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Experiential Learning

Many of life’s most important lessons happen outside the classroom.That’s why, at Holderness, students take part in experiential learning programs like Out Back, Senior Thesis, and the school’s longstanding Job Program.

Out Back

Since 1969, generations of Holderness juniors have completed this 11-day winter camping odyssey in New Hampshire’s White Mountains. During their journey, students learn leadership, team-building, and wilderness survival skills - and gain confidence during a three-day solo.

Learn More About Out Back

Special Programs

Dance performance during Artward Bound.

A key component of the school’s experiential learning curriculum is Special Programs, an adventure that takes all students outside the classroom for 10 days each March.

Learn More About Special Programs


A student gives her senior thesis presentation.

Seniors delve into a topic of their choosing, and spend the entire year learning deeply about it. Capstone incorporates research, experiential learning, mentoring, and presentation skills into one capstone project. At the end of the year, students present their findings to the community. 

Learn More About Capstone

Job Program

A student washes dishes for the Job Program.

From washing dishes to shoveling snow, every Holderness student spends time working alongside staff to care for our buildings and grounds. The Job Program has been a part of student life at Holderness for more than 50 years. 

Learn More About The Job Program

Poetry Out Loud

A student recites a poem for Poetry Out Loud. 

Each winter, all Holderness students memorize a poem and participate in this national poetry recitation contest. It’s a rite of passage for students, some of whom have gone on to the national finals in Washington, D.C.

Learn More About Our English Department

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Take the Next Step

Is Holderness right for you? The best way to find the right boarding school is to reach out. Check us out in person in New Hampshire or virtually. See why Holderness is more than a school, it's an elevated experience.