Outdoor Education and The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award featured image

Outdoor Education and The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award

Our sequential program of Outdoor Education experiences is for students from Year 2 to Year 9.

We use the College’s Tallong Campus – 97 hectares in the Southern Highlands – for the programs.

We have designed the sequential program to be linked to curriculum outcomes and to challenge our students across four broad spheres of holistic educational development: physical, social, intellectual and spiritual.

The development of skills for teamwork, collaboration, problem solving and initiative is central to all the programs from Year 2 to Year 9. The programs focus on the ‘Plan Do Review’ process of learning as they experience the challenges ahead.

Our students develop age-appropriate skills through this program as the challenge increases over the years:

  • Year 2s experience the outdoors at Del Monte with putting up a tent, trying low ropes and experiencing outdoor play. Students have the option to sleep over at school.
  • Year 3s come to Tallong for a one-night experience to try the flying fox, bushwalking and mountain biking.
  • Year 4s learn to abseil, enjoy hot chocolate in the bush and learn how to use a compass as they orienteer around Tallong.
  • Year 5s explore the critters living in Barbers Creek, take on the low ropes, abseil down a cliff and explore the bush.
  • Year 6s visit the nation’s capital to learn about Parliament House and see all the highlights of our nation’s capital. They then attend Tallong to contribute to service learning, soar to heights on the flying fox and high ropes. 
  • Year 7s attend Tallong for their final time as they build relationships with their year level, partake in an overnight hike, paddle canoes and negotiate the high ropes.
  • Year 8s travel to the Illawarra area for a coastal experience in Killilea Regional Park and Mt Keira area. The students participate in rock climbing, mountain biking, stand-up paddle boarding and enjoy a day hike in the area as they broaden their horizons.
  • Year 9s extend their comfort zones at Myall Lakes National Park by participating in a challenging canoe journey, enjoying a beach walk, reflecting on their time in nature and simply enjoying the beauty of the place. 

Our skilled outdoor staff and members of the Pastoral Team support students in dealing with the challenges, while the often repeated mantra comes from their encouraging peers – ‘you can do it!’

We place strong emphasis on community living, cooperative learning, goal setting and environmental stewardship.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award

We offer The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award program to complement our sequential Outdoor Education Program.

The program empowers young people to realise their full potential beyond academic success. It encourages participants to set and achieve goals as they learn new skills, improve their physical wellbeing, volunteer in their community and experience an adventure outdoors. 

The Award program is entirely voluntary and each participant is free to choose their own program of activities and to progress according to personal needs, aptitude and availability of resources.

Within the Award there are three levels: Bronze, Silver and Gold. Each level is made up of three sections: Physical Recreation, Volunteer Service and Skills. Students can choose their own activities for each section, some of which they may be already doing at school through co-curricular activities.

We currently have over 100 students enrolled in Duke of Ed at the school, some of whom are completing their Gold Award. Duke of Ed may be undertaken from Year 9 onwards, with students working their way through the levels.

The completion of the Gold Award is a significant achievement which is highly regarded by peers, employers and academic institutions.