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Climbing Tower / Jacob's Ladder

Learning outcomes

Most pupils will understand/be able to:

  • The need for safe and sensible behaviour, responding to instructions
  • How to prepare for an outdoor activity
  • Listening skills, co-operation and trust; and understand that these are important and valuable in adventurous activities
  • Experience success, a sense of achievement in responding to challenge

Some pupils will have the opportunity to:

  • Be able to attach themselves to the rope and belay others
  • Understand the elements of a top/bottom rope system
  • Be able to prepare themselves, adjust equipment and help others
  • Tie a figure of eight knot
  • Understand how to progress their climbing

Key words/phrases

Belay, Determination, Edging, Encourage, Figure of Eight, Harness, Karabiner, Knot, Perseverance, Top Rope, Trust.

Curriculum links


Identifying and solving problems as in outdoor activities; adapting to unfamiliar contexts; recognise hazards, control risks; determination to succeed


Real life examples (friction and forces)


Work in groups, different roles and responsibilities


Half day activity or shorter session if required.


Hagg Farm climbing tower (or indoor wall).


Climbing session on the tower. Activity is always led by a fully qualified member of Hagg Farm staff.

Supporting materials

Rock Activity curriculum pack.

Health and safety

Appropriate clothing and footwear required. Care for, use and return of equipment in good state. Safety pack (with first aid kit, emergency shelter etc), mobile
phone, technical equipment and any personal medication (inhalers etc). Risk assessment no.10. Pupil ratio 1:12. AALA licensed.

Activity session

  • Briefing to include aims of activity, what the activity involves, groupings, roles (e.g. peer belaying, back up) and adult supervision.
  • Appropriate personal protective equipment issued and demonstrated.
  • Discussion of teamwork, (esp. in relation to safety and peer belaying).
  • Warm up exercises including scrambling, traversing and spotting. This could be on the indoor wall or boulder.
  • Appropriate activities, dependent on time, weather and the needs of the group.
  • Ideal opportunity to work in small teams, to develop and progress new skills and confidence.
  • Use of different sides of the tower.
  • Opportunity to abseil.
  • Students have opportunity to discuss friction and forces (including gravity).


(at Hagg Farm if cold/wet)

  • Have learning outcomes, above, been met?
  • A range of reviewing techniques with students using writing, speaking skills and creativity to express feelings about activity, performance, involvement, teamwork.
  • Scientific, geographical and historical learning linking to curriculum, as above.
  • PE: new skills and learning; guidance re progressing climbing further.