Outdoor activities

Outdoor Activities


As part of our mission to get young people to engage with and learn from the outdoors, we offer a range of outdoor activities through the Releasing Potential School, Releasing Potential Sailing Academy, and Linkenholt Adventure Centre. We believe that for children who have not engaged with education in mainstream settings, outdoor activities encourage the sorts of life skills that are essential to their development. In challenging young people through managed risk, outdoor education focuses on building self-confidence, self-esteem, and social and emotional skills. Our qualified instructors work with young people in a group or on a 1:1 basis to show them how much they can achieve, and to create opportunities for students to thrive in new environments.


Bushcraft enables young people to learn a range of skills that would help them in the wild. We build shelters from just a few branches; we practice lighting fires; we fish and learn how to gut them and then cook them on the open fire in front of the newly-built shelter. The young people learn to respect their tools and fire lighting kit and to use them safely and appropriately.  Buschcraft encourages young people to enjoy the outdoors throughout the year.

Mountain biking

Thanks to a grant from Sport Relief we have a trailer full of bikes that we can take wherever we want to go. This allows us to fit the trail to the group and plan routes from good flat cycle paths to trying out some of the more technical tracks in the local woods.  Having our own bikes means that the young people get to learn the important skills of bike maintenance, safety checks, and repairs.


Learning to read a map is still an essential skill even in the days of Satellite Navigation and mobile phones. We use navigation as a tool in many activities, on mountain bikes, walking or on the water. We use the National Navigation Young Award Scheme as a tool to help young people demonstrate their increasing confidence at map reading, learning how to plan a route and work out how long it might take to walk it.


We use a number of local centres to deliver archery sessions using specialist equipment. Archery is an activity that requires us to trust the young people; hitting the target takes concentration and focus, listening to instructions and taking turns so groups must demonstrate that they are ready before they can take part.


Abseiling involves letting yourself down from the top of a climbing tower in a controlled way.  It takes a great deal of trust in your equipment and your instructor to lean over the edge, let the rope take the weight then step out and off down the wall.

The activity helps young people build confidence and trust in adults.


Indoor or wall climbing is an increasingly popular sport and we teach the young people how to stay safe whilst enjoying the sport. They learn how to get themselves ready for climbing, fastening their harness, fitting their helmet and tying themselves on the rope.  They work in teams to climb, belay and support, keeping each other safe whilst on the wall.

Rope courses

Rope courses provide great opportunities for team building activities. Some courses will test your bravery as you try and stand on a platform just one foot square at the top of a 20ft pole. Others closer to ground allow opportunity for lots of fun and games and practice at working together to get yourselves around the course.


Orienteering turns map reading into a race. There are lots of local orienteering courses in parks or Forestry Commission Woodlands. Using these sites allows  young people to go off in small groups and test their map reading as they try and get around the course. The natural boundaries of the park or forest allow young people to stay safe whilst developing their independent learning skills.


We own kayaks for all abilities and sizes, including fun kayaks, expedition kayaks and sea kayaks. We aim to provide fun developmental learning activities appropriate for all participants.  Participants can achieve qualications accredited through the British Canoe Union (BCU).


We own several rowing skiffs, and our school building has a training room equipped with rowing machines and practice equipment. Our rowing is provided through YCRS, the Youth Coastal Rowing Scheme. We offer rowing qualifications and training to our young people as well as to external candidates through this fantastic scheme.



Our 4.9m Valiant RIB is used as a Safety Boat for our sailing boats as well as for teaching the skills of driving a powerboat. The 60 bhp engine needs careful handling. It is a great opportunity to learn how to master a powerful engine long before young people are let loose on the roads. Young people follow the internationally recognised RYA Power boating courses which are the industry standard.


To teach sailing we use two Hawk 20 keel boats.  The Hawk design allows to us teach groups of up to six young people on a stable yet reactive platform.  The boats react well to the wind and tide and are safe and dry, enabling us to teach sailing in a range of weathers and conditions. Our sailing instructors are all RYA-qualified. Read more….


Paddleboarding is a fun way to get young people comfortable with being in the water and to teach skills such as patience and persistence. It is also very relaxing, allowing those taking part to concentrate and get the benefits of mindfulness within the context of the activity.


Canoeing or Open Boating is all about teamwork. Two or more people sitting in a boat working together to try and make it go where they want it to. It can get wet when practising rescues and playing games, or it can be about going on a journey and exploring. Young people can work towards UKCC Paddlesport or Star Awards as they enjoy the sport.

Coracle building

To build our coracles, we go back in time to the ancient Celts and build round, single-person rafts. Although the materials may have changed, tarpaulin and zip ties rather than bark and cord, the basic design is unchanged. The Celts would set sail across the sea in their coracles. While we don’t cross any seas in ours, learning to control a boat with no front or back is a skill that takes time to master!

Team building

When a group first meet, we will take time to have some fun and get to know each other.  Team building games are a great way of doing this, from overcoming physical challenges to trying to solve a puzzle, they will get everyone talking and participating. Some team challenges  require lots of equipment and planning but often they can be used during a few moments waiting for something else.

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Releasing Potential Outdoor Education
Unit 7 Kingscroft Court

Charity No: 1097440
Company No: 4622100

Linkenholt Company No: 9984771


023 9247 9762