Outdoor Education aims to prepare students to meet both mental and physical challenges as members of an expedition in the natural environment. Theoretical and practical work develops skills and attitudes about the outdoors. Self-reliance and self-management is emphasised throughout the course. Activities may include canoeing, cycling and sailing together with life-saving techniques in the natural environment.

View Syllabus on School Curriculum and Standards Authority Website

Year 11

Unit 1 – Experiencing the outdoors

The focus of this unit is being responsible in the outdoors. Students are exposed to a broad range of responsibilities involved in undertaking short-duration expeditions. Through regular practical experiences and group activities, students develop flexibility, monitoring and commitment. They further develop problem solving, decision making and outdoor leadership skills and strategies for building effective group relationships. Students become more aware of the natural environment and develop interpretational skills. They are introduced to sustainability and local environmental management strategies and consider the role of technology in mediating human relationships with nature.

Unit 2 – Facing challenges in the outdoors

The focus for this unit is attaining independence in the outdoors. Students further their performance and competence at increasing levels of self-sufficiency, technical understanding, and physical fitness, to deal with a range of challenges. They are involved in planning for participation in extended expeditions and become more proficient in outdoor activity roping and navigational skills. They are able to conduct emergency response processes. Opportunities for self-discovery and strategies to enhance personal and interpersonal skills are provided. They deliver briefings, participate in debriefing, and experience shared leadership opportunities. Students extend their understanding about the environment and develop weather forecasting skills. They are introduced to historical, cultural and Indigenous heritage. They explore current controversial environmental issues related to outdoor experiences, and examples of management strategies for environments at risk in Western Australia (WA).

Year 12

Unit 3 – Building confidence in the outdoors

Students understand planning and organisational requirements necessary for them to participate in safe, short-duration excursions/expeditions. Students participate in outdoor adventure activities where they develop and improve their technical skills, apply appropriate practices to ensure safe participation, and begin to develop survival skills. Students develop personal skills related to flexibility in coping and adapting to change and in monitoring such things as the elements in an environment, or the participation of individuals in activities and expeditions. Features and relationships in natural environments are examined. Weather components, patterns and forecasting are introduced. Students develop a greater understanding of human interactions with nature, past and present. Sustainability is introduced and local issues are examined.

Unit 4 – Outdoor leadership

Students consider planning and organisational requirements necessary for them to participate in positive and safe, short-duration excursions/expeditions in selected outdoor activities. Students engage in outdoor activities where they develop and improve their technical skills and apply appropriate practices to ensure safe participation. They continue to develop navigational skills and respond to an emergency in the outdoors. Students focus on developing commitment, tolerance, resilience and conflict resolution skills. Students lead briefing and debriefing sessions and appraise their own and others’ leadership skills. Students continue to forecast weather and apply strategies to minimise human impact on natural environments. They explore sustainability projects and understand human responsibility for the environment.