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Observatory Hill Environmental Education Centre

Observatory Hill Environmental Education Centre

Leading environmental education to empower learners for a sustainable future.

Telephone02 9247 7321

Emailobservhill-e.school@det.nsw.edu.au

Landscapes and Landforms

Landscapes and Landforms’ is a S4 Geography fieldwork excursion that focuses on an exploration of a harbour landscape and a headland landform in particular including the processes that created it, the value people place on it, and ways to sustainably manage it. Students will visit the Coal Loader Sustainability Centre at Waverton, and Balls Head Reserve, to learn about the landscape of Sydney harbour, and the landform of Balls Head. Students will participate in hands-on activities to enhance geographical inquiry.

Program location

The Coal Loader Sustainability Centre and Balls Head Reserve, Waterhen Drive, Waverton Sydney

(Coming soon)

Download the fieldtrip map (PDF KB) or view the interactive google map with approximate walking route, meeting location and pick up location. 

Key inquiry question

'How has the landform at Balls Head Reserve been transformed by environmental and human processes over time, why have people valued this landform, and how has the landform been sustainably managed and protected?'

Key syllabus content focus areas 

Students investigative the Coal Loader and Balls Head Reserve to:

  • Examine one landscape and its distinctive landforms 
  • Describe processes and influences that form and transform places and environments
  • Examine perspectives of people and organisations on a range of geographic issues
  • Discuss management of places and environments for their sustainability
  • Acquire and process geographical information by selecting and using geographic tools for inquiry.

Skills outcomes

During the full day fieldwork, students will be engaged in a number of activities to acquire, process and communicate geographic information to answer a fieldwork question including:

1.    Understanding the coastal landscape being studied and how it was formed

2.    Visit the Coal Loader Sustainability Centre to appreciate how people valued the headland over time, including evidence of Aboriginal use of the area, a tour of the historic Coal Loader facilities and a tour of the Sustainability Centre.

3.    Visit Balls Head Reserve to participate in a geographic skills session including topographic map reading, contour modelling, and using geographic measurement tools including compass and GPS devices.

4.    Participate in an activity to investigate and observe the erosion processes.  

5.    Observe sustainable management practices in the reserve throughout the day, which enhance the quality of the headland environment

Answering a fieldwork question “'How has the landform at Balls Head Reserve been transformed by environmental and human processes over time, why have people valued this landform, and how has the landform been sustainably managed and protected?'

Student previsit and follow up activities

Successful fieldwork visits 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.

Have students visit the Student Fieldwork Support Website  and complete the previsit tasks, to prepare themselves for their fieldwork activities. (coming soon)

On the day activities

During the full day fieldwork excursion, students will:

  • Understanding the coastal landscape being studied and how it was formed
  • Visit the Coal Loader Sustainability Centre to appreciate how people valued the headland over time, including evidence of Aboriginal use of the area, a tour of the historic Coal Loader facilities and a tour of the Sustainability Centre.
  • Visit Balls Head Reserve to participate in a geographic skills session including topographic map reading, contour modelling, and using geographic measurement tools including compass and GPS devices.
  • Participate in an activity to investigate and observe the erosion processes.  
  • Observe sustainable management practices in the reserve throughout the day, which enhance the quality of the headland environment.

Please note; activities may vary depending on number of classes attending.

Excursion program downloads

Download these documents to help with your excursion planning: (coming soon)

  • Fieldtrip Program and Teachers Checklist
  • Risk Assessment Plan
  • Landforms and Landscapes Flyer