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Field of Mars Environmental Education Centre

Field of Mars Environmental Education Centre

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Night raiders program

Teacher checklist


Field of Mars Reserve, 220 Pittwater Road, East Ryde.

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 $22 per student - GST free.

Non-gov school cost $32 per student - GST free. Non-gov min charge $600

Risk assessment Risk management plan 

COVID-19 safety plan
Tracks View the YouTube track overview videos.

Buffalo Creek Track

Doyle and Warada loop track
Welfare Participants will be bushwalking during the day in rugged terrain.

Toilets are only available at the beginning and end of the day.

This excursion may not be suitable for people who have been recently unwell.
Bring Backpack, medication, low-waste food, water bottle, sunblock, raincoat, hat, sturdy shoes.

Students wear reusable name tag and sports uniform.
Watch Preparing for an excursion.
Supporting resources Eucalypt Forest Digital Book for iPads and Macs
Bin access All student waste to be taken home by students.
Parent/carer helpers Optional one parent per class, no siblings.

Check covid restrictions.
Medical or special needs

Notify Field of Mars prior to excursion. 

Sick students or adults to stay at home.

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

Suggested timetable

The suggested timetable is suitable for up to two classses.



9.45 - 10.10


10.10 - 10.30 Recess and toilets 
10.30 - 12.00

Acquiring data in the field - quest trail in bushland reserve

12.00 - 12.15

Introduction to acquiring secondary information

12.15 - 12.45


12.45 - 1.40

Analysis of evidence

1.40 - 2.00 Presentation of conclusions
2.00 - 2.15 Pack up and depart

Night raiders program

Students investigate evidence of nocturnal vertebrates, herbivores and carnivores in a quest to sort, classify, label and explain their evidence of the reserve’s ‘night raiders’.

Learning activities

Inquiry questions:

  • Who are the night raiders at the Field of Mars Reserve and where do they live?
  • How do the night raiders interact? 
  • How can we investigate the presence and activities of nocturnal animals?


A nocturnal soundscape will be played to set the scene and introduce the investigation for the day. Team member roles will be allocated, the quest explained, skills modelled and equipment distributed.

Investigative bushland quest

Teams will collect clue cards along the track through the bushland in the Field of Mars Reserve. Students unravel the rhyming riddles to locate evidence and follow positional directions. Students collect some examples of moveable evidence and use iPads to photograph other evidence that can’t be collected. 

Analysis of trace evidence 

Students sort their evidence and use ID sheets and a multitouch informative book on the iPad to sort and classify their evidence into herbivore and carnivore and to identify animals from the evidence collected. Students label their evidence and add notes and arrows showing the relationships between animals. 

Evidence charts will be prepared for display to the other teams. Teams examine other teams’ evidence and make amendments to their interpretations and conclusions. Students create claims based on all the evidence presented by the class.


To conclude the day students will present their claims and supporting evidence in a news report style presentation moderated by Field of Mars teachers. This can be recorded and given to teachers on request for assessment purposes.

Syllabus outcomes and content

NSW Science and Technology K-6 Syllabus (2017) 

Stage 2 Outcomes

ST2-4LW-S compares features and characteristics of living and non-living things


Survival of living things


  • Describe how living things depend on each other and environment to survive


Learning across the curriculum

Sustainability – Night Raiders provides an authentic context for exploring, investigating and understanding systems in the natural environment.

Critical and creative thinking – students will have the opportunity to generate and evaluate knowledge, clarify concepts and ideas, seek possibilities, consider alternatives and solve problems.

Personal and social capability – students will have the opportunity to question, solve problems, explore and display curiosity. They will have the opportunity to make decisions and work effectively in a team.