Catherine Dunn & Jack Reed

Outdoor education: all-female activities boost confidence


Outdoors education almost always takes place in a mixed-gender setting – but all-female activities such as mountain biking and trekking have been shown to enhance body image, boost confidence and help with the formation of important relationships, write Catherine Dunn and Jack Reed

Why girls need to be outsiders

It is 9am on a Friday morning and the hum of mountain bike tyres fills the air as the group of pupils leaves the school grounds for their outdoor education class. Soon after, you can just about hear the “click, click, click” of the gears engaging as the group catches sight of the trail ahead of them. Disc brakes then whine as the riders drop down to the valley floor, gracefully moving between roots and rocks, laughing, joking, racing, thriving. The leader glances back at her mud- and sweat-covered group: “Come on, girls”, she shouts, “let’s go again!”

Outdoor education has always been ...

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