Year 12 Outdoor and Environmental Studies Units 3 and 4
Unit 3 investigates how the Australian landscapes have been shaped over hundreds of thousands of years and how the different groups of people from the first indigenous Australians through to the builders of the hydro electric schemes post world war 2 have also used and modified the natural environment.
We consider political movements that have led to the protection of outdoor environments, conflicts between interest groups over the use of environments and study all the ways the outdoor environment is part of our everyday interactions and relationships, and how inescapable our impacts are upon them at times.
Every aspect of this course relies on observations and experiences in real outdoor environments, and for this course we will be focusing on River and Alpine Environments with two mandatory 5 day outdoor experiences planned (term 1 and 3).
Unit 4 we get down in the dirt and learn about the importance of healthy environments, learning how to measure that health and why it is important for the planet (And we humans) to maintain that health. We study risks and threats (including climate change) to outdoor environments and learn about the systems in place to ensure the protection of Australia’s outdoor environments.
Did I mention we have 2 adventurous trips to River and Alpine Environments planned? One will involve journeying on a river and the second will involve snow skiing and camping in the snow.
Who is it for?
Outdoor and Environmental Studies is a subject ideal for those who enjoying being in and learning about the great outdoors. The study of this subject is great for students seeking that strong connection between learning and the real world, interested to get out there and observe it in the outdoors, getting their hands dirty.
Students who study this subject may go on to further study in the environmental sciences, outdoor education or teaching that combines each area, as well as a lifelong passion and interest in exploring the great outdoors.
What do you do?
- planning and participation in two adventurous 5 day/ 4 night Outdoor Experiences to the Alpine Environment
- building your learning from VSV online through reading and interactive elements to then applying it and observing the real-life outdoor environments on our 0utdoor Experiences
- assessments that link directy to what you do, see and learn on your Outdoor Experiences
- close liason with the VCE OES teacher
- engage in weekly live online classes with your OES teacher
- in unit 4, complete weekly visits to your own Nearby Nature Space (within walking distance from your house ideally) to complete observations
- complete an investigation project about 2 outdoor environments over the course of the year.
What skills do you need?
There are no prerequisites for entry to Unit 3, however you do need:
- An ability to attend two mandatory 5 day Outdoor Experiences.
- A willingness to have a go at a range of outdoor activities.
- Time management (being away 2 weeks you need to plan your other study around this).
You do not need to be Bear Grylls.
What skills do you develop?
This study enables students to:
- collect and analyse information from, and participate in, a variety of outdoor activities considering the health of outdoor environments.
- Develop rich knowledge of the ecological, historical and social concepts of relationships between humans and outdoor environments in Australia.
- Understand contemporary politics and how this relates to care and conservation of outdoor environments.
- Analyse the issues facing current Australian outdoor environments and the delicate balance between human use and impact and conservation for the future.
- learn and apply the practical skills and knowledge required to sustain healthy outdoor environments, and evaluate the strategies and actions they employ.
- make comparisons between and to reflect upon outdoor environments, as well as to develop and apply theoretical knowledge about outdoor environments.
Textbook: Outdoor & Environmental Studies VCE Units 1-4 (5th ed) Nelson Publishing, 2023.
Note: The text book is not mandatory. However, as a VCE student you should be completing wider reading and consulting a range of resources. This is why the text is recommended. The textbook also includes a range of review questions and revision activities that students can complete as additional work to prepare for School-assessed Coursework’s and the end of year exam. However, if you do not wish to purchase the textbook you can complete the course without it.
The ability to attend the practical component of the course is also a requirement of the subject.
‘Please note that student enrolments for this subject are limited by the availability of spaces at the outdoor education camps VSV is partnered with. Early enrolments will be given priority. Late enrolments may be asked to consider an alternate subject.’
Things to think about
A requirement for VCE OES Units 3&4 is compulsory Outdoor Experiences. It is during these ‘camps’ that information takes on real meaning and builds observations to cement essential knowledge for students to use during SAC’s and the end of year exam.
Attendance on these 4 night Outdoor Experiences is MANDATORY to achieve learning required to complete Unit 4 Area of Study 3.
Things you can do now
The main thing you can do now is review the key knowledge
- terminology in outcome 1 of Unit 1
- surrounding impacts in outcome 2, Unit 2
These are both helpful especially if you have not completed Outdoor and Environmental Studies Units 1 and 2.
You also need to discuss with your parents or guardians if you can complete this subjects’ special requirements of Outdoor Experiences by filling out the student pre-enrolment form and answer YES to the following statements.
- I am comfortable being away from home for 5 days.
- I can sleep in a tent
- We can meet the costs of the experiences.
- We can organise transport to Wangaratta/Wodonga and pickup from Wangaratta/Wodonga on the Monday and Friday of these weeks (V-line trains from Melbourne to Wodonga)
If you answer ‘NO’ to any of these statements, this may not be the best subject choice for you. If you wish to discuss your NO, please contact the year 12 student coordinator.
Things to have a look at
Our winter Outdoor Experience with Outdoor School, Bogong, in term 3.