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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 “develop safe working skills to manage safety during an outdoor activity”, you might implement the Geometric Laser Field activity, focus specifically on developing safety procedures such as spotting, and assess students’ learning while they undertake the activity.


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 Suggested 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 take action to enhance a feature of the school or local community environment. This learning outcome can be linked to level 5, strand D, achievement objective 4 and is therefore identified as related to achievement objective 5D4 (students will investigate and evaluate features of the school environment that affect people’s well-being and take action to enhance these).

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.