Outdoor Education

At Eastern Ranges School the Outdoor Education Program includes learning at school both in the indoor and outdoor classroom and time engaging with the broader community in both natural and built environments.

At Junior School, students take part in Outdoor Education on a weekly basis. Both classroom staff and specialist staff are involved in the delivery of the program. Students learn important topics for successful community engagement such as safely crossing the road, holding hands when necessary, identifying community signs, dressing appropriately for the weather, being sunsmart when outdoors, sharing play equipment with each other and the community and transitioning between unfamiliar environments. Students participate in both walking excursions and bus excursions and are expected to pack their excursion bags pre departure and unpack their bags on return to school. Students identify and explore natural and built environments in the local community where physical activity (such as playing, walking, running) can take place (Victorian Curriculum, HPE). Students participate in outdoor games and activities to examine how participation promotes a connection between the community, natural and built environments, and health and wellbeing (Victorian Curriculum, HPE).

In Middle School Outdoor Education, students have the opportunity to participate in full day excursions with the Outdoor Education teacher, classroom staff and volunteers. The benefits and goals of the program are individualised and cover numerous areas of the curriculum and growth for participants. This Program aims to prepare students for overnight camp experiences in the future, increase community awareness and connection, and promote confidence, social skills and working in teams.

The Outdoor Education Programs has the following Victorian Curriculum links:

Health and Physical Education: being healthy, safe and active. Explore how participation in outdoor activities supports personal and community health and wellbeing and creates connections to the natural and built environment.

Personal and Social Capability: identify and express a range of emotions in their interactions with others, recognise personal qualities, achievements and strengths. Recognising that attempting new and challenging tasks are an important part of development.

Critical and Creative Thinking: students generate ideas that are new to them and make choices after considering personal preferences. They apply questioning as a tool to focus or expand thinking.

Science: describe how different places meet the needs of living things and the observable features of living vs non-living things.

Geography: define place and identify and describe features of places and changes at a local scale. Students to identify how people are connected to different places and explain the value of places to people.

Students take part in Outdoor Education excursions with the specialist teacher and classroom staff. This allows for thorough reflection, debriefing and learning after such experiences. Classroom staff are able to make links to the excursion for future teaching in all areas of the curriculum. For example, when visiting a bushland environment students may see birds, insects and native wildlife. Students are then able to go back to the classroom and further research a species they have seen, do a research project on that species and present to their class group.

In 2017 a Camps Committee was formed with representation of all areas of the school. The Committee meets regularly to discuss camp experiences for students across all sub-schools- Junior, Middle and Senior. The team is working hard to create ongoing camp experiences for each year level. This includes sub-school-wide day adventures to new places, overnight school sleep outs, day-camp experiences and overnight camp stays. In future times parents can expect consistency in what will be offered at each level of their child’s schooling.

It is exciting and growing times in the Outdoor Education and Camp Experience world, what a great time to be a part of an exciting journey!