Orienteering Australia – Sporting Schools Information
Sporting Schools brings together schools and sports to help get Aussie children active in their local communities. Sporting Schools is open to all Australian primary schools, and with quality programmes developed by 32 national sporting organisations, it offers a fun and supportive environment for children and coaches. Orienteering is one of the sports that is included in this programme – see the Orienteering Australia page on Sporting Schools website.
Orienteering is both a sport and a recreational activity enjoyed by people of all ages and fitness levels. Participants use a specially prepared map to navigate their way to a number of checkpoints. Orienteering Australia and its State associations and clubs organise more than 1,100 orienteering events each year. Many of these are on school and university campuses and in local suburban parks and streets and are ideally suited to safe, accessible participation by school students and their parents.
Orienteering is part treasure hunt, part amazing race. You go at your own pace, usually on your own but sometimes in pairs or small groups. It is as much a mental activity as a physical one – hence it appeals to ‘non-sporting’ people and those who are not interested in traditional team sports, where players can be left ‘on the bench’ or take little part in game play.
Orienteering can be conducted outdoors and indoors. It caters for all ages from 4 years through to 95 years, for all levels of fitness, for walkers as well as runners.
How will Orienteering Australia help your school offer Orienteering?
Orienteering Australia is currently:
- building coaching capacity Australia wide as well as professional development (PD) training;
- creating an accessible national coach accreditation management database;
- can provide coaching curricula and lesson plan resources (see OK-GO as an example);
- can put you in contact with a mapper to develop a school orienteering map or update an existing map.
Sporting Schools Orienteering Program
The orienteering sporting schools program teaches kids orienteering skills using a variety of active, fun and inclusive games. Some of the skills the children will learn are reading maps, map symbols, orientating the map (cardinal points/NESW) and route choice, and concludes with an orienteering line course around the school.
The sporting school orienteering programs are customised according to age & experience of the children, as well as the number of lessons required. As an example, the OK-GO seven week course outline used in NSW is as follows:
Week 1 : Introduction to maps and orienteering
- Introductory talk
- Treasure Hunt game
- Introduction to North/South/East/West game
- Introduction to Maps discussion
- Map walk around school activity
Week 2 : Introduction to map orientation and punching
- Review NSEW and orientation discussion
- Mini O-Course activity
- Feature Card Relay game
- Introduction to punching discussion and game
Week 3 : Introduction to orienteering within the school
- Review map orientation discussion
- Introduction to schoolyard courses discussion and activity
- Easy line course activity
Week 4 : Understanding control descriptions and building skills
- Map orientation using mini maps activity
- Orientation and symbol revision discussion
- Control descriptions discussion
- Star Relay activity
Week 5 : Understanding control placement and score courses
- Control placement discussion and activity
- Mini Score Course activity
Week 6 : Route planning and introduction to unfamiliar maps
- Micro GPS course activity
- GPS course on school map activity
- Terrain and Map features discussion and game
Week 7 : Orienteering course
- Timed Orienteering course around the school
Orienteering NSW has developed OK-GO, a comprehensive kit for coaches and/or schools to purchase. The kit contains a companion booklet explaining each of the weekly activities, as well as all the necessary materials. It includes a disc with soft copies for replacing lost or worn-out materials – so you only pay once!
If you are interested in finding out more or purchasing an OK-GO kit, please contact Ian Jessup as below.
What is required for Orienteering at your school?
The essential requirements for teaching orienteering is a school map and a qualified orienteering coach. If your school doesn’t already have a map that can be used for orienteering, then this can be organised. The cost of mapping a small primary school starts at around $200 – $300. A larger school may cost around $600 to map. The cost of mapping depends on many factors, including the complexity of the buildings and covered walkways, the size of the school ground, the amount of orienteering features, and detail of the terrain. The school retains the map for unlimited future use. Please contact your state orienteering association sporting schools manager to inquire about mapping.
This is an extract from a typical orienteering map of a school. Notice the detail of all the features. Maps are usually between 1:1000 to 1:4000 in scale and special attention is given to buildings (dark grey), undercover areas (light grey), man made features like bins and chairs (black x) and distinct trees (green circles). Orienteering maps always show magnetic north, however using a compass is a more advanced topic that isn’t covered in the sporting schools program – instead, it’s preferred that the map is oriented according to the features you can see.
To view the full map – click here: Full Size School Map
Control points are then placed at various places on the map, such as building corners, man made features and distinct trees and a corresponding circle drawn on the map so that point can be found. It’s therefore very important that the map is accurate and up to date.
An orienteering map of the school is a great resource beyond this program – it will be of use to social science, maths, PE, and gifted and talented classes. It’s also a handy planning tool if the school wants to add new buildings!
Feel free to enquire in regards to all aspects of Orienteering as part of Sporting Schools, including mapping the school, courseware, coaches, professional development and making a booking.
Sporting Schools Manager: Jim Mackay
Office: (02) 8736 1277
Mobile: 0407 467 345
Notes: OK-GO courseware available for purchase
Sporting Schools Manager: Orienteering NT
Sporting Schools Manager: Janet Fletcher
Orienteering Coaching Accreditation