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Field of Mars Environmental Education Centre

Field of Mars Environmental Education Centre

Experience Engage Enable

Telephone02 9816 1298

Night raiders program

Teacher checklist

This program is only available by special request.


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 cost $34 per student - GST free, minimum 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

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.

Bring 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 for iPads and Macs

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 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 two classes


Classes A, B

9.45 - 10.30

Introduction, recess and toilets

10.30 - 12.00


12.00 - 12.15

Introduction to data analysis

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

Learning activities

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’.

Inquiry questions

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


Following a soundscape as stimulus, team member roles will be allocated, the quest explained, skills modelled and equipment distributed.

Working in collaborative teams, students will collect clue cards along the track through the bushland in the Field of Mars Reserve. Students will unravel the rhyming riddles to locate evidence and follow positional directions. Using specimen jars and tongs, students will collect some examples of moveable evidence and use iPads to photograph evidence that can’t be collected. 

Analysis and communication

Back in the 'lab', students will sort and group their evidence. They will use identification sheets and a multitouch informative book on the iPad to classify their evidence into herbivore and carnivore and to identify animals from the evidence collected. Students will 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 will examine other teams’ evidence and make amendments to their interpretations and conclusions. Students will 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 for assessment purposes.

Syllabus outcomes and content

Science and Technology K-6 Syllabus (2017) 


A student:

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


Survival of living things


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

Learning across the curriculum 


Opportunities to develop an awareness of sustainable practices, careful and responsible management of natural resources.

Critical and creative thinking 

Students develop critical and creative thinking skills as they pose questions, make predictions, engage in firsthand investigations ... make evidence-based decisions, and analyse and evaluate evidence.

Personal and social capability 

Expanding a student's capacity to question and solve problems.

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