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Climbing in the chapel

I was so pleased to be able to meet Kurt Mockridge, the centre manager at Grenville House in Brixham.

This centre runs residential activity camps for schools and groups all year round and sits in the most exquisite setting above the marina.

Built as an orphanage for boys who had lost their fathers at sea, the house and chapel now offer something quite different. Climbing walls in the chapel combine with the preserved altar, and old photos show the boys in their schoolroom.

It may not be a school now, but kids learn a whole range of skills while staying at Grenville House - not only how to kayak or paddle board or do high ropes. They learn independence and problem solving skills, resilience and confidence. All skills that are vital for children to learn. In an age where every question under the sun can be answered by the computer in your pocket, it feels to me that it might be the right time to take a long hard look at what we are doing in our schools, and reassess whether our national curriculum should include more of this, and less fact learning to regurgitate on an exam paper.

It’s clear this place offers something really special to all those who have the opportunity to visit.


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