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Why provide opportunities for outdoor education?

Outdoor education provides an opportunity to enhance the well-being of individuals, groups, and communities by involving them in activities that foster enjoyment, adventure, and challenge. By increasing students’ environmental and ecological understanding, outdoor education can also help to develop their commitment to take positive action to preserve and protect the environment.

Manageable learning experiences, which do not require specialist skill or equipment, can be implemented in the school grounds or immediate locality. Skills learned within the security of a familiar locality can later be applied, with more confidence, in an unfamiliar environment.

Through outdoor education, students will acquire the knowledge, skills, and attitudes that they need in order to participate in outdoor pursuits and recrea­tion safely and with enjoyment. Outdoor education is a vehicle for facilitating self-discovery and the skills of living and co-operating with others. The personal, physical, and social skills that are acquired can enhance enjoyment of life.

Outdoor education programmes assist students to appreciate the interde­pendence of living things within their community, helping them to understand the traditions and values of the tangata whenua and the cultural perspectives of other people on the natural environment.