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Field of Mars Environmental Education Centre

Field of Mars Environmental Education Centre

Experience Engage Enable

Telephone02 9816 1298

Factors that shape places 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.

Doyle and Warada loop track

Strangers Creek loop track

Buffalo Creek track

Alternate location

Classes A, B

Start - Buffalo Creek Reserve - 117 Pittwater Rd, Hunters Hill

Finish - Magdala Park - Magdala Rd, East Ryde

Classes C, D

Start - Magdala Park - Magdala Rd, East Ryde

Finish - Buffalo Creek Reserve - 117 Pittwater Rd, Hunters Hill

Wallumedegal Country

Supply bus driver with

Buffalo Creek Reserve bus information

Magdala Park bus information

No bus entry into Buffalo Creek Reserve carpark. 

Magdala Park to Buffalo Creek Reserve risk management plan

View the YouTube track overview video

Buffalo Creek Reserve to Magdala Park 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

COVID COVID-19 safety plan

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

Eucalypt Forest - 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

Classes C, D

9.45 - 10.15 Introduction Introduction
10.15 - 10.30 Recess Recess
10.30 - 12.00

Create a catchment 

Investigating waterways

Investigating bushland
12.00 - 12.30


12.30 - 2.00 Investigating bushland  

Create a catchment 

Investigating waterways

2.00 - 2.15

Conclusion then depart

Conclusion then depart

Learning activities

Students undertake geographical inquiry in bushland to investigate its features, human influences and natural values.

Inquiry questions

  • What are the geographical features of the Field of Mars Reserve or Lane Cove National Park?

  • How is the reserve managed for people, places and the environment?

  • What actions can be undertaken to sustainably manage the nature reserves into the future?


Create a catchment

Students will be introduced to the day's inquiry by creating a natural model of a catchment area. Scenarios that replicate human activites are investigated and impacts observed to develop student knowledge and understanding. 

Waterways investigations

Students will investigate Buffalo Creek or Kittys Creek. Plant surveys will explore how pollutants have modified the riparian zone and animal surveys will lead students to understand how the health of a waterway supports the needs of aquatic and terrestrial animal species. Chemical and physical water testing will be conducted to assess the water quality the creek.

Bushland investigations

The way people use and value urban bushland sites are key considerations for how they are managed. The Field of Mars Reserve and Lane Cove National Parks are managed as a wildlife refuge. Students will develop greater understanding in how people influence natural areas through bushland exploration and immersing themselves into the activities people enjoy in the reserve. 

Syllabus outcomes and content

Geography K-10 Syllabus (2015)


A student:

  • describes the diverse features and characteristics of places and environments GE3-1 
  • explains interactions and connections between people, places and environments GE3-2 
  • compares and contrasts influences on the management of places and environments GE3-3 
  • acquires, processes and communicates geographical information using geographical tools for inquiry GE3-4 


Environments shape places


  • investigate how the natural environment influences people and places

Humans shape places


  • Investigate how people influence places

Other syllabus links

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

Science and Technology K-6 Syllabus (2017)


A student:

  • examines how the environment affects the growth, survival and adaptation of living things ST3-4LW-S 



  • describe how changing physical conditions in the environment affect the growth and survival of living things

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

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