Timing: 1 ½ hours
Age range: Recommended ages 8+

Available Sites: Bedfont Lakes Country Park


Compass pointsTo demonstrate how to read a map by locating key landmarks and using the key, then encourage pupils to use their map reading skills to travel over unfamiliar terrain and find a series of orienteering control points around the park (which are marked on the map).

Activity Description:
Orienteering is a great way to develop map reading skills, as well as encouraging communication and decision making skills. The pupils are required to use their skills to decide the quickest route around the park, visiting control points along the route. This activity can take place as a competitive sport or at a more leisurely pace.

The orienteering course at Bedfont Lakes is permanent so can be completed by teacher-led groups at any time during opening hours. If teachers wish to lead the activity without a ranger, our orienteering map and instructions can be downloaded here.

If teachers would like the activity to be led by a ranger, they will need to book via our group visits booking process. When ranger-led, pupils will be given a map and asked a series of questions that demonstrate their level of understanding in map reading (e.g. what do symbols represent on the map). They will be given a health and safety talk then will be sent in groups to do the activity (it is recommended that each group is accompanied by an adult).

This activity can be made more challenging by providing compasses and asking pupils to find a bearing for each point to the next and follow that bearing. This is recommended for higher age groups (i.e. KS3). If you would like to use compasses, please request this when booking.

National Curriculum Links

  • Geography: KS1 and 2
  • PE: KS2, 3 and GCSE


Click here for Help with PDF files.

Related Activities

Follow up

  • Pupils could set their own orienteering courses in their school grounds for their peers to complete.
  • Expand knowledge of how to use a map and compass to navigate and introduce more detailed maps such as Ordinance Survey.
  • Organise a more adventurous orienteering course in more challenging terrain (e.g. Surrey Hills, National Parks)

Health and Safety

Teachers/leaders should consider the following when you write your risk assessment and during supervision:

  • Dehydration and other weather related conditions: bring plenty of water and appropriate clothing as there is limited shade during the route.
  • Lost children: ensure that children stay as a group and do not run ahead out of sight.
  • Ensure children wear appropriate footwear for walking.

For more information on Heath and Safety during group visits please see here

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