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Field of Mars Environmental Education Centre

Field of Mars Environmental Education Centre

Experience Engage Enable

Telephone02 9816 1298

Plant systems program

Teacher checklist


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 $25 per student - GST free

Non-gov school cost $35 per student - GST free, minimum charge $700

Risk assessment

Risk management plan

COVID-19 safety plan


View the YouTube track overview videos.

Doyle and Warada loop track


Participants will be bushwalking all day in rugged terrain.

Limited wheelchair accessibility.

This excursion may not be suitable for people who have recently been unwell.

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


Backpack, medication, low-waste food, water bottle, sunblock, wet weather gear, hat, sports uniform, sturdy shoes.

There are no shops near the study site.


Preparing for an excursion

Preparation and supporting resources

Eucalypt Forest Digital Book for iPads and Macs

Fact sheets

Bin access

All student waste to be taken home by students.

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 whether

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.

Learning activities

Making sense of the green.

Plant community comparison

These two activities investigate two environments in the reserve which are then compared and contrasted. Students work in small groups using a variety of methods and equipment to record the abiotic measurements at the two study sites. Students identify biotic factors in the form of dominant tree, shrub and ground cover species which are then used to construct a detailed profile diagram. Finally students identify and explain the differences in their results recorded at each site and relate these to the effects of different landforms, climate, bushfire, drought and nearby human impacts.

Plants in place digital stories

This session uses the flipped model of teaching to prepare students for a creative communication task that sees them creating an engaging digital text or video that details the structure, adaptations and habitat value of a native plant growing in the native gardens at Field of Mars.

The flipped component is that students need to watch an online video for homework in the week before the excursion. This video outlines the excursion task and a template for the necessary pre-excursion research that will form the basis of the creative task. 

Syllabus outcomes and content

Science 7-10 Syllabus (2018)


A student:

  • relates the structure and function of living things to their classification, survival and reproduction SC4-14LW 


LW1 There are differences within and between groups of organisms; classification helps organise this diversity.

b. classify a variety of living things based on similarities and differences in structural features

c. use simple keys to identify a range of plants and animals

f. explain how the features of some Australian plants and animals are adaptations for survival and reproduction in their environment

Other syllabus links

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

A student:

  • explains how new biological evidence changes people’s understanding of the world SC4-15LW 


LW5 Science and technology contribute to finding solutions to conserving and managing sustainable ecosystems.

a. construct and interpret food chains and food webs, including examples from Australian ecosystems

c. describe interactions between organisms in food chains and food webs, including producers, consumers and decomposers

d. predict how human activities can affect interactions in food chains and food webs, including examples from Australian land or marine ecosystems

Life Skills


A student:

  • presents science ideas, finding and information to a given audience using appropriate scientific language, text types and representations (SCLS-9WS related Life Skills outcome)


Students communicate by:

a. presenting ideas, findings and solutions to problems using scientific language and representation using digital technologies as appropriate

b. using appropriate text types presentations, including a discussion, explanation, exposition, procedure and recount

Science and Technology 7-10 Syllabus © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2018