The Grange Program

Year 7 Camp

Four exciting days of study await Year 7 students on their first visit to The Grange. Our theme for the program is The Natural Environment, and we utilize the 34 hectares of Grange property as well as the nearby National Park for our studies.

With an emphasis on developing outdoor education skills, students work together with a dedicated team leader in small teams within their house group. Outdoor equipment is issued, and a variety of lessons and briefings aim to develop their skills and confidence in the outdoors. Students are challenged by a variety of activities including low ropes course, introductory abseiling, and mountain biking onsite. In addition, students have unique opportunities to renew their knowledge of the relationships between living things and their environment when they visit a range of different Blue Mountains ecosystems nearby and onsite.

The expedition phase of our program is conducted in the Mount Wilson area of the Blue Mountains National Park. Here the Wollemi wilderness provides the backdrop to an experience focused on developing expedition and navigation skills. A spectacular hike leads us to our campsite, where each team establishes camp and enjoys cooking their own BBQ dinner on fires. Greater independence, social cohesion and resilience are often noticeable outcomes of Grange camps, where many of the Barker values are reinforced and reflected.

Year 8 Camp

Year 8 attends The Grange in house groups in terms one and two and further develop their navigation skills from Year 7 camp. Our progressive pathway of Outdoor Education enables further challenges and skills on this four-day camp including rock-climbing, intermediate mountain biking, packing and carrying a rucksack, Trangia stove cooking, menu planning, and remote area first aid as we prepare students for cadet and Bronze DEAS expeditions later in the year. Students also examine the landforms and landscapes of the Blue Mountains, bushfire impacts and local bushland and urban interface issues onsite at The Grange.

Wollemi National Park and the spectacular Wolgan Valley is the inspirational location for our expedition. Carrying all their personal equipment, each team will hike through spectacular eucalypt forest, amongst rock pagodas and pass through the famous glow worm tunnel. Our overnight camp is setup below the towering cliff lines in the old mining town of Newnes. This part of the valley is bustling with wildlife, and we share our camp with the local kangaroos, wallabies and wombats. After dinner, an evening walk through the ruins displays the rich industrial history of this very special place.

Year 9 Camp

Building upon their learning in Years 7 and 8, the program in Year 9 ramps up the expedition to a three-day journey in the wilderness. The Megalong Valley or The Grose River Valley are the areas in which the expedition is conducted depending on access and group sizes.

The Six Foot track is an iconic and historic journey through the spectacular Megalong Valley which has comfortable and well-equipped campsites, and the impressive Bowtell’s Swingbridge across the mighty Coxs River. Students finish their three-day expedition with a challenging yet rewarding climb through Devils Hole near Katoomba and reflect of their journey with great views over the Megalong.

The Blue Gum forest is regarded as the birthplace of conservation in Australia. Saved from logging in 1930’s, it has become the core of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area. Widely considered as Australia's best bushwalking destination, the Grose Valley is home for two nights during our final Grange expedition. This expedition is the culmination of three years training and practice and the students are challenged to undertake this remote area walk making many decisions on their own.

Other activities on this five day camp in the winter months include advanced abseiling building up to a 60m drop or an adventurous journey through a dry canyon and intermediate mountain biking to a spectacular lookout at Hanging Rock overlooking the Grose Valley.

Student Leaders Program

Students in Year 9 and 10 have the opportunity to contribute to The Grange programs by volunteering as program leaders.

The leadership program is designed to equip students with skills in servant leadership, group management and decision making. The program provides genuine opportunities to learn and develop these skills as role models in an outdoor context.

Students with a healthy sense of adventure should register their interest with their Head of House.