Kristin School
Kristin School

The Importance of Outdoor Education

At Kristin, Outdoor Education is pivotal to our holistic educational offering.  By offering a range of challenging outdoor experiences, we aim to promote communication, problem-solving and decision-making skills, which have currency across various areas. These experiences encourage a positive ‘opting in’ and ‘can do’ attitude. Our Camp week is an incredible logistical feat, moving over 1,200 students to destinations across North Island from Kai Iwi Lakes to Great Barrier Island and from Raglan to Tongariro National Park. The week also promotes active learning through direct personal experience and offers excitement, fun and adventure, all within a safety and challenge framework.  

One of the keys to Kristin’s success in our adventurous outdoor programmes is that students get to spend time with their teachers outside of the classroom context. It’s one thing for a student to learn rock climbing from a hired professional instructor, but quite another to go tramping in the Northern Kaimai Ranges with their French teacher. These experiences lead to profound moments when students are teaching their teachers. This shared adventure builds relationships that turbo-charge the classroom experience. In this way, Outdoor Education is woven into the fabric of a Kristin education.  


We know through our programmes that challenging outdoor experiences impact powerfully upon a young person’s intellectual, physical, spiritual, social and moral development. This is perhaps best encapsulated in our three-week journey experiences, Odyssey 21 and Pasifika.  The Odyssey 21 is a three-week canoe journey down the Whanganui River from the source to the sea. This journey, designed specifically for our Year 9 students, is about active learning and adventure, building self-confidence and self-esteem.  Odyssey 21 introduces our students to the environment to develop understanding, appreciation, awe, wonder, and respect. It fosters sensitivity for the environment and increases their awareness of the need for sustainable use of the world’s natural resources.


Exceptional accomplishments in exploration and adventure, on the sea, in the mountains and in the world of nature, feature strongly in our country’s history. Reflecting on this heritage, Kristin has led the way in the use of outdoor learning and adventure for our students’ development – through the camp programme, journey experiences, Outdoor Education in the curriculum, the William Pike Challenge and the Duke of Edinburgh Awards.  At Kristin, we know that tomorrow’s successful citizens will possess the adaptability to cope with a rapidly changing world of work and the responsibility to be an influential member of a community.  Our outdoor education programmes are a part of our holistic educational offering and, we believe, will help them to become future ready.