Orienteering for Schools
Orienteering is a fun and educational activity, suitable for both primary and secondary students - from Year 4 to Year 12.
- Orienteering helps students develop spatial awareness as well as learning to read maps and navigate.
- It exercises both the body and mind.
- It teaches students about their environment.
There are lots of ways for schools to make orienteering available to their students. You can run simple orienteering activities on your school campus or at a nearby park or camp. For assistance on anything relating to Orienteering for Schools, please contact our Sporting Schools Manager, Jan Fletcher.
Sporting Schools Program
The easiest and cheapest way to provide orienteering in your school is through the Federally Funded Sporting Schools Program. For more information read their flyer: Orienteering in Schools. The program enables you to obtain funding for mapping your school, purchasing equipment, training teachers to run a school program and/or having a 4-week program conducted by an OWA coach. If you obtain a grant, you will also have access to a multi-week program.
Free Booklet and Lesson Plans
Other resources for teaching orienteering in schools can be found in material produced by OWA.
Please take the opportunity to download our Orienteering for Schools booklet which provides details of the basics of orienteering plus sets out the format for a 4 session course. The aim of this booklet is to assist teachers who are keen to set their own orienteering programs.
Also available are a series of 10 Lesson Plans, prepared by Mike Sibbald for his Year 4 students at St Brigid's School Middle Swan. Mike is an experienced orienteer and teacher, and the plans are provided as a detailed example of how he helps his students to build orienteering competence over time.
The plans are provided as a word document so that they can be modified relatively easily and made specific to your own school.
Services available to Schools
Services available to schools though the Sporting Schools Program can also be requested by schools willing to pay for them through their own school’s sports budget. They will be provided if OWA has the time and personnel resources. These consist of:
1. Mapping your school
We can professionally map your school, a nearby park or camp. Find out about getting us to map your school.
2. Professional Development for Teachers
Our half-day course gives you a Level O coaching qualification for orienteering.
There are no fixed dates for courses, just let us know you are interested.
Information for Teachers: Professional Development.
3. In-School Orienteering Sessions
If you prefer, we may be able to provide a coach to run orienteering sessions in school for your classes. All coaches have appropriate qualifications and clearances. Sessions are generally run over a 4 week period.
We can also provide one-to-one assistance and advise you if you are interested in preparing your own orienteering program. You can also introduce students to orienteering concepts through the our Activity Sheets.
For those schools with the resources and permission to take students off campus, our free Anytime Orienteering kits, at popular spots like Whiteman Park and Manning Park, provide useful resources.
In addition to the maps, with courses of different lengths and difficulty which use permanent control markers, the following guides (PDF format) may assist in getting you started:
Schools Orienteering Championships
Each year, Orienteering WA organises the WA Schools Championships.
Primary and Secondary Schools compete on separate days - Secondary Schools in June; Primary Schools in August - to be State Champions for the year. Competition can be very close.
Students have the chance to join the WA Schools Orienteering Team, which competes at the Australian Schools Championships held in different states at the end of September/beginning of October each year. We stay together with all other teams including the Australian states, ACT and New Zealand, competing over several days.
In 2023, the Australian Schools Championships will be held during the September school holidays in Western Australia.
Juniors between the age of 12 and 19 (as at December 31 2023) are encouraged to nominate for the Western Australian Schools team. Nominees should familiarise themselves with the dates of the 2023 selection events and skill level required.
We are always very keen to welcome newcomers of whatever age. The Junior Development section explains what is available for younger orienteers.