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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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Living World S3

Program overview

This program focuses on the Stage 3 Science and Technology content ‘The Living World’. Students will visit The Coal Loader Sustainability Centre at Waverton, and Balls Bead Reserve to explore the natural vegetation and native animals. They will test the conditions needed for survival of specific animals under threat from climate change using observations and measuring equipment, and describe the adaptations of the local vegetation and animal species. They will learn about sustainable management of environments for food production through the Coal Loader Sustainability Centre community gardens.


The Coal Loader Sustainability Centre Waverton and Balls Head Reserve

View the Google Excursion 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 on Waterhen Drive in front of the Coal Loader Centre for Sustainability. 

Key inquiry questions

  • How do plants and animals survive in the environmental conditions at Balls Head Reserve?
  • How and why should we produce food sustainably?

Key syllabus outcomes

  • plans and conducts scientific investigations to answer testable questions, and collects and summarises data to communicate conclusions.
  • examines how the environment affects the growth, survival and adaptations of living things
  • explains how food and fibre are produced sustainably in managed environments for health and nutrition

Integrating the ‘Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures, and the Sustainability’ Cross Curriculum Priority is a feature of the program.

Skills outcomes

  • collecting and recording information by observing, recording and analysing data to describe patterns and relationships
  • compare data with predictions and present data as evidence in explanation
  • produce labelled and annotated drawings

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.

Visit the Student Support Website lo learn more about the topic Living World, and the main excursion themes. 

On the day activities

During the full day fieldwork excursion, students will:

  • acquire, process and communicate geographic information to answer a fieldwork question
  • learn about past uses of the site including those of Aboriginal people
  • learn basic scientific methods of gathering data including map reading, observation and using tools which may include thermometers, water testing and line drawings
  • undertake a guided tour of the Coal Loader Sustainability Centre to learn about actions that improve sustainability through food production
  • undertake a bushwalk in Balls Head Reserve to learn about features and characteristics of local environments, animals and plants


  • Government Schools: $15 per student  (GST Free)
  • Non-Government Schools: $25 per student (GST free). Minimum cost of $600.

Excursion Resources

Download The Living World Stage 3 flyer