School operations

Outdoor Education Schools

The Department’s outdoor education schools

The Department funds and operates outdoor education schools, which are government schools that deliver residential outdoor education for students at Victorian government primary and secondary schools. These schools comprise the outdoor education schools that make up the Residential Outdoor Schools Association (ROSA) network (commonly known as the ROSA schools) and the Alpine School (also known as the Victorian School for Student Leadership).

The ROSA schools provide residential outdoor education for students at Victorian government primary and secondary schools at 7 campuses:

  • Outdoor School (Bogong Campus and 15 Mile Creek Campus)
  • Rubicon Outdoor School (Thornton Campus and Nayook Campus)
  • Somers School Camp (Somers Campus and Woorabinda Campus)
  • Blackwood Special Schools Outdoor Education Centre.

The Alpine School offers unique term-long residential education experiences for networks of Year 9 students from across the State. The program focuses on the development of leadership and interpersonal skills through outdoor activities and team learning projects sourced from students' home regions. There are 4 campuses:

  • Alpine School Campus (Dinner Plain)
  • Snowy River Campus (Marlo)
  • Gnurad-Gundidj campus (Glenormiston)
  • Haining Farm Campus (interim name) (Don Valley).

While the target cohorts and program offerings differ across the schools, they all enable Victorian government school students to access high-quality outdoor education curriculum that are delivered:

  • in line with the learning areas and capabilities in the Victorian Curriculum
  • using pedagogies and improvement approaches that are familiar for students because they’re being used by teachers at their home school (for example, Framework for Improving Student Outcomes (FISO), high impact teaching strategies (HITS))
  • by qualified and highly experienced teachers working collaboratively with visiting teachers and students
  • in rich and unique learning settings that allow students to explore, discover, be challenged and have authentic learning experiences
  • in safe and secure outdoor learning environments where risk factors are known and addressed
  • in line with the minimum regulatory, accountability and compliance requirements that apply to all Victorian government schools
  • at a significantly subsidised cost (relative to the private market).

The Department’s outdoor education schools are staffed by highly qualified and experienced teachers who can deliver well-planned and well-constructed programs for government schools that target identified student learning needs. While the outdoor education schools differ in terms of their operating model and program offerings, each seeks to deliver high-quality outdoor experiential education curriculum for government school students that is aligned to the Victorian Curriculum.

The Department’s outdoor education schools make a significant contribution to the government education system by delivering quality outdoor education curriculum to around 16,000 students annually across the state. Victorian government schools are strongly encouraged to utilise the outdoor education schools to facilitate and enhance the delivery of outdoor education curriculum to their students.

Includes information on the Residential Outdoor Schools Association (ROSA) network and the Alpine School

Reviewed 03 November 2021

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