Field Studies Programme Information

Year 9 2022 Residentials

Life at Trinity

Field Studies Programme Information

Year 9 2022 Residentials


A warm welcome to all our Year 9 (2022) students and families who will be part of the extended residential at our Field Studies Centre.

The first residential programme is planned for Term 4, 2021. On this page you will find a brochure to download,  an information video from Trinity staff and answers to questions we are frequently asked.

There is a small image gallery to give you a peak into what your son will experience. We also recommend you read the FSC section in the weekly School Bulletin regularly as this contains news from current residential programmes.

This is not an exhaustive page and we understand you may have additional questions. Please use the form on this page to submit them.

As the first residential approaches, the School will continue to supply information; please think of this page as the start of the journey towards your residential experience at Woollamia.

FSC Information Video

Please take the time to watch the following video with messages from

  • Mr Tim Bowden, Head Master
  • Mr Tim Knowles, Head of the Field Studies Centre
  • Mrs Deborah Williams, Academic Dean
  • Mr John Allen, Head of the Middle School

Download the Field Studies Programme Brochure

Overview of the FSC Programme

What is the Year 9 Field Studies Programme?

The Year 9 Field Studies Programme (FSP) is a term-long, mandatory residential programme based at our Field Studies Centre at Woollamia on the South Coast.

What is the purpose and benefits of the FSP?

Trinity provides boys with a thoroughly Christian education in mind, body and spirit. This includes providing an education that challenges our students. As they meet these challenges, they are being prepared for the road ahead. The immersive education provided by the FSP equips them by providing opportunities for self-discovery, building relationships, exploring new ways of being in community together, and providing time for self-reflection and spiritual growth in a unique environment.

The School has been committed to residential outdoor education since opening our Pine Bluff campus in 1993. The value of Trinity education is seen in the character of Trinity men long after graduation; the FSP plays an important role in developing their moral compass, being of service to others, and helping them take responsibility for things within their power.

 A growing body of research indicates the vital importance of immersive education. It increases student engagement, boosting academic outcomes, as well as impacting the communities in which the immersive education takes places. Immersive education is also proving to be an effective antidote to apathy and alienation.

The School encourages parents to view the extended FSC as a vital rung on the curriculum ladder that creates the set of dispositions for all future academic success.

Is each residential for a full term?

Yes. Each residential programme departs on the first day of term and returns on the last day of term.


Benefits of the FSP

During the extended FSP, your son will develop:

  • Optimism – confident he can achieve success in the learning before him  – because he has overcome challenges in the past and so he knows he can do so again
  • Belonging – connected to and values the place in which he learns
  • Self-management – a set of behaviours that allow him to deal with obstacles such as periods of demotivation, competing priorities, frustration – or just the reality that he probably has to master knowledge and skills that are not numbered in his favourite things to know and do
  • Resilience and adaptability – to use mistakes as motivation to discover new strategies and embrace escalating challenge

We cannot over stress the importance immersive, residential learning plays in the development of these attitudes and behaviours. It is the somewhat paradoxical notion that while each boy has to do the learning himself – it is in fact relational. We accelerate and deepen learning when we learn with others, when we pose questions with others and when we are willing to generate and test our own ideas with the help of others. That is what will take place during your son’s extended FSP.

Allocation and timing

When will the Field Studies Programme run?

There is one FSP per term. The extended programme will commence in Term 4, 2021.

Each residential programme departs on the first day of term and returns on the last day of term.

How will students be allocated to each term’s FSP?

The School will allocate students to each term’s FSP, taking into account a range of learning, emotional and social considerations. We are aware there will be activities that clash – such as participating at an elite co-curricular level – and will endeavour to take these into account when planning allocations.

Can we pick who we want our son to attend with?

The boys do not choose a preferential buddy to go with, or pick with whom they share a cabin. One of the aims of the residential is fostering independence and developing the skills in students to make meaningful connections with those outside of their usual social group.

Can we swap our allocated term with another family?

There will not be the opportunity to swap the allocated term.


Will we need to buy specialist equipment, such as camping gear etc.?

Recommended packing and equipment lists will be supplied to each cohort during the term preceding that cohort’s departure.

Equipment lists are drawn up in consultation with Trinity’s Head of Outdoor Education and are planned for multi-use across Trinity’s Duke of Edinburgh and Cadet programmes.

Sample equipment needs:
– Sleeping gear: bag, self-inflating mat, compression sack
– Hiking gear: rucksack, headlamp, camp kitchen set, water bottle, lightweight towel
– Personal gear: quality rain jacket, thermals, sunscreen, insect repellent

The School has partnered with an Outdoor Education equipment supplier. The supplier facilitates ordering, name labelling and delivery of each boy’s equipment direct to the FSC. Details of this option is supplied when the equipment and packing lists are distributed.

Alternatively, parents can purchase from their own preferred outdoor education supplier following receipt of the recommended equipment lists.

Attendance and costs

Does my son have to attend?

Yes. The FSP is a mandatory part of the curriculum at the School.

Are there additional fees for my son to attend the FSP?

No, the cost of the FSP is included in school fees… with the added cost-saving of having one less ravenous teenage mouth to feed during your son’s time away! The time at the FSP includes full board, all meals and all activities.

Academics and co-curricular

How will my son continue his academic programme?

The academic elements of the extended FSP are accommodated within the new Stage 5 (Years 9 and 10) curriculum structure. This structure will allow students to maintain progress in key learning areas as well as afford opportunities to engage in experiential learning designed for the Field Studies location. The boys will learn about dispositions for academic success during the residential and enjoy greater elective choice throughout the two years of Stage 5.

What about accelerated learning, NAPLAN, assessments and academic support usually accessed at Summer Hill while my son is on his residential programme?

The way the School has structured the two years of  9 and 10  means the learning that takes place during the extended FSP at Woollamia is equally as important as the learning that takes place at Summer Hill.

Academic teaching is not compromised. The academic elements of the extended FSP are accommodated within the new Stage 5 (Years 9 and 10) curriculum structure. This structure will allow students to maintain progress in key learning areas as well as afford opportunities to engage in experiential learning designed for the Field Studies location.

During the extended FSP:

  • NAPLAN is sat
  • Accelerated academic streams are maintained
  • Maths streaming, with appropriate tutors, continues
  • Classes are streamed as they currently are at Summer Hill
  • Learning support is provided
  • Specialist language teaching is provided
  • Academic teaching ratios are maintained

Will my son be able to keep up with his music practice?

Yes, there will be opportunity to continue instrumental practice and the School is also exploring the potential of remote music tuition.


Can parents visit?

There are opportunities for parent contact. The boys use a combination of letter writing and parent check-in, through a combination of videoconference and in-person visits (subject to COVID restrictions).

What about family emergencies? 

Emergency visits/ leave are absolutely available for family emergencies.


What are the sleeping / living arrangements?

Students are responsible for their own four or eight bed dorms and bathrooms; they assist within the kitchen; handle general chores around campus and do their own laundry.

What about food?

Menus and daily meals are prepared by the School’s caterers and individual special diets are catered for.

How is medical support provided and safety addressed?

FSC staff are trained in remote first aid, there is a clinic morning and night, and the hospital is 25 minutes away. Staff are trained and experienced in outdoor education with expedition areas and programme activities all risk assessed. Weather-checks are maintained and the FSC is equipped with satellite phone communications. External emergency services are available. For the School, safety overrides challenge; decisions are made to re-schedule planned activities appropriate to conditions.

Parent Q&A

A regularly updated section where we add the questions received by parents.

Will there be the opportunity to continue swim training during my son’s time at the Field Studies Centre and if so where and how often will he and the others be able to train? What other daily cross-training will be available?

Yes, there will be opportunity to continue swim training, the FSC has established links with local swim clubs and is arranging dedicated lane access for Trinity students. There is also appropriate on-site training developed in conjunction with our PT and conditioning staff.

How will Maths and/or English honours students be taught at the FSC. Will they continue with their usual (accelerated) curriculum or will only a single mainstream one be delivered at the FSC?

Curriculum will continue to be delivered in-line with the continuing academic programme at Summer Hill. Accelerated academic streams are maintained.

A helpful way to think about the extended FSP and the curriculum is not that students are missing out on important learning taking place at Summer Hill whilst spending a term at Woollamia; rather the way the School has structured the two years of  9 and 10  means the learning that takes place during the extended FSP is equally as important as the learning that takes place at Summer Hill.

Is each residential the entire term or 8 weeks?

Each residential is an entire term. As referred to in the previous question, this ensures the curriculum teaching remains aligned.

Will the students at the field centre be expected to complete quizzes, exams and hand-in assessments that the boys do at Summer Hill that term? I understand the value of assessments but it would be quite nice for the boys at the field study centre to focus on enjoying outdoor education without having to spend hours at their computer doing assessments and revising for tests!

As the FSP is a continuation of the curriculum at Summer Hill, yes, the boys will still be expected to complete assignments. However, as the academic elements of the extended FSP are accommodated within a new Stage 5 (Years 9 and 10) curriculum structure. the School has built in specific, experiential curriculum tasks that are designed for the Field Studies location. Your son may not even be aware he’s completing a geography assessment as we ask him to bushwalk and navigate using a compass!

Will there be some opportunities for Christian fellowship during the FSP?

Absolutely. Chapel is held on site – typically outside and enjoying God’s wonderful creation. FSP teams are also discussing connections with local church youth groups for Trinity boys to attend.

Which guidelines in regards to COVID is the school following, NSW Health? I was under the impression Rural/Regional NSW was more relaxed compared to Greater Sydney, so wouldn’t that make visiting the FSC easier?

Trinity follows the NSW Health and Department of Education orders for schools. The FSC is a school campus. That it is a campus located in rural/ regional NSW has no bearing – the School is obliged to follow health advice to NSW schools.

Please could you confirm how their music (clarinet) lessons will be carried out each week? Will it be organised remotely? 

Specialist music teachers will be able to deliver lessons remotely to students at the FSC.

How will communication and visiting be structured?

Part of the benefit of the FSP is allowing boys to disconnect from our hyper-connected world. Letters will be written, stamped and mailed – something for the parent memento box in years to come that will invoke more memories than an SMS or printed email on their 21st birthday! However, in response to this day and age, a certain amount of video conferencing and in-person visits are planned to supplement what will appear in your physical mailbox.

When will we be advised to which residential / term our son has been allocated? 

Families will be advised of allocations towards the middle of Term 3.

What if there is another lockdown in greater Sydney while my son is at his residential?

In the eventuality of a greater Sydney lockdown, the School would be guided by health orders as to whether a residential would be completed or students returned home.