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Planning considerations

Teachers could begin planning by gathering a range of information about the outdoor education learning needs of students and by considering whether any of the possible learning outcomes, to view click here, might meet these learning needs. Af­ter discussing appropriate learning outcomes with students, teachers could refer to the related learning experiences and choose activities, from here or elsewhere, that are most likely to help students achieve their next learning steps. For exam­ple, to help students achieve the learning outcome “demonstrate map-reading and compass skills when performing an outdoor activity”, you might implement the Team Orienteering Challenge. During this learning experience, you might select activities that focus specifically on map-reading and assess student learn­ing while small groups of students use maps with a grid reference to try to locate as many markers as possible within a set time and record their codes.


During or soon after activities, provide students with feedback that sets the direc­tion for future learning. This feedback might involve:

  • recognising students’ efforts by acknowledging their commitment, perseverance, and ability to complete tasks
  • reinforcing teaching points by using phrases like “I heard ...” or “I saw ...”
  • helping students to link their learning with other aspects of their lives
  • encouraging students to reflect on their learning by asking them, for example, how they feel about their work and what they might do differently next time
  • providing students with information about their achievements to identify what aspects they might need to develop further and to set new personal or group goals.

Learning Environments

Have you made maximum use of the school grounds and planned to gradually introduce students to more challenging and unfamiliar environments?

Possible Learning Outcomes

Learning outcomes signal the learning that is expected to occur as a result of particular learning activities. They are set after considering student learning needs. (See The Needs of Learners on pages 50–51 of Health and Physical Education in the New Zealand Curriculum (1999)).  In this book, learning outcomes are linked to achievement objectives as follows.

A learning need is identified. For example, your students may need to identify the potential dangers associated with an outdoor activity. This learning outcome can be linked to levels 2 and 3, strand A, achievement objective 3 and is therefore identified as related to achievement objective 2/3A3 (students will identify and use safe practices and basic risk-management strategies).

Possible learning outcomes and their links to the curriculum are listed here. Over time, students should have the opportunity to achieve all the ob­jectives identified in the curriculum.