Outdoor Education

MGGS is embarking on a new and pioneering program of Outdoor Education. With the goal of fostering ethical women of action, the program will build the mindset and the skills necessary to thrive in the outdoors and will engender a lifelong love of the natural world. We seek to inspire with awe and to encourage our students to use their outdoor learning in their everyday lives.

Outdoor education is a powerful learning experience, something that participants will remember for the rest of their lives. At MGGS, we want to incorporate that sort of learning into the everyday life of the School. With regular contact with the outdoors, we will build a love of nature, a competence, and a confidence amongst our students. Each year will develop on the learning from the previous one with our ultimate goal being to embark on a Graduation Expedition in Year 10 which will become a rite of passage and a source of pride for all Grammarians.

Outdoor Education is no one simple thing, and at MGGS, we have a framework which guides us in developing our programs, camps, and expeditions. It’s based on the acronym SAGES, click on the letters below to find out more. 

S is for Skills

The hard skills, the things that we need to learn to be comfortable. So that might be how to tie your laces properly, how to put an expedition backpack on, tying a knot, paddling a boat or putting up a tent. They make us comfortable in the outdoors and prepare us for being able to learn.

A is for Adventure

Adventure and exploration are at the core of what it is to be human. When we talk about adventure, we’re talking about beginning tasks with uncertain outcomes. Our students should be encouraged to experiment and to play in the outdoors, and to understand that to fail is a necessary part of learning and improving. We structure their adventures and ensure their safety, but within that framework, our Grammarians are given the freedom to explore.

G is for Growth

That’s the personal development part of educating future adults. It covers all those immeasurable things that employers really like. Things like how and when to be a leader; how to be a follower; when to be a follower; how to be a flexible problem solver; how to have a positive mindset; how to have resilience and grit; the list goes on.

E is for the Environment

Our objective is to build an understanding of our local, national and global environment. And although it’s not always easy, it’s important to include an indigenous understanding of the environment.

S is for Service

We come from a privileged society within a very privileged country, so we need to learn how to give back. That can be amongst our local community, or it could be within the School, or more broadly within Melbourne, or Australia, or the world.

Our Outdoor Programs

The broad structure for our Outdoor programs will look like this:

Morris Hall:
Every student from Prep to Year 4 will have an Outdoor Education Day every term where the focus will be on nature play and building a confidence being in the natural world.
Years 2 to 4 will have overnight experiences designed to allow them to become comfortable with being away from home and where we can help them to grow a love of nature. Each camp and experience will be structured to challenge at exactly the right level for the students’ ages.

Years 5 – 7:
Students will, again, have a day per term of Outdoor Education where we will introduce them to more of the skills necessary for a sense of competence in outdoor life. Each Year will also go away on a camp where these skills will be practised and where our Grammarians will start to learn the principles of journey-based expeditions.

Years 8 – 10:
Once again, there will be a day per term dedicated to outdoor skills which we will use to prepare our students for the tougher challenges of their senior expeditions. Each Year group will embark on successively more challenging trips culminating in our Year 10 Graduation Expedition.

Years 11 & 12:
Due to the busy calendar of our VCE years, there will be a series of optional expeditions that students keen for an extra challenge can undertake during the school holidays.

In addition to all of the compulsory programs, we already offer the Duke of Edinburgh Award as an option from Year 9 onwards and will soon be introducing a student-led hiking club.


“Putting time into exploring and developing an appreciation of and respect for the natural environment has to be our end goal.”

Robert Houghton, Head of Outdoor Education