At Boulder Shack we understand the unparalleled benefits of climbing as a sport, particularly for children and young people.

As well as being an excellent means of building confidence, strengthening hand-eye-coordination and relieving stress, climbing also helps develop communication and listening skills.

That’s why, by allowing students to choose rock climbing as their individual sport, teachers can support their students to achieve more than simply their targeted grades. We have already helped a number of school groups attain their goals through completing their GCSE P.E courses here and now we are reaching out to more P.E departments to do the same!


Our highly structured sessions can be tailored to suit your department’s needs, or we can run our excellent NICAS (National Indoor Climbing Award Scheme) to Level 3 and NIBAS (National Indoor Bouldering Award Scheme) to Level 5 which can be substituted for GCSE.

‘We also recommend that students follow the NICAS or NIBAS Award schemes’ – AQA

These fun and challenging programmes will equip its participants with the skills needed to climb at any climbing wall in the UK during public time (age limit permitting).

Please note: if you would like your students to follow our NICAS/NIBAS Award schemes an additional cost of £6 per person for individual logbooks is required; please ask at the time of booking for more information.


The AQA syllabus largely follows NICAS and students need to be assessed on the following five core strengths:

  • Top rope climbing, hand finger and foot jams with 2-3 points of contact (or open crimp, guppy, flagging and rock overs).
  • Rope work.
  • Overhangs or mantle shelves.
  • Traversing.
  • Abseiling / descent.

These five core strengths can easily be taught here at Boulder Shack using a combination of roped climbing and bouldering to maximise learning potential.


Edexcel has a different syllabus to AQA, and can be achieved through NIBAS (bouldering only).  Students have to demonstrate at least four key skills from a large list. Four of these skills are bouldering only:

  • Ascend a route using assesment and reassesment employing a range of holds and moves.
  • Understanding the grading used for boulder problems.
  • Detailed knowledge of protecting a boulderer (spotting and landing).
  • Ability to demonstrate different climbing techniques.

Roped climbing can be used if some students struggle with the above, but is not necessary for Edexcel.


Working alongside NICAS and AQA, we produced a collection of videos at Boulder Shack to support the marking and moderation process of student technique. We also produced accompanying notes to each video to further aid the assessment of technique.

Click HERE to view the supporting videos to AQA marking scheme for NICAS

GCSE P.E group sessions can be booked in at any time of day in 10 weekly sessions. The most popular session time is after school or the final school period of the day.

Group prices vary depending on group size, length, frequency of your sessions and whether your group is completing NICAS/NIBAS. Call us now or send us a message to find out exactly how we can work with you and your group.

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