Education outside the classroom

Education outside the classroom (EOTC)

Taking students outside the classroom to learn is an essential part of the Ao Tawhiti Unlimited Discovery Experience.

EOTC extends learning beyond the walls of the classroom. It can range from a museum or marae visit to a sports trip, an outdoor education camp, a field trip to the rocky shore, or a visit to practise another language.

EOTC allows students to make links between the classroom and real-world experiences and can be critical to their long-term learning.  Accordingly, school policies and practices that enable students to participate in well-designed experiences outside the classroom assist with their learning and development.

Learning and safety are paramount for EOTC. While these experiences provide amazing opportunities for positive learning, alongside this is the potential for mishap if the events are not effectively planned and managed.

Schools have legal responsibilities to keep learning environments safe for students and staff. To minimise risk and ensure Ao Tawhiti Unlimited Discovery students have access to learning beyond the classroom the process identified below and the risk management forms below MUST be completed for ALL EOTC activities.

Am I eligible to lead an EOTC event (Parent Checklist)

  • I have completed RAMS training with a Deputy Director.
  • I have been NZ Police vetted.
  • I have filled out a Health Profile.
  • I have filled out the Parent/Volunteer Involvement form.
  • The event is categorised as low risk.

Determining Risk

The guidelines below identify the process for determining level of Risk. Please note that any event categorised as High Risk must have a Learning Advisor participating in the event.

Low Risk Event:

An event is deemed to be low risk if it occurs during school day, and involves activities which are typical family and lower risk activities. Examples include a museum visit, factory visit, local music festival etc.

Before you go on a low risk event the following steps must be completed:

  • EOTC Low Risk Event Form (available as a link on this page) is completed and approval is given.
  • Parent letter is provided and consent to attend the event is obtained. The letter should inform parents of the details of the trip, costs, duration and provide contact information. This letter should be sent out at least one week prior to the event.
  • Parent/volunteer forms must be completed by every parent/volunteer attending the event.
  • On the day of the event a paper Trip Planner is filled out and needs to be left with the Office. A copy of the trip planner must be provided to each supporting adult. This Trip Planner MUST Include your destination, cell phone contact, time of departure and return, support and transport information.

High Risk Event:

An event is deemed to be high risk if it includes activities where harm is more likely to occur in the absence of careful safety planning.  Examples include rock climbing, mountain biking, Tramping etc. Any event that includes an overnight component is considered high risk.

Before you go on a high risk event the following steps must be completed:

  • EOTC High Risk Event Form (available as a link on this page) is completed and approval is given. This form must be submitted at Least one month prior to the event.
  • All high risk events must have Learning Advisor involved
  • Parent letter is provided and consent to attend the event is obtained. The letter should inform parents of the details of the trip, costs, duration and provide contact information. This letter should be sent out at least one week prior to the event.
  • Parent/volunteer forms must be completed by every parent/volunteer attending the event.
  • Swimming consent forms must be obtained for water based activities that do not have a life guard on duty.
  • On the day of the event a paper Trip Planner is filled out and needs to be left with the Office. A copy of the trip planner must be provided to each supporting adult. This Trip Planner MUST Include your destination, cell phone contact, time of departure and return, support and transport information.

If you are unsure of the level of risk of the event please contact the appropriate Deputy Director who will be able to advise.

Food safety:

The Food Act 2014 came into force 1 March 2016. It applies to schools and Kura that are selling food or providing it. Depending on the type of food that is prepared, served or sold and the level of food safety risk involved, schools may be required to operate under a Food Control Plan. Under the act all food must be safe and suitable, and you can be held accountable if you make people sick.

If you are undertaking any event that provides food you must agree to abide to the safety guidelines identified here.

Follow this link to submit a request for a low risk EOTC event.
Follow this link to submit a request for a high risk EOTC event.

Useful Documents: The documents below may need to be completed as part of your risk management preparation. Every event that takes place MUST submit a Trip Planner with the office prior to departure.

Trip planner

EOTC Swim Consent Form

EOTC Parent and Volunteer form

Information for parents & caregivers guide