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Orienteering at Theodore Primary heading in the right direction

Students doing Orienteering

Image: Theodore Primary students preparing to navigate their way around the school 

There’s a new direction happening at Theodore Primary School in Canberra where the children are navigating their way around the school grounds with high level theory skills and getting fit at the same time, as part of their Sporting Schools Orienteering programme.

Teachers were particularly impressed with the programme as they noticed the students were motivated and really giving it a go.

Toni Brown from Orienteering ACT said the students also enjoyed the opportunity to share their existing map knowledge with the instructors.

“The children were able to put into action the use of cardinal and semi cardinal points as they moved around, as well as interpreting the map legend.  The map scale was explored in a realistic situation as the classes learnt to understand the distances by pacing,” Toni said.

“By the end of the series the classes knew how contours appeared on a map, and were effective decision makers when it came to navigating between different points around the school,” she said.

Brooke Wood, the PE Coordinator at Theodore Primary reported that the students were all very engaged throughout the lesson and were constantly moving.

“The programme was structured to suit and accommodate the needs of our school and students and it tied in extremely well with their mapping unit work,” Brooke said.

“It was very well planned and delivered with knowledgeable and experienced coaches, and catered for every child's need regardless of their sporting ability,” she said.

Staff at Theodore Primary were impressed with how fantastic it was and how engaged the kids were, who all expressed their excitement for the programme.

“It was great to work with a partner because you had someone to help you decode the maps,” student, Oliver said.

“Orienteering taught us to read maps and how to use the sun to help with directions,” Lachlan said, while his classmate, Jarrah thought it was fun and they learnt a lot about directions and mapping.

Sporting Schools is a $100 million Australian Government initiative to get more children playing more sport, before, during and after school. Want to run an orienteering programme at your school? Check out all the details on the Orienteering Australia page.

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