Outdoor Education

In Outdoor Education, students learn ‘in’, ‘about’ and ‘through’ the outdoors:

In the outdoors: Students develop safe practices

About the outdoors: Students develop knowledge and understanding of the need to protect and care for the environment.

Through the outdoors: Students develop understanding, skills and attitudes to enhance interactions and relationships with others.

Outdoor Education may be taken an as Option in Year 10. Students experience numerous outdoor pursuits to learn basic skills, history and knowledge. The subject may be continued from Years 11-13 for NCEA Level 1, 2 and 3, and also taken for Scholarship. In Year 11 students complete a course related to body function, safe behaviours, interpersonal skills and quality movement, all related to outdoor pursuits. During Year 12 they expand on their base knowledge and skills before the focus turns to leadership, risk management, independent planning and preparation in Year 13.


Outdoor Education increases students’:

  • communication and leadership skills
  • personal responsibility
  • planning skills
  • risk management
  • co-operation skills
  • social skills, communal living skills and compassion for others
  • self confidence
  • problem solving skills
  • persistence, perseverance and the ability to cope with adversity
  • love of the outdoors

“The outdoors is a powerful tool to help people sort out where they’re at in terms of confidence. There are no masks. On a mountain or a rock face, you can’t hide that fact that you are scared. In a very short time you can experience some intense learning and life-changing situations which would take a long time and a lot of talking to achieve in a classroom. It might never happen at all in a classroom.” Bev Smith, Outdoor Pursuits Centre Instructor

Career pathways

Students who complete Outdoor Education to Level 3 will develop their key attributes to a high level. This is often what makes them more employable, as the subject has a strong emphasis on attitude, aptitude, ambition, aspiration and attendance.


The Year 13 course is university approved

The Year 13 course may lead to tertiary study for those wishing to make a career in areas linked with the outdoors. Possible jobs include Adventure Consultancy, Adventure Guiding, Adventure Educator, Adventure Tourism, Ambulance Officer, Armed Forces, Challenge Course Facilitator, Corporate Development Trainer, Commercial Guide, Community Health and Recreational Programming, Ecotourism Guiding, Education, Environmental Educator, Environmental Health Officer, Environmental Interpretation, Event Co-ordinator, Fitness Industry, Hospitality, Instruction in Outdoor Pursuits, Jobs in Conservation, Law, Midwife, Outdoor Education Teacher, Outdoor Equipment Retail, Personal Trainer, Police, Politics, Psychologist, Recreation Management, Safety Auditor, Social Sciences, Sports Coaching, Teaching, Tertiary Lecturer, Tourism, Youth Worker, Youth Development Programmer


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