The Outdoor Education program is designed to develop independence, collaboration, problem-solving, and leadership abilities in our students. An outdoor educational experience is an experiential process of learning by doing, where students develop, apply, and reflect upon fundamental world skills that will serve them well for life. St Mary’s fosters an environment for students to gain an appreciation for the natural world and a further sense of adventure.
The inspiration for the Outdoor Education program begins with our camp program. This starts in Year 3 with an overnight experience; past examples include the Zoo Snooze at Adelaide Zoo. In later years, students embark on formative trips to Aldinga, Ballarat, Canberra and The Grampians.
Our formal Outdoor Education subject begins with day hikes. The program culminates in a three-day trek along part of the Heysen Trail. Students can complete Stage 1 and 2 SACE subjects.
Students participate by applying their knowledge of sustainability, safety, and navigation to activities that involve kayaking, indoor rock-climbing, hiking, orienteering and stand-up paddleboarding (SUP). Students also participate in camp crafts, including menu planning, cooking on a Trangia stove, use of rucksacks and sleeping in tents.
Key camping experiences include bushwalking in the Deep Creek Conservation Park and Mt. Remarkable National Park.
Further experiences are also available for Year 10 and 11 students who apply for the St Mary’s annual Snowsports Tour held in Falls Creek, Victoria. The Tour is an extension of our Outdoor Education program, where students engage in physical conditioning, and education on the Alpine Responsibility Code to prepare for the Tour. Whilst away, students participate in lessons to learn downhill skiing and to cross-country ski. It is a trip that requires students to take positive risks, be resilient, and be independent. They are encouraged to step out of their comfort zones by attempting new challenges but feel a great sense of achievement when they are successful. Students also work in teams to support and motivate one another, developing strong friendships.