Hillary Step Programmes

Our Hillary Outdoors Programmes are a core range of programmes for school-aged students from Year 7 through to 13.

Hillary Outdoors Programmes support students from Year 7 to Year 13 to learn through adventure. The programmes are aimed at increasing students’ skills and capacity. Students learn through adventure and connect through participation. Our programmes offer a balanced approach to meeting your school’s educational objectives, and outcomes, by building your students’ skills and capacity through challenges, adventure, community immersion, and communal living. Hillary Outdoors aims to support your students to achieve their learning outcomes through experiential education. Hillary Outdoors works with your school to form your bespoke Hillary Outdoors Programme.

Your programme is created by selecting a focus area and through discussion with a Hillary Outdoors Programme Manager, the learning outcomes are defined to understand the relevance and context for your students in relation to your curriculum. Following our discussion, Hillary Outdoors instructors will review your learning outcomes for your chosen focus area, and assign specific adventures for your group that will meet your learning outcomes. This process creates your bespoke Hillary Outdoors Programme.

Scholarships for these programmes are available upon application for low decile schools in the North Island, please visit our Scholarship page for further details.

As a registered educational establishment, Hillary Outdoors can also help deliver Unit Standards and Achievement Standards during the week students in years 11 to 13 spend at a Hillary Outdoors Centre. Hillary Outdoors has a range of dedicated resources (e.g. power point presentations, classroom and practical activities, assessment activities and sheets, exemplars and schedules) that can be used in your teaching programme prior to your visit to an Hillary Outdoors Centre.

Learning Outcomes

Through discussion with the Programme Manager, the focus area is further define so that Hillary Outdoors can understand the relevance and context for the learning outcomes for your group. This discussion will help our Programme Manager to get a further understanding of how your students’ skills and capacity can be increased, any specific outdoor activities that you want your students to try at our Centre, the duration of time that your school will at one of our Centres, as well as the age and experience of your students to form your bespoke Hillary Outdoors Programme.


Once the relevance and context for the learning outcomes have been defined, Hillary Outdoors instructors will select Centre based activities to provide a daily theme that meets the learning outcomes for your students. Suggested activities will expand on the focus area and help provide context for student learning.

Example of a 5-day programme, download this information sheet

Post Programme

Visiting staff are asked to give feedback at the end of their course and this will be used to help with planning course content and delivery for the school’s future visits.

Focus Areas

Take a look at the tabs below for information about each of Hillary Outdoors focus areas.

Enquire or book now. Contact us

Interpersonal Skills
“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” – Jane Goodall

The ability for your students to be competent, caring, and confident contributing members of your school and wider community is crucial. Your students will learn interpersonal skills through hard and soft-skill activities that will promote effective communication, develop empathy, and demonstrating respect.

“The well-being and welfare of our children should always be our focus.” – Todd Tiahrt, American Politician

A focus on experiential learning about well being through outdoor education will give your students the tools to manage their physical, and emotional wellbeing, and to make good life choices. The key areas that will be covered, and role modelled, by our staff are: emotional self-management, emotional awareness, physical self-management, showing perseverance, and being physically active. Learning outcomes will help to support your students to further develop a balanced and active lifestyle.

“Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you’re probably right.” – Henry Ford

Study, sports teams, cultural commitments, and social media; today’s youth lead complex, fast paced, and quickly changing lives. Through calculated risk and challenges, Hillary Outdoors will equip students with the tools to be competent, to be able to guide themselves through an obstacle one step at a time, to have self-belief, and to face life’s challenges with sense of awareness and a level-head.

“You don’t have to be a fantastic hero to do certain things. You can be just an ordinary chap, sufficiently motivated to reach challenging goals.” – Sir Edmund Hillary

Develop and enhance the leadership potential in your students. Leadership learning activities will explore leadership techniques, as well as attributes; providing practical experiences for students to develop and understand their own style of leadership.

Whanake (Growth)
“Knowing others is intelligence. Knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength. Mastering yourself is true power.” – Lao Tzu

This is the best introduction to learning through adventure. Hillary Outdoors provides a variety of outdoor activities and experiences for your students to learn about teamwork, expand their comfort-zones, and learn to give and receive positive encouragement.

Developing a Positive Mind-Set
“A positive attitude will lead to positive outcomes” Developing the “can-do” attitude in your students; we’ll explore tools to maintain a positive mind-set and include activities to put this mind-set to the test. Developing a positive mind-set is about developing a way of life for your students to be the best versions of themselves.
Environmental Stewardship
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead

Learning outcomes support your student’s ability to feel more connected to their natural environment. Your students will further develop their appreciation for our surroundings, our natural world, and our eco systems. Through a range of outdoor activities and environmental service, students will learn transferable concepts and principles to protect their local environment.

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.” – Dr. Seuss

Self-management is the journey from adolescents to independence. At Hillary Outdoors we will support your students to further build the skills they need to take

responsibility for their own behaviour and wellbeing. Through experiential learning, community-living, and outdoor adventure, your students will gain the tools to

further develop ownership, initiative, and responsibility.