Outdoor Education

From Year 9 onwards, Newington offers a selection of Outdoor Education programs.

Our outdoor learning programs place emphasis on teaching boys how to explore, engage and care for the natural world. Whether it be a day of rock climbing or a few nights in the bush, we aim to inspire our boys to discover the great outdoors and learn life-long skills.

Our Outdoor Learning program is divided into:

  • Cadets
  • Newington Challenge
  • The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award


Cadets is a youth development program which encourages learning, independence, self-motivation and leadership in a military context. It was initiated in 1869.

Newington Challenge

Newington Challenge is a two-year journey-based program designed to promote personal, physical and emotional growth for the individual and encourage a sense of belonging to a group and the wider community.

Duke of Edinburgh

This internationally recognised scheme provides an opportunity for students to develop skills, display initiative and build self esteem.

Australia's Longest Running Cadet Unit

The Cadet program is an opportunity to develop endurance, physical fitness and mental strength and character. Newington has one of the longest, continuously running cadet units in Australia.

The Cadet training program is exciting and varied, encompassing a range of activities such as scuba diving, rock climbing, abseiling, archery, navigation in the bush and camp craft. There are also leadership courses offered for each year level from Year 9 upwards. The courses are progressive in nature and teach the boys valuable life skills in the art of leadership. Successful completion of these courses results in promotion to a higher rank. There are also two annual camps.

Boys can join the Cadet Unit in Term 1 of Year 9. They are required to complete a minimum of two years but can stay on until they finish Year 12.

2019 Remembrance Day


Newington Challenge

Newington Challenge is an outdoor education program which has been specifically tailored to meet the needs of boys in Years 9 and 10. The boys work in small groups of 20 alongside a staff member, instructors and Year 11 and 12 student leaders.

The program consists of two main components:

  • A sequence of skills development activities including camp skills, paddleboarding, rock climbing, mountain biking and canoeing
  • A series of community service courses including a formal First Aid qualification and Bronze Medallion Lifesaving award.

There is one annual five-day camp which takes place in Term 3. Boys practice the skills they have learnt in the bush and take part in varied challenges.

There is a four-day promotions camp for aspiring year 11 and 12 leaders that takes place in the September holidays.

Duke of Edinburgh International Award

Boys commence with the Bronze award and it is our hope to see them progress through the levels to subsequently achieve their Silver and finally their Gold awards.

The Dukes program has been offered at Newington for many years to encourage our boys to challenge themselves through setting and achieving goals across a range of activities over a set length of time. Participation is voluntary and is structured so that participants can design a unique program centred on their own interests and passions.

This internationally recognised scheme provides an opportunity for students to develop skills, display initiative and build self esteem. It is highly regarded by universities, potential employers and the wider community.

There are three levels of Merit to the Award; Bronze, Silver and Gold. The Gold award is presented by the Governor of New South Wales.

Each level of the award has four mandatory sections.

  1. Fitness/Physical Recreation: Break a sweat and improve your physical fitness. This could be through a team sport or individual pursuit. 
  2. Skill: Unleash your talents and broaden your abilities—anything from refereeing, to DJing, to learning a musical instrument, to creating a piece of artwork. 
  3. Volunteering: Connect with your community and realise your passions. This may include any area of interest in the community, such as youth, environmental or charity work. 
  4. Adventurous Journey: Discover your sense of adventure and bond with your friends on group expeditions.