Field of Mars Environmental Education Centre logo

Field of Mars Environmental Education Centre

Field of Mars Environmental Education Centre

Experience Engage Enable

Telephone02 9816 1298

Digital woodlands program

Teacher checklist


Field of Mars Reserve, Pittwater Road, East Ryde

Wallumedegal Country

Google maps - Apple maps

Bus access

Supply bus driver with Field of Mars Reserve bus information

No bus entry into Field of Mars Reserve.


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

Risk assessment

Field of Mars Reserve risk management plan

COVID-19 safety plan


View the YouTube track overview videos.

Buffalo Creek Track

Doyle and Warada loop track


Participants will be bushwalking during the day in rugged terrain.

Limited wheelchair accessibility.

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.

View Preparing for an excursion
Supporting resources

Eucalypt forest digital book - 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 three classes


Classes A, B, C

9.45 - 10.30 Introduction - taking great photos
10.30 - 10.45 Recess
10.45 - 12.15 Field photography
12.15 - 12.45 Lunch
12.45 - 1.45 Photo finish - editing, printing and digital book creation
1.45 - 2.00 Photo gallery
2.15 Depart

Learning activities

Students will be introduced to the techniques and methods of digital photography. They will create a portfolio of the special features of the bushland found in the Field of Mars Reserve. 


Taking great photos

In the classroom, students will be introduced to skills, techniques and methodologies of digital photography. Topics will include how to take a photo with an iPad, rule of thirds, composition and macro photography. 

Time will be provided to practise some of these techniques in the bush. Where appropriate, these will be linked to students’ existing understanding of visual literacy.


Students will work collaboratively to select photo subjects, to compose and frame shots and to identify creative ways to express their photographs. Field of Mars teachers will present photographic challenges to extend students' photographic experiences.

Using a nature theme will focus students on the task of finding opportunities to create images that represent life within a wildlife reserve whilst also practising photography techniques. A theme related to current class learning topics can also be used, such as national parks, plants and habitats.


Photo finish

The students will review and edit their photographs taken in the field, choosing the best examples of life in the reserve. 

Using their best photographs, students will construct a photo story using the Book Creator app running on an iPad. The completed book will be saved as a PDF or ePub file and sent to the school via Google Drive.

Each student's best photograph will be printed on A4 photo paper at Field of Mars EEC. These will be delivered to the school with a photo frame at a later date. 

Photo gallery

Students view a slide show of the day's best photographs and discuss the features and techniques used.

Framed photographs

Back at school, the framed photographs can be used to create a gallery which provides the opportunity for students to view each other's work, discuss the techniques used and the special features of each photograph.

Syllabus outcomes and content

Creative Arts K-6 Syllabus (2006)


A student:

  • VAS2.1 represents the qualities of experiences and things that are interesting or beautiful by choosing among aspects of subject matter
    • focuses on details of subject matter and areas of beauty, interest, awe, wonder and delight 
  • VAS2.2 uses the forms to suggest the qualities of subject matter
    • experiments with techniques in… photography… to create particular effects to suggest such things as close-ups, middle distance…

Other syllabus links

Learning experiences will also support but not explicitly teach the following outcomes and content.

Geography K-10 Syllabus (2015) 


A student:

  • examines features and characteristics of places and environments GE2-1
  • acquires and communicates geographical information using geographical tools for inquiry GE2-4 


Different environments

  • investigate the natural characteristics of Australia 

Creative Arts K-6 Syllabus © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2006
Geography K-10 Syllabus © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2015