Orienteering is a challenging outdoor adventure sport which exercises mind and body. It appeals to non-sporty children as much as those who are already active. Unlike some sports, students won't be left on the bench or waiting to be passed the ball. In orienteering, they are the ball!
Students can go at their own pace - walk, jog or run. While their competitive juices often flow, it's not just about speed. They have to interpret the map and choose the quickest route between control points, which may not necessarily be the shortest route. Many activities are done in pairs so the students get to coach each other, further adding to the learning experience.
The Sport of Orienteering
Orienteering combines physical with mental activity. Students learn skills of map reading, symbol recognition and interpretation, the concept of scale, spatial awareness and decision-making. The orienteering experience helps students gain confidence in the outdoors, provides experience working in teams and emphasises accuracy rather than speed. Orienteering has links to the national curriculum in many areas, including health and PE, geography, outdoor education, maths and science. It contributes to students’ overall well-being and social development.
The first step is to create an orienteering map. Depending on the complexity of the school grounds, this may take between 10 and 15 hours to complete. If your school has been mapped already, it may simply require an update, which will take less time to complete. If you are not sure whether your school has been mapped, contact us and we can find out. Upon completion of the program we will present you with the map, which can be used in other subjects. The map becomes a great resource for you beyond this program - it could be of use in social science, maths and PE classes.
Lessons, Coaching and Professional Development
Orienteering Tasmania will provide an accredited coach to deliver lessons over four weeks. We are adaptable and can fit into your requirements. Each lesson will involve fun activities to impart the skills used in orienteering. Although orienteering is an outdoor sport, our program includes activities which can be used on a rainy day when students are confined indoors.
Students need to be able to read a map – Year 3 and above.
As part of the Sporting Schools program, Orienteering Tasmania can upskill teachers so they can teach orienteering to students. This is in the form of a special professional development session (about 2 hours). Participants will achieve accreditation as Level 0 Orienteering Coaches. There is a newly developed, extensive e-guide for teachers available for purchase after a teacher has completed the pd session and the school has been mapped. This contains multiple lesson plans and is linked to the Australian curriculum and the National Physical Literacy Framework. Anyone interested in this should contact us to discuss the options.
- between $400 and $600, depending on the complexity of your campus.
- $80 per class, eg 4 classes for 4 sessions = 16 x $80 = $1280. (Minimum of 3 classes.)
- 50 cents per km if more than 25 km from the coach’s or mapper’s residence
Contact us for a more detailed quote (details below).
Orienteering Tasmania’s school program is coordinated by two experienced teachers and risks are minimised.
Read some testimonials from schools where we have conducted similar lessons:
"We have done some map reading. You always have to point your map to North. We had to find symbols to help us know where the map is telling us to go. We had to scan a little tag at each checkpoint and there were some very muddy places at some of the checkpoints. It was so much fun running around our school reading the map and finding the checkpoints. Once we had finished the course we had to go to a little machine and scan our tag. This showed us if we finished the course in order and how long it took us. Jo and Rod were awesome at teaching us how to do orienteering."
Jacobi Moore - Age 6, Somerset Primary School
“Our students really enjoyed the orienteering sessions. The intro activities were fun and taught them the skills they needed for map reading and orientation. The day we ran the “event” at school was super exciting. Lots of kids ran the course again at recess and lunch – they enjoyed it that much!”
Sandi Woodward, Waimea Heights Primary School
"Over the last four weeks, the year 3-6 students at GSPS have had the pleasure of being involved in an Orienteering program facilitated by Jane and Mike Calder from Orienteering Tasmania. The students had a fantastic time as they learnt new skills, challenged their levels of fitness and developed team work with their peers. The highlight of the year 6 camp was the orienteering course held at Knocklofty."
Jenny Sullivan, Goulburn St Primary School
"Thanks again for a fantastic orienteering class with our Outdoor Ed students yesterday. The students were really engaged with learning the skills of reading and interpreting map features, orientating themselves to their map, surroundings, and direction to destination. All with the incentive of some fun, competitive games and activities to apply them in practise. This culminated in a well planned orienteering route that built confidence at the start and challenged them gradually as they progressed through the course, using modern timing equipment that gave them accurate feedback on their performance at the end. It was great value for money for my two classes, consolidating knowledge learnt in the classroom and directly applicable to their progress in Outdoor Education 2 syllabus."
Steve Cameron, Elizabeth College Outdoor Education teacher
"Hi Mike, I’d like to say thanks once again for your marvellous work with our students. We’ve learned lots and thoroughly enjoyed our Wednesdays with you, and I know you could see the motivation and engagement of the students. I’ve also appreciated your quiet organisation and attention to details – not to mention all the lifting stuff in and out of vehicles and setting up courses."
Philippa Clymo, AST and Year 5/6 teacher, Waimea Heights Primary School
"Thanks Peter, Mike & Geoff, the 4 weeks have been terrific for the students and myself and I look forward to running orienteering programs each year from now on for our Preps up to grade 6 students."
Robert Christie, PE teacher, Lindisfarne and Lindisfarne North Primary Schools
"Hi Mike, I'd like to thank you for the excellent work you did with our students during the Sporting Schools Program. The girls thoroughly enjoyed the lessons and learned a great deal about the sport of Orienteering. We look forward to getting you in again in the near future!"
Tim Dale, Physical Education Teacher, Fahan School
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