Outdoor and Adventure activities

 

The strand units of the Outdoor and Adventure curriculum include:

 

  • Walking
  • Orienteering
  • Outdoor Challenges
  • Water based activities (fifth and sixth class only)
  • Understanding and appreciation of outdoor and adventure activities

 

These activities help to develop appreciation and enjoyment of the great outdoors.  They also help children foster a healthy attitude to the environment around them. The activities are team-orientated and develop social skills.  Some involve map-reading and problem-solving, coming to group decisions, developing leadership qualities and taking calculated risks.  In the senior classes water-based activities may include novel opportunities to canoe or sail – facilitated by a visit to an Outdoor Education Centre with adequate instructor/pupil ratio and safety standards.  In summary, outdoor and adventure activities are mainly non-competitive and offer alternative ways to enjoy a healthy approach to recreation and outdoor activities.

The outdoor and adventures activities strand has many links with the Geography curriculum. This strand is an aspect of the physical education curriculum that traditionally might not have been considered by schools in their programme. Many of the suggested activities appeal to the child who may not be highly motivated to participate in physical activity. However, the presentation of the curriculum caters for a broad range of activities.

Some of the suggested activities in the outdoor and adventure activities strand can take place indoors. This is often the best place to learn basic skills before applying them outdoors. Many orienteering skills, for example, can be developed initially using the school building as a base. Other activities can be undertaken within the school environment or local amenities may provide the ideal environment for some of the outdoor challenges, for instance.

Positive attitudes towards caring for the environment are fostered as children engage in outdoor activities.

While the PE Curriculum outlines the specifics of each of the strand units of outdoor and adventure across the class levels, the table below provides a summary of progression across the class levels

 

 

 

Walking

Orienteering

Outdoor Challenges

U & A

Infants

- short walks in or around schools

Topic walk

- treasure hunts, scavenger hunt, matching pairs games, hunt relay

Boundary walk

Identify area of hall, field, school ground

Follow instructions/ directions

Animal trail – simple – random

Stepping stones – individual

Blind trail

Pass the hoop

Obstacle course

Colour charts

Respect for the environment

Safety issues

1st & 2nd

- Short walks outside school

Topic walk

- treasure hunts, scavenger hunt, matching pairs games, hunt relay

Boundary walk

Identify areas of hall, field, school

NSEW

Animal trail

Following a simple map plan

Snake walk

Stepping stones – team

Blind trail

Pass the hoop

Obstacle course

Shuffle pack

Respect for the environment

Safety issues

3rd & 4th

Undertake forest walks

Topic walk

- treasure hunts, scavenger hunt, matching pairs games, hunt relay

Boundary walk

Map walk

Photo-star orienteering

NSEW square

Adventure trail

Tangle twister

Shuffle pack

Blind trail

Obstacle course

Respect for the environment

Safety issues

5th & 6th

Undertake a forest/country walk

Pitching a tent

Topic walk

- treasure hunts, scavenger hunt, matching pairs games, hunt relay

Star-orienteering

In hall, school grounds

Memory star

Point to point

Score orienteering

Adventure trail

Tangle twister

Shuffle pack

Blind trail

Obstacle course

Raised stepping stones

Skis

Respect for the environment

Safety issues

 

When planning for outdoor and adventure activities the teacher should consider:

  • Warm up and cool down activities appropriate to the particular lesson
  • Inviting support from additional personnel to help with group work or any activity that involves travelling from the school site
  • Visiting an outdoor activities centre which provides opportunities for orienteering, adventure challenges or water-based activities
  • Planning for aspects of a number of strand units to be delivered in each lesson or emphasising a particular strand unit for some lessons

The approaches and methodologies for PE, outlined in the PE ‘Teacher Guidelines’ on pages 42 -100 are an excellent reference for teachers in organising Athletics lessons.

A unit of work in outdoor and adventure activities outlining a five week programme of work for first and second class is outlined on pp92-93

 

In addition the PSSI lessons on outdoor and adventure activities for all class levels are an excellent resource for teachers and outline a comprehensive programme of work specific to each class lesson incorporating a variety of approaches and methodologies across the class levels.

 

Please find attached further resources to support you in implementing outdoor and adventure activities

Walking activities:  A selection of walking activities suitable for all class levels

Outdoor Challenges: A list of outdoor challenges, team building activities and parachute activities which can be completed in either the school hall or the school grounds, with activities suitable and adaptable for all class levels

Orienteering control cards: Sample control cards which can be used for orienteering activities. Instructions for the control cards are provided

Mini Control Cards: Mini control cards which can be used for orienteering activities

PSSI Lesson plans: A set of instructions or ‘to do’ list which may support schools in preparing for the Outdoor and Adventure lessons on the PSSI materials to ensure adequate sets of resources and materials are available for all classes

Map hunt: This handout lists activities that may be completed on one’s schools grounds with a sample control card which may be adapted to suit a particular schools facilities