Outdoor Education

Outdoor Education at Geraldine High School offers a unique opportunity for students to extend and take control of their own learning and development. The acquisition of physical outdoor skills and exposure to risk management is important because many New Zealand students and their families challenge themselves in the outdoor adventure environment at some time in their lives. The course is also an important introductory training ground for many students who have an interest in the growing adventure tourism industry in New Zealand and overseas.

Our Outdoor Education programme offers year 12 and 13 students and parents the stimulating combination of the challenges of the natural environment, the excitement of taking more self-responsibility and the joy of finding worth and value in one’s self. This gives Geraldine High School a point of difference in the ranks of secondary education.

Programme Aims

The programme promotes and enhances the growth of students in the following areas:

  • Personal Achievement
  • Personal and group responsibility
  • Self-confidence
  • Leadership
  • Skills
  • Safety
  • Planning
  • Communication
  • Appreciation of the potential and value of the environment

Geraldine High School is fortunate that the surrounding physical environment allows easy and suitable access for all our activities. We have access to highly experienced and qualified outdoor instructors, many of whom work at the Peel Forest Outdoor Pursuits Centre.

Safety is Paramount

The safety of our students is a major focus in planning and managing events, and having correct ratios of qualified instructors is a priority. We use a structured process of safety planning in Outdoor Education in terms of appropriate staffing, hazard identification, risk management, briefing and reviews. The school was successfully audited by Outdoors New Zealand in 2008 and was awarded the Outdoors Mark as a result.

Year 12 Course

This course focuses on water craft, bush craft, and mountain craft (rock and basic snow craft). In all three areas students are exposed to the ethics of environmental care, personal and group risk management, safety, and personal values. At different times students also take part in learning to lead and teach other students in elements of Adventure Based Learning. We are very fortunate in having a Low and High Challenge Ropes Course on site at school, and OE students use this exceptional learning tool to set realistic goals, lead others, and review personal and peer performances in participation and leadership. Assessed unit standard activities include; kayaking, river rescue, river crossing, rafting, outdoor first aid, tramping, camping, navigation, low and high ropes course, rock climbing, abseiling, skiing, snow caving and weather interpretation. Students gain credits at Levels 1-3.

Time requirements

One afternoon Outdoor Education period 5 plus the rest of the afternoon (students do not miss any other subjects because of this), PLUS:
Term 1: 2 weekends and the last week of term
Term 2: no extra
Term 3: 1 weekend and 1 school day
Term 4: no extra

Year 13 Course

Year 13 OE students are required to have taken Year 12 OE, unless there are exceptional circumstances. The teaching and learning emphasis in the Year 13 course is to enhance self-organisation, self-dependence and responsibility. Students are required to take on a greater role in their learning development and are required to perform at a higher level in all skill levels. Expeditioning is seen as the best way to set realistic goals and outcomes, and to obtain valid assessable results.

Time requirements

One afternoon Outdoor Education period 5 plus the rest of the afternoon (students do not miss any other subjects because of this), PLUS:
Term 1: 1 week and the last week of term
Term 2: 1 week beginning of the term
Term 3: 1 weekend and 1 school day
Term 4: 1 long weekend