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Field of Mars Environmental Education Centre

Field of Mars Environmental Education Centre

Experience Engage Enable

Telephone02 9816 1298

Bush Christmas program

Teacher checklist


Your school


DoE $15 per student - GST free

Non-gov school cost $25 per student - GST free, minimum charge $600

Risk assessment

Risk management plan

COVID-19 safety plan

All staff and adult visitors must be fully vaccinated and provide proof of vaccination. 

School preparation

Detailed information below. 


Students wear reusable name tag and mask (if required).

Parent/carer helpers

One or two parents per class, no siblings.

Check COVID-19 restrictions.

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. 


Cancellations with less than three school weeks' notice will incur a $500 administration fee. This does not apply to cancellations due to weather, fire danger or COVID-19 restrictions.

Class numbers

If more than one day is required for your school, bookings should be made on consecutive days. 

School preparation

Maximum 25 students per session. 

3 sessions per day - Field of Mars to arrange timetable and session details.

Equipment / resources requirements for schools

Please provide:

  • Freshly fallen gum leaves to make gum leaf gift-tags, bags and wrapping paper. These should be collected by the students the day before or morning of their session.
  • Drying racks or other space for the stamped wrapping paper/bags and/or ornaments to dry. As drying time overlaps between sessions enough drying space for two classes worth of wrapping paper to dry is appreciated.
  • Space to hang the printed bags to dry. They can be pegged to lines above the head, pegged onto clothes airers or placed on drying racks. As drying time overlaps between sessions enough drying space for two classes worth of bags to dry is appreciated.

Space requirements

  • Please arrange vehicle access and a parking spot close to the Bush Christmas room as we bring a large amount of equipment with us. 
  • We need to set up in one indoor place for all sessions because of the large amount of equipment and display materials. Please arrange a space on the ground floor. If two days are booked the equipment needs to be left overnight.
  • Please set up the desks and drying areas before or as soon as we arrive with our displays and equipment.

Furniture requirements 

Please provide: 

  • A rectangular block of 2 large trestle tables or 6-8 desks for printing calico bags. There needs to be enough space for half the class to stand around the tables. Each bag is the size of a tabloid newspaper page. 
  • A rectangular block of 2 large trestle tables or 6-8 desks for making wrapping paper. The butchers paper is about A3 size.
  • A rectangular block of 2 large trestle tables or 6-8 desks for making clay ornaments. 
  • Floorspace or tables for colouring in.

Instruction sheet for taking care of the ink on the fabric bags and colouring-in blackline master. 

Learning activities

Through an Australian Christmas story, images and puppets, the students will be introduced to some well known Australian animals. 


Through a story and large images students will learn about the habitats of these Australian animals, what they eat and where they shelter, as well as special adaptations to their environment. To reinforce this, the students will meet a live gum-leaf eating stick insect.

Craft activities 

In two groups the students rotate through the following activities:

  • Printing calico bags - students use a roller and stencil to print a gum leaf and flower design onto a calico bag OR hammer gumleaves onto calico bags. 
  • Making wrapping paper - the students use foam ‘brushes’ and Aussie animal stamps to make a piece of wrapping paper OR gumleaves and crayons to create leaf rubbings onto paper.
  • Vreating gift tags - students will create gift tags using collected gum leaves, glue and glitter OR make clay ornaments using natural materials.


The session concludes with the singing of an Australian Christmas song accompanied by hand-made bush percussion instruments.

Syllabus outcomes and content

Science and Technology K-6 Syllabus (2017)


A student:

  • explores the characteristics, needs and uses of living things STe-3LW-ST 


Characteristics and basic needs of living things


  • recognise that living things have basic needs including air, food and water (ACSSU002)

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