Navigating in the Field – a simple acronym for teaching students

Mr Mark Oates1

1The Hutchins School

Looking for simple ideas on how to teach secondary students to navigate off-track?

Mark will provide a quick overview of a simple acronym that he encourages his Year 10 students to use as a helpful checklist when navigating from one point to another with a topographic map and orienteering compass.

The acronym is O COMPASS and it provides students with 8 simple steps that they should complete in order to ensure that they have all of the information they need to proceed from one known point to another.


Mark Oates is a passionate outdoor educator and adventurer who moved to Tasmania 8 years ago from Victoria to explore its remote rivers and mountains. Mark works at The Hutchins School in Hobart and is heavily involved in teaching the Power of 9 Program and the TASC Outdoor Education course to senior students. He has been teaching outdoor education in secondary schools for 20 years.

About the Association

Outdoor Education Australia (OEA) was established in 2006 as a national network of outdoor education associations. The organisation facilitates communication between state and territory outdoor education associations about the practice and delivery of outdoor education; advocates for outdoor education across primary, secondary and tertiary education; and provides policy advice.

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