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Field of Mars Environmental Education Centre

Field of Mars Environmental Education Centre

Experience Engage Enable

Telephone02 9816 1298

Digital woodlands program

Teacher checklist


Your school and local site


2023 DoE $24 per student - GST free

2023 Non-gov school cost $34 per student - GST free, minimum charge $600

Risk assessment

Risk management plan

COVID-19 safety plan

School preparation

Please provide one learning space, with a smart board, for all participating classes for the duration of the day. The space needs to accommodate multiple classes.

If using local bushland, ensure all class teachers have visited the site and are familiar with the route from school to it.


Participants will be bushwalking during the day in rugged terrain.

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, mask.

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

Parent/carer helpers

Optional one parent per class, no siblings. Closed shoes essential.

Check COVID-19 restrictions.

Medical or special needs

Notify Field of Mars staff prior to incursion. 

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 incursion being modified, postponed or cancelled. 


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.

Suggested timetable for up to three classes

Actual times may vary.



9.15 - 10.00

Introduction at school - taking great photos

10.00 - 10.30

Recess, toilets, equipment distributed

10.30 - 1.15

Field photography

Photo finish - editing

1.15 - 1.45

Lunch at school

1.45 - 2.30

Digital book creation and sharing

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.

Students will select their best photo to be printed on A4 photo paper which will be printed at Field of Mars EEC and returned to their 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

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.

English K-10 Syllabus (2012)


A student:

  • responds to and composes a range of texts that express viewpoints of the world similar to or different from their own EN2-11D 



  • experiment with visual, multimodal and digital technologies to represent aspects of experience and relationships 

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
English K-10 Syllabus © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2012