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Observatory Hill Environmental Education Centre

Observatory Hill Environmental Education Centre

Leading environmental education to empower learners for a sustainable future.

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S2 Community and Remembrance – The Rocks

This program focuses on the ‘Community and Remembrance’ History content. Students will visit The Rocks to see how the community has changed over time and learn about the lives of four children from different time periods. Through story telling, games and site visits, students will learn about the traditional Gadigal Aboriginal people, convicts, former residents of Susannah Place (now a museum), and children from the modern era. A focus is on developing historical enquiry skills, as well as integrating the Sustainability Cross Curriculum priority. 

Program location

The Rocks and Observatory Hill, Millers Point. View the interactive google map with approximate walking route, meeting location and pick up location. Please note the bus drop off and pick up point is the bus bay at Argyle Place, at the base of Observatory Hill. 

Key inquiry question

  • who lived here first and how do we know?
  • how has our community changed? What features have been lost and what features have been retained?

Key syllabus outcomes

  • describes and explains how significant individual, groups and events contributed to changes in the local community over time
  • applies skills of historical inquiry and communication
  • develop knowledge, understanding and empathy about people and cultures from different times and places, and how they may have lived and behaved differently from today
  • understand peoples impact on the environment, and how their use of it has changed over time.
  • develop an understanding of the inter-connections between people, cultures, societies and environments

Integrating the ‘Sustainability’ Cross Curriculum Priority is a feature of the program.

Skills outcomes

  •  sequencing historical people and events
  • explaining how and why people in the past may have lived and behaved differently than today
  • encourage literacy skills in talking and listening.

Student pre-visit and follow up activities

Successful excursions have direct links to current classroom learning. Pre-visit activities carried out prior to the excursion will help students better understand their excursion content and provide connectedness and relevance to classroom learning.

View the extensive excursion Support Website for information and activities to enhance student's understanding about the excursion content. These activities could be done either pre or post the excursion. A student history journal is also able to be downloaded from the website, to engage students with the website.  

On the day activities

During the full day fieldwork excursion, students will:

  • participate in a story about the traditional custodians the land, the Gadigal People, and learn a traditional Aboriginal weaving technique to develop an empathetic understanding of Aboriginal culture
  • visit Cadmans Cottage to learn about European colonisation of Australia, particularly the life of convicts
  • visit Susannah Place shop and house museum to learn about what life was like for people around 1910 (please note this visit incurs an additional cost per student, payable directly to Susannah Place. For more information on Susannah Place costings visit: https://sydneylivingmuseums.com.au/education/programs/way-we-were). Alternative activities can be provided as a substitute for this session.
  • visit Observatory Hill Park to participate in a game comparing and contrasting present and past lifestyles including their effects on the environment


  • Government schools: $15 per student
  • Non-government schools: $25 per student (GST free). Minimum cost of $600.
  • Please note: If visiting Sussanah Place Museum, an additional entry fee applies; ring the Centre for details.

Excursion program downloads