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LEOTC - Learning experiences outside the classroom. Ministry of Education.

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Examples of great ELC experiences

These case studies and learning stories from Learning Education Outside the Classroom (LEOTC) give examples of how to structure classroom learning to make the most of an Enriching Local Curriculum (ELC) trip.

Case studies 

The studies were carried out in 2006, in a range of LEOTC settings in various parts of New Zealand, with groups of children from years 1–8. They are presented in three sections – before the visit, during the visit, and after the visit. The case studies include teacher, student, and education officer views, as well as the activities they engaged in. The education officer and teacher provide evidence that the learning experiences enhanced students’ learning.  

The case studies are structured with: 

  • an introduction, which includes a description of the context and sample 
  • information about preparation for a site visit 
  • data collected during the site visit 
  • data from the post-visit phase 
  • key findings from the case study, including evidence of learning from student and teacher comments, work samples, and researcher observations. 

Case study A: Hands-on, feet wet, mind salty 

This case study follows the work of a year 8 class as it prepared for, and visited an isolated part of the South Island. It focuses on the students’ work at the New Zealand Marine Studies Centre, and their participation in a workshop called “Supper in the Sea”. 

Case study B: Seeing it for real up close 

This case study follows the work of a year 4 and 5 class of students as they prepared for and visited a glow-worm cave site and the associated museum and education centre. 

Case study C: We go to galleries 

This case study explores the involvement of a new entrant/year 1 class on a visit to an art gallery. The school the class came from has established long-term relationships with the local art gallery and a local museum. 

Case study D: Sowing a seed for the future 

This case study follows the visit of a year 2 and 3 class to an art gallery's exhibition of work by a New Zealand artist. The visit was part of the concluding phase of a planned schoolwide focus on the arts and education outside the classroom. 

Case study E: You know more after going on a visit 

This case study is based on a year 7 and 8 class visit to a museum. The visit was part of a three-day camp in a town several hundred kilometres from the school. 

Case study F: You’re the experts 

This case study follows the work of a year 3 and 4 class, as it prepared for and visited an art and history museum in a central New Zealand city.

Learning stories

These learning stories have been produced to show best practice, and a range of curriculum learning areas and student age groups. 

The “teacher’s voice” is from the teacher responsible for the visit. This may not always be the person who arranged the visit but is the teacher responsible for the management of the visit on the day.

Investigating crabs 

New Zealand Marine Studies Centre, Dunedin 

This learning story is based on a three-day visit by students from Mt Hutt College to the New Zealand Marine Studies Centre in Dunedin. The story follows four students' progress during a hands-on, investigative research study on crabs. 

Curriculum area: Science (Biology) 
Year group: Year 13 
Location: Dunedin 
Mt Hutt College – Methven 
Teacher: Katherine Hayes 

Matariki art 

Tairawhiti Museum, Gisborne 

The whānau reo Māori (Māori immersion classes) at Manutuke School visited the Tairawhiti Museum in preparation for a unit on Matariki. The teachers wanted to take advantage of the museum's expertise in art teaching and benefit from the use of te reo as a teaching medium. 

Curriculum area: Arts
Year group: Year 8
Location: Gisborne
Manutuke School – Gisborne
Teacher: Te Aroha Paenga

Machines that help us 

Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT), Auckland 

This learning story is based on an integrated unit on Matariki by the junior school classes from Newton Central School in Auckland. The unit has a technology focus and shows how the students develop an understanding of how simple tools used for planting, harvesting, and preserving crops work. The teachers worked collaboratively with the LEOTC educator discussing their unit plan, the specific needs of the group, and negotiating appropriate learning outcomes for the students. 

Curriculum area: Technology 
Year group: Year 1 
Location: Auckland 
Newtown Central School – Auckland 
Teacher: Kim Hankins 


Museum of Wellington City and Sea, Wellington 

This learning story is based on a study of the concept of “Change” by students from the Gifted Kids Programme at Newtown School Wellington. The story outlines the preparation, the visit to the Museum of Wellington City and Sea, and the programme devised by the LEOTC educator in collaboration with the teachers. 

Curriculum area: Social Science 
Year group: Years 4–6 
Location: Wellington 
Gifted Kids Newtown School – Wellington Unit 
Teacher: Sally Fortescue

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