Mosman High Yr 7 students learn to navigate

Last Updated: Friday, 06 July 2012 15:44

Students at coaching sessionONSW has conducted a successful 3-week introductory orienteering program for 156 Year 7 Mosman High students. The challenge of hosting so many students in a short space of time (50 mins max including briefing) meant we had to set score courses on Bennelong Northside's Georges Heights sprint map, recently updated by master cartographer Terry Bluett. This area, which has been used the past few years as the pre-Xmas Sydney Summer Series venue, is one of the most spectacular parcels of land in Sydney, offering sweeping views from Manly all the way around to the Opera House. It is a wonderful mix of open area, small pockets of bush, heritage-listed buildings and an assortment of monuments, statues and lightning towers.

In week 1 the students went around in pairs; half the group looking for 15 controls on the western portion of the map, the other half looking for 15 controls on the eastern portion. Due to the need to explain the basics of the map and the tasks required in pin-punching, the students only had about 35 minutes on the course. Six teachers were each assigned a small area on the map to patrol, while PDHPE head teacher Josh Ferguson roved the course watching on impressed as the students and volunteer coaches went about their business.

In week 2 the same pairs did the other half of the course, and with no need for an introduction had about 45 minutes on course.Students on coaching course

A few pairs managed to locate all 30 controls across the two weeks which was very encouraging.
For week 3 we used SI cards and a new course of 20 controls. The students had to now go individually, and loved using the electronic technology. While many students were happy to go at their own pace, we were delighted that five students got all 20 controls in the allocated time and a further three got 19 controls.

Feedback from the teachers, and later on from the principal, was fantastic and Mosman HS is looking at having some kind of orienteering experience on its PE calendar each year from now on as a result. The program was conducted by ONSW Marketing Officer Ian Jessup and its success over the 3 days was thanks to the efforts of volunteer coaches Graham Galbraith, Terry Bluett, Robert Spry (all BN), Peter Hopper (IK) and Barbara Hill (GO/ONSW). Terry also manned the SI on day 3.

ONSW hopes to see a large posse of Mosman HS students at the Sydney North schools champs at St Ives on Friday August 3 as a result.

Thanks to Ian Jessup for this report and Carmel Foley for the photographs