At the end of the summer half 25 Etonians who had just finished their GCSE examinations were joined by the same number from The Windsor Boys’ School on a programme of experiential education in the Scottish Highlands, on the shore of Loch Eil.

Eton masters have been developing the ideas behind this course for a number of years, in collaboration with organisations and educationalists who are leaders in related fields. The course took the boys out of their familiar environment. Challenging outdoor and group activities fed into guided sessions that were designed to enhance the boys’ self-awareness and their ability to communicate. The course focused on the variety of forms that leadership can take, including leadership through service. The aim was to develop the boys’ resourcefulness, resilience, reciprocity, self-confidence, self-reliance and respect for themselves and others. The effectiveness of the pilot in achieving these outcomes is being measured. The two schools are especially interested in gauging the extent to which boys can use the skills that they have gained once they return to school, including how the course helps them to adjust to their A-Level studies – and, in time, to their lives after they leave school.

The development, provision and evaluation of the course have been paid for by sponsors. We are grateful to them for making this opportunity possible.