School operations

Outdoor Education Schools

Curriculum planning and delivery

The learning areas delivered by the Department’s outdoor education schools include Health and Physical Education, Humanities (Geography and History) and Science, as well as Personal and Social, Critical and Creative Thinking, Ethical and Intercultural Capabilities. Some schools also deliver the VCE subject Outdoor and Environmental Studies (Units 1 to 4) as well as supporting a small number of schools with the provision of VET Outdoor Recreation.

The following best-practice principles are recommended for the Department’s outdoor education schools in the planning and delivery of outdoor education, but may also be useful for other government schools:

  • To ensure the relevance, breadth and depth of learning, there should be careful and rigorous curriculum planning, including co-design with students and their classroom teachers, so that the learning intentions are clear, and students’ individual needs are addressed.
  • Both classroom teachers and outdoor educators should help students to understand how their outdoor education experience connects to and extends their in-school learning, so the benefits of the activities are not lost when students return to school.
  • There should be opportunities for the classroom teachers to attend the outdoor education school with their students, where possible, to help the students make connections with the home school curriculum and to better understand the students’ learning experiences.
  • The curriculum should be fully integrated with the Victorian Curriculum, with strong and clear curriculum links, so the contribution to the visiting school’s learning program is clear.
  • The curriculum at the outdoor education schools should be sequential with clearly aligned themes and specific learning outcomes.
  • There should be considered and consistent use of assessment and evaluation data, including student self-assessments, to seek evidence of student achievement and progress.
  • Outdoor education schools should provide the visiting school with:
    • information on student achievement and student growth as a result of outdoor education
    • general information about the outdoor education visit, such as the learning purpose, skills focus and types of activities undertaken, that could be passed on to parents.
  • There should be flexibility for the outdoor schools to determine the length of stay provided that students are being provided with high-quality, curriculum aligned outdoor education and it meets the needs of visiting schools.
Includes information on the learning areas delivered by the Department’s outdoor education schools

Reviewed 03 November 2021

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