School level

Outdoor and Adventure Overview

Outdoor and adventure activities are facets of the physical education curriculum concerned with walking, cycling, camping and water-based activities, orienteering, and outdoor challenge activities. Orienteering is an exciting activity that combines the geographical skills of map work, the physical activity of walking or running and the adventure of exploring unfamiliar locations. It can be introduced through preliminary exercises on the school site.

Outdoor challenge activities include trust or co-operative activities, group problem-solving exercises, and physical challenges such as those presented by rope courses and adventure play apparatus. Water-based activities may be included in the programme, providing opportunities for canoeing or sailing. These activities, which are mainly non-competitive, offer alternative avenues for pupil achievement and encouragement to adopt a healthy life-style based on an enjoyment and appreciation of the outdoors.

Primary School PE Curriculum, page 5

PDST Outdoor and Adventure Resources
Other Outdoor and Adventure Resources

OAA - Cooperative challenges and orienteering

This resource explores cooperative challenges, walking and orienteering.

Outdoor and adventure

Warm up activities, walking, cooperative team challenges and orienteering across class levels explored in this resource.

Orienteering controls

Sample controls to print and laminate to hang at each point marked in an orienteering activity.

Orienteering control cards

Sample controls cards to print for use by pupils in an orienteering activity.

Outdoor challenges

Activities related to Outdoor challenges, team building activities, cooperative games and relays as well as parachute games.

Infant control cards

Sample controls and control cards for infants.  These controls can be marked by coloring in place of writing.


Sample walking activities, scavenger hunts and matching activities.

Co-operative games

Article outlining a variety of co-operative games including parachute games.

Embedding FMS in PE – Move Well Move Often

Move Well Move Often Physical Literacy website with resources which can be used to develop FMS of running, jumping and throwing, motivation and confidence as well as knowledge and understanding in PE.

120 non contact activities for physical education across the primary school

The PDST Primary PE team has developed non contact activities to support the teaching of Physical Education across the primary school.

PSSI lesson plans

6 sample outdoor and adventure lessons across all primary school class levels.

Embedding FMS in OAA – Move Well Move Often

Resource which highlights specific Move Well Move Often skills and activities suitable for the outdoor and adventure strand.

Embedding FMS in OAA – sample lessons

Sample lesson plans highlighting how fundamental movement skills can be embedded in outdoor and adventure lessons. 

Sample inclusive OAA lesson

Sample inclusive outdoor and adventure lesson plan focussed on walking and orienteering.

PE at home

A series of video clips that aim to complement strand based learning in PE at home.  6 outdoor adventure lessons for pupils to complete at home are included.

PE Homework – Active Every Day Activity Book and Homework Charts

PE homework activities and charts to complement PE strand based learning undertaken in school.  Specific outdoor and adventure activities included.

Beyond the classroom

PE homework videos and activity packs to compliment PE FMS learning undertaken in school.

Outdoor Shelters

A short video clip explanation from the PE at Home resource  of different types of shelters that can be made outdoors using natural materials.

Making a Debris Shelter

A pupil explanation from the PE at Home resource on how to build a simple debris shelter using natural materials in the environment.

Orientating / Setting Your Map

Description of how a point of reference can be used to make sure you have your map oriented correctly i.e. facing the right direction.

Create a Printed School Map

Demonstration of how the free app ‘Map Run F’ can be used to create and print a map and simple orienteering course in your school or home.

Selected open access resources which may be adapted to the Irish context from other organisations are linked below.  Please note these are external resource not designed by the PDST and teachers should ensure they are appropriate for their own classes before use.

Tri-O Orienteering

Resource to support introduction of orienteering to primary school.

Sprocket Rocket - Introducing Cycling to your School

Introductory skills and games for cycling in the playground as well as bike and helmet safety information

Orienteering video: What is orienteering?

Introduction to the origins of orienteering and a basic explanation of how to participate in orienteering.

Cycling Ireland – Gearing up Skills

A set of 6 videos which explore sample cycling safety skills and cycling activities for pupils to practice.

Orienteering video: Planning your route

Animated video which provides an example of planning a route on a beginner map.

Orienteering video: The Map

Animated video to provide an introduction and explanation of basic map features. 

Action for life – Outdoor adventure lessons for PE

Action for Life is an Irish heart foundation PE and SPHE programme for primary schools. The programme includes lesson plans with activities and resources.  This resource links to PDST Move Well Move Often and physical literacy development.  It includes outdoor and adventure strand lessons for junior, middle and senior classes.  

Orienteering video: Finding your way

Animated video with explanation of how to keep your map oriented.

Disentangling Inclusion in Primary Physical Education (DIPPE)

This online resource highlights practices, strategies and resources to support teachers to include all children in primary PE lessons, with a focus on children with additional needs.  Gross/Fine motor skills, sensory, communication, physical capabilities, attention/concentration and social, emotional, relational are some of the areas explored.

PE Support Agencies

Add a resource

Did you know that your Internet Explorer is out of date

To get the best possible experience using our website we recommend that you upgrade to a newer version or other web browser.

Upgrade your browser now

Registering for a Scoilnet Account – your first step to contributing and sharing

What you need...

To register for a Scoilnet Account you will need to have a Teaching Council number and a roll number for your school in Ireland.

If you already have a Scoilnet Account then you can sign in here.

The benefits...

A Scoilnet account will allow you to upload your resources or weblinks to Scoilnet as well as enabling you to share and add resources to a favourites listing. Users who have a Scoilnet Account will also be able to fully access Scoilnet Maps and Census@School from home.


Add this resource to your Learning Path

You need to login before you can add this resource to a Learning Path