Syllabus information for leaders

Whole school considerations

Outdoor education is based on experiential learning where students explore and gain a deeper understanding of their surroundings. Students learn through planning and participating in outdoor experiences and reflecting on their involvement.

The course has links with NSW Stage 5 HSIE, science and PDHPE curriculum.

The course will provide students with a pathway into 3 proposed Stage 6 courses:

  • Course a – Outdoor and environmental studies (ATAR).
  • Course b – Outdoor education general course.
  • Course c – Certificate II in outdoor recreation.

School-based outdoor education programs should have a strong focus on practical application, movement and experiential learning in outdoor environments.

When selecting practical applications, schools are encouraged to provide students with:

  • the opportunity to explore a broad range of outdoor education experiences to identify with activities which they may pursue beyond school
  • the opportunity to transfer knowledge and build personal and social skills across contexts and appreciate the variety of benefits from connecting with the natural environment to support lifelong health, wellbeing and relationships
  • new experiences and challenges beyond those offered through the mandatory PDHPE Years 7-10 course
  • experiences and activities that are relevant and suitably challenging for students, and that can be supported by school and community resources.

Some students with disability may require adjustments, including the use of adaptive equipment and/or additional support in order to engage in practical and/or theoretical applications.

In addition, schools should be aware of department policies in relation to the safe conduct of particular activities and reflect on their capacity to meet these requirements when selecting the areas of emphasis in their course.

Outdoor education is a new course in 2022. The content is organised in modules reflective of five focus areas:

  • outdoor activity and exploration skills
  • environmental awareness, conservation and sustainability
  • personal and social skills, growth and development
  • connecting with the natural environment
  • health, safety and wellbeing in the outdoors.

Students may undertake either 100 or 200 hours of study in Outdoor education in Stage 5. Courses are structured in the following ways:

  • 100-hour course comprises the core and a minimum of 3 options
  • 200-hour course comprises the core and a minimum of 7 options

Schools are required to complete the core module with all students. It should precede any options and be taught in full. Schools develop programs by selecting option modules and/or integrating content from option modules. Option modules can be studied in any order.

Return to top of page Back to top