Conserve (C): John Muir set up the world's first national park and was committed to ‘putting something back’ into wild places. So for this challenge you need to do something to help take responsibility for your wild place.
  • Share (S): A major part of the Award is to encourage people to value wild places. So throughout your Award we ask that you find ways to share what you are doing.
  • There are three levels of John Muir Award: Discovery, Explorer and Conserver. During a residential stay students may be able to gain the Discovery Level Award. A certificate is awarded upon completion.

Hampshire Trailblazer

An exciting award scheme promoting outdoor learning and environmental education for young people of all ages in Hampshire. Trailblazer is a scheme for schools and youth groups to help co-ordinate, support and develop their work in off-site and residential activities, outdoor and adventurous activities, fieldwork, environmental education and the use of the outdoor classroom, key skills, personal and social development.

Activity Strands

  • Discovering the environment (D) - by taking part in activities that promote understanding of the environment and the issues involved, with an enquiry-based approach to develop thinking skills, connecting outdoor learning to the curriculum.
  • Exploring the environment (E) - by taking part in fun and challenging and adventurous activities, where the challenge is to solve a problem, achieve a task or complete a journey, using new skills.
  • Caring for the environment (C) - by taking part in awareness-raising projects that aim at maintaining, improving or caring for a location or environment.

Levels of involvement

Each Trailblazer Award will involve activities relating to each of the above strands. During a day visit to Calshot, students could credit up to 6 hours towards an Award. These can be based on age group, key stage, or on the time and resources available. Usually an award is completed over a year, but this is flexible.

  • Trailblazer Green Award - 40 hours
  • Trailblazer Bronze Award - 60 hours
  • Trailblazer Silver Award - 80 hours
  • Trailblazer Gold Award - 100 hours