Education outside the classroom

Education outside the classroom (EOTC)

Taking ākonga outside the building to learn is an essential part of the Ao Tawhiti Unlimited Discovery experience. EOTC extends learning beyond our four walls, out into the city and further afield. It might involve making use of the amazing amenities on our doorstep such as Tūranga, the Margaret Mahy Playground or the Art Gallery. It could be a day of nature play, a sports trip or an overnight science camp. The many and varied EOTC experiences on offer help ākonga to make links between the classroom and the wider world.

We rely on whānau support in order to offer these experiences and are hugely grateful to volunteers who help to transport and supervise ākonga on trips. We run regular risk management training for caregivers. These sessions aim to make clear the different roles whānau might take on when volunteering and offer strategies to mitigate common risks. 

Risk Management and Safety

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 ākonga, staff and volunteers. To minimise risk and ensure Ao Tawhiti Unlimited Discovery ākonga have access to learning beyond the classroom the process and risk management forms below MUST be completed for ALL EOTC activities.

Staff-led EOTC experiences

EOTC guidelines for staff can be found here

Whānau-led EOTC experiences

Caregivers may also plan and lead an EOTC experience for ākonga, using the following planning and approval procedures.

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 by AOT and hold a current Police Vet
  • I have filled out a EOTC Parent/Caregiver/Adult Form – CLICK HERE
  • The event is categorised as low risk.

Low Risk Events

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 lead a low risk trip the following steps must be completed:

  • Liaise with your child’s LA
  • Submit the google form requesting a low risk event (available as a link below)
  • Complete the planning document. This will be shared with you via an automatically generated email on completion of the low risk event form
  • Get the trip approved by the senior leader in charge of EOTC 
  • On the day of the event, complete the Trips and Visits Planner and leave a copy with reception. 

The senior leader in charge of EOTC is available to support with this process.

High Risk Events

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. High risk trips must be planned and led by a staff member.

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


Food safety

The Food Act 2014 came into force 1 March 2016. It applies to 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 by the safety guidelines identified here.

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.

Trips and visits planner

EOTC Swim Consent Form

Parent/Caregiver/Adult Volunteer Form

Information for parents & caregivers guide

EOTC Student Health form

EOTC General Trips Agreement & Emergency Contact Details