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Field of Mars Environmental Education Centre

Field of Mars Environmental Education Centre

Experience Engage Enable

Telephone02 9816 1298

Watch it grow program

Teacher checklist

Main location

Field of Mars Reserve, Pittwater Road, East Ryde

Wallumedegal Country

Google maps - Apple maps

Supply bus driver with Field of Mars Reserve bus information

No bus entry into Field of Mars Reserve.

Field of Mars Reserve risk management plan

View the YouTube track overview videos.

Buffalo Creek track

Doyle and Warada loop track

Alternate location

Buffalo Creek Reserve, 117 Pittwater Road, Hunters Hill

Wallumedegal Country

Google maps - Apple maps

Supply bus driver with Buffalo Creek bus information.

No bus entry into Buffalo Creek Reserve carpark.

Buffalo Creek Reserve risk management plan

View the YouTube track overview videos.

Sugarloaf Point loop track


DoE $24 per student - GST free

Non-gov school $34 per student - GST free, minimum charge $700

Term 1 - Catholic school Weeks 3 to 7 cost = DoE cost - GST free, minimum charge $700


Participants will be bushwalking during the day in rugged terrain.

Limited wheelchair accessibility. Email to confirm with location.

This excursion may not be suitable for people who have recently been unwell.


Backpack, medication, low-waste food, water bottle, sunblock, raincoat, hat, sturdy shoes.

Students wear reusable name tag and sports uniform.


Preparing for an excursion

Supporting resources

Student activities

Social story – Watch it grow

Phasmids - available free from Apple Books

Fact sheets

Bin access

All student waste to be taken home by students.

Parent/carer helpers Optional one parent per class, no siblings. Closed shoes essential.
Medical or special needs

Notify Field of Mars staff prior to excursion. 

Students, staff and visitors must not attend if unwell, even with mild symptoms. 

Extreme or wet weather

Days predicted to be above 35ºC, high winds, extreme bush fire danger and dust storms may result in the excursion being modified, postponed or cancelled. 


Cancellations with less than four school weeks' notice will incur a $500 administration fee. This does not apply to cancellations due to weather or fire danger.

Suggested timetable for up to four classes


Classes A, B, C

Classes D, E, F

9.45 - 10.30

Introduction, recess and toilets

Introduction, recess and toilets

10.30 - 12.00


Invertebrate investigation 

Build a bug

12.00 - 12.30



12.30 - 2.00

Invertebrate investigation

Build a bug


2.00 - 2.15

Pack up, toilets and depart

Pack up, toilets and depart

Learning activities

Students will learn about the features of plants and animals and how they change as they grow through different life stages.

Inquiry question

  • How are adults similar to or different to their offspring?



The bushwalk will traverse several environments. Along the way students will undertake a variety of sensory activities to observe the different stages plants and animals go through as they grow and change. Some plants and animals will only be found in one or two life stages so visual props will also be used.

Invertebrate investigation

Students will work in small groups to search for and collect leaf litter invertebrates in the gardens around the education centre. Collected specimens will then be examined and identified using magnifiers and ID charts. Some will be magnified onto the large screen and their life stage and features explained.

Build a bug

The session will be introduced with leaf insects from the centre’s collection and their various life stages shown and explained. Students will then choose a stage of growth of an invertebrate and construct thier own model out of clay and other natural materials.

Please bring along some tote trays to transport clay invertebrates back to school.

Syllabus outcomes and content

Science and technology K-6 Syllabus (2017) 


A student:

  • observes, questions and collects data to communicate and compare ideas ST1-1WS-S 
  • describes observable features of living things and their environments ST1-4LW-S 


External features of living things


  • describe the external features of a variety of living things

Living things change


  • explore how living things grow, change and have offspring similar to themselves

Science and Technology K-6 Syllabus © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2017