Education Outside the Classroom (EOTC) is defined as all those events that occur outside the classroom, both on- and off-site, including all curriculum, sporting, and cultural activities. It also includes overseas trips.
The school’s EOTC activities support and enhance the New Zealand Curriculum.
Students learn through experiences appropriate to their needs and environment. Students need a variety of experiences for maximum development, and should be given opportunities to explore and learn from the world outside the classroom.
School boards and individual teachers have a duty of care to students, and responsibilities under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015.
EOTC activities must be approved according to the Ministry of Education Management Guide for EOTC activities. The board delegates the approval as relevant and holds the ultimate legal responsibility for approved excursions. All school health and safety policies apply to EOTC activities. When there is more than one PCBU involved (such as an outdoor education provider or other school board), the board and EOTC organisers consult, cooperate, and coordinate to ensure that health and safety responsibilities, including risk management, are met. Examples include interschool sports tournaments, school camps, and visits to outdoor education centres.
EOTC programmes, events, activities, and experiences:
- enhance learning, through a variety of well-designed, first-hand experiences
- provide experiences for students that encourage awareness of the values and philosophies of the tangata whenua, and other cultures within the school community
- increase students’ knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of the school area, local district, and other familiar and unfamiliar places
- promote ecological awareness and personal responsibility towards the environment
- develop students’ skills in observation, recording, and organisation
- help students develop self-confidence and a sense of adventure
- assist students in their social development by placing them with others in unfamiliar situations
- help students develop an attitude of responsibility, particularly towards their own safety and that of others
- provide students with opportunities to work together in a group.
To make EOTC effective and safe, the school will:
- involve students, parents, caregivers, and the community at relevant stages of EOTC management (e.g. planning, approval, review, and evaluation)
- take all practicable steps to include students with additional support needs
- be aware of cultural considerations of participants
- ensure, where possible, that students are not excluded for financial or special reasons
- provide alternative learning situations for students unable to participate
- liaise with local early childhood centres and with contributing and receiving schools, where appropriate, so that EOTC programmes are coordinated
- follow Ministry of Education regulations and guidelines on safety and supervision, risk management, leadership, and legal requirements
- ensure adequate ongoing training for all staff involved in EOTC, including support staff attending approved workshops, seminars, courses and training, and assessment schemes.
Taking students out of the school environment can provide them with life-changing experiences, which they will remember for the rest of their lives. It can also put them at risk and into unfamiliar situations. Careful planning and preparation is needed to minimise risks and make the activity a positive experience for each student.
- All trips must have the prior approval of the team leader and the Principal. Hazards and control measures must be identified. Parents must be informed of possible hazards and have the opportunity for a parental risk disclosure.
- Provide experiences that develop children’s awareness of the need for safety and how to minimize risk.
- Ensure adequate/pupil ratios, complete RAMS forms as required by the Board of Trustees and safe car practices are in place and being carried out.
- Adult : Pupil ratio:
1 : 6
1 : 4 (on or in water)
1 : 9
1 : 4 (on or in water)
Adult : Pupil ratio on overnight camps:
1 : 9
1 : 4 (on or in water)
- Educational trips should be self funding. All children to attend the organised EOTC experience, regardless of payment
- Parents will be informed of out-of-school visits, including the purpose and cost involved, and permission slips need to be signed by parents/guardians and returned to school prior to the day of the activity.
- Provision will be made for children not attending.
- All groups on extensive trips will take a well supplied first aid kit (available from the sick bay) as well as a cell phone.
- For the use of private vehicles, the appropriate form must be completed.
- Year 1-2 – Day trips
Year 3-4 – On site camping, Late evening experience at school
Year 5-6 – Off site under a roof (e.g. huts /dormitory)
- Staff must comply with policies set by the Board.
- For overnight trips, parental consent forms, hazard disclosure, activities list and medical forms are essential.
- Parent involvement is considered essential to the success of camps and visits.
- All teachers are responsible for ensuring the safety and well-being of pupils in their care. While parents provide supervision and support, the teacher still remains overall in charge of operations and control of pupils.
- Any subsidy or equity funding for hardship reasons is at the discretion of the principal, who may have access to a trust to assist, the general intent is that camps cover their expenses.