School excursions

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At the Wildflower Garden we believe that sometimes the best classroom is no classroom at all! An excursion to the Garden provides opportunities for children to learn as they discover, create, improvise and imagine. 

The half day program includes three ranger-led activities such as a bush walk, discovery session, dipnetting, shelter finding, bug catching, observation of human impacts or similar. 

The full day program allows lunch time for self-guided exploration in our bush playground and an hour of add-on ranger activities.  Our rangers encourage a supportive learning environment where children can ask questions, solve problems and engage in critical thinking

Our focus is to activate and encourage the student’s natural desire to investigate the bush.  We are passionate about experiential learning – touching, smelling, collecting and playing – and that’s what makes an excursion to the Wildflower Garden different. 

Cost

$12 half day per child (10am – 12:30pm)

$15 full day per child  (10am – 2pm)

Risk assessment

To help teachers in planning risk management for their excursion to the Wildflower Garden we have provided Venue and Safety Information (pdf. 103KB)

Not familiar with the Wildflower Garden?

View photographs and get the latest information on the Wildflower Garden Facebook page.

Bookings

For more information contact the Wildflower Garden office on 9424 0353 or email kwg@kmc.nsw.gov.au

Choose your excursion from the following

Early Stage 1

Growing Up

Science and Technology

Let’s investigate the needs of plants and animals – you might be surprised how much we have in common! The Wildflower Garden Rangers will show you how to use all five senses to make observations of living things, and on our bush walk we’ll visit a regeneration site where plants are growing up again after fire. During our Discovery Session we’ll meet some animals up close to learn about their needs and adaptations to the environment.

Living Things

Science and Technology

Join the rangers for a bush walk to explore the diversity of living things in the Wildflower Garden; learn what they need and what happens if their needs are not being met. Students will go on a minibeast hunt to collect invertebrates, identifying their features and grouping like specimens. Lastly, the Discovery Session is a chance for students to meet some living things up close and reflect on.

Meeting Needs

Human Society and its Environment (HSIE)

The unique flora and fauna of the Wildflower Garden have their own needs, some that are very different to our own needs and some that are similar.  Follow the ranger through the bush to discuss what the plants and animals need in terms of food and protection, and what we need to do to keep them healthy. We’ll see different animal shelters and match animal adaptations with their needs in this Sydney bush environment.

Places We Know

HSIE

The Wildflower Garden is a very special place!  It is a place where you can come with your family and friends to relax and have fun. It is also a place where our native flora and fauna can be protected and cared for. Join our rangers to explore bush tracks, rocky outcrops, wetlands and swamps to learn about the plants and animals that need this place to survive. There is evidence here of change – some plants are flowering, vegetation is regrowing after fire, birds come and go. We’ll learn how to be safe while investigating the bush and consider what can happen when this place is used in the wrong way.

Stage 1

Kid’s Care

Science and Technology

In this busy urban environment, the Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden is a small pocket of natural resources reserved for the community. The rangers here have to balance the needs of the natural environment and the needs of visitors, so there are some places with paths to picnic areas and others that are protected habitat to conserve the plants and animals. We’ll be investigating if visitors are having an effect on the natural environment through a series of play-based exploration and experimentation activities.

The Need for Shelter

HSIE

Join the ranger to explore the shelter needs of the local Wildflower Garden residents. Its creatures build shelters for sleeping, breeding and even catching food! On a bush walk students will examine the difference between natural bush shelters, animal homes and their own built homes. We will explore why shelters are different by meeting some native fauna up close, to identify how they have adapted to survive and to discuss how we adapt and impact on the environment. Students will also try their hand at building a shelter for the ranger’s feathered friends.

Wet and Dry Environments

HSIE

This program includes a range of practical activities which examine the relationship between people and environments. By exploring both aquatic and terrestrial environments, students will build an understanding of how the different elements of an ecosystem rely on each other to survive. Rangers will show them the value of this unique bushland reserve, and identify how people’s interactions with the environment can change it, in both positive and negative ways.

What’s Alive?

Science and Technology

The Wildflower Garden is the ideal place to investigate the diversity of our local animals and plants! Students will learn about some of their wildlife neighbours, meet some amazing animals and classify the features that make reptiles, insects, fish, bird and mammals unique. We’ll go on a bush walk to identify the parts of a plant and make observations of the similarities and differences between animals and plants. 

What’s for Lunch?

Science and Technology

“What did you eat today? Well, I ate some lovely eucalyptus tips and munched on some banksia flowers!" But what did the banksia and eucalyptus ate…?  All living things grow, reproduce, move, need air, take in nutrients and eliminate wastes. We’ll go searching in the bush to compare the needs of the natural environment with our own needs. While exploring we might come across some bush foods, and contrast that with a visit to our veggie garden where our rangers grow their own healthy lunch and compost their food waste!

Stage 2

Cycles in Our World

Science and Technology

Investigate the life cycles of plants and animals with our experienced rangers who will reveal the natural cyclic patterns occurring in the Wildflower Garden.  There is much evidence here of change – some plants are flowering, vegetation is regrowing after fire, birds come and go. We’ll go dipnetting for tadpoles and nymphs in our pond, discuss their needs now and how they will change as they develop. We will also role-play to understand the form of a seed and appreciate how plants change as they grow.

Mini-Worlds

Science and Technology

Discover the secret world of minibeasts through a series of hands on exploration based activities with our rangers. Students will build an understanding of the balance of organisms in an ecosystem, how organisms depend on each other to survive, and how people’s interactions with their environment can change it. Rangers will show the students what fascinating creatures minibeasts really are, by searching for them in the Wildflower Garden using scientific survey equipment, and meeting some live minibeast models up close.

Our Australia

Science and Technology

The Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden is an urban bushland environment that is home to unique flora, fauna and geographical features. Our rangers will lead you into the bush to learn about and record the characteristics of the animals and plants that occur here. We will visit a bush regeneration site to make first-hand observations of the effect of fire on the environment, and on our journey we will identify some plants used as bush foods.

Plants in Action

Primary Connections

The plants in the Wildflower Garden are well-adapted to survive in this Sydney sandstone environment. On a bushwalk our rangers will identify the parts of a plant, make observations of the similarities and differences in their needs and discuss aboriginal use of the environment. We'll visit a bush regeneration site to observe first-hand the effect of fire on plants, and undertake bush regeneration activities to learn how our team assists this unique urban bushland. We’ll step into our time machine (otherwise known as the Fern House!) to compare this representation of what Australia may have looked like with the existing vegetation. And in our Discovery Session we’ll examine some local flowers, fruits and seeds, visit a hive of native bees to understand their role in pollination, and role-play to understand the form of a seed and appreciate how plants change as they grow.

State and National Parks

HSIE

The Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden is a council bush reserve on the border of the Ku-ring-gai National Park. Students will become ‘Junior Rangers’ for the day and take responsibility for the garden’s unique ecosystem. We’ll be using a map to navigate our way along the bush tracks, collecting information on flora and fauna as we go. We’ll use biotic testing to measure the water quality of the pond. We will also discuss the roles and responsibilities of rangers, visitors, volunteers and the council, and question the importance of protecting the garden for future generations.

Stage 3

An Ancient Land

Science and Technology

Living fossils, some of the plants, birds, reptiles and insects found in the Garden today evolved from their giant prehistoric ancestors. Our rangers will lead an animal encounter to investigate who lived with dinosaurs and how they survived the mass-extinction. We’ll head into the bush to learn about the Sydney sandstone environment which is prone to weathering and change over time; on the way we’ll discuss aboriginal uses of the environment. We’ll also step into our time machine (otherwise known as the Fern House!) to compare this representation of what Australia may have looked like with the existing vegetation.

Environment Matters

Science and Technology

Did you know the Wildflower Garden was once the site of a chicken farm, and that the land has been restored to an accessible bush reserve? We’ll make first-hand observations of the effects human activities have on the environment, using biotic and abiotic testing methods. Many of our plants and animals have adaptations to survive in this area and we’ll record those characteristics. Group discussions will focus on how this space be best managed for future use.

Global Environments: Upland Swamp

HSIE

Share our ranger’s intimate understanding and knowledge of the Wildflower Garden as we explore it’s upland swamp ecosystem. Your field trip will include outdoor, hands-on activities including water sampling, animal monitoring and map interpretation. We’ll discuss the past uses of the land, how it has been restored and how we can manage swamps, a valuable ecosystem often under threat, both locally and globally.

Cross-curricular and add-ons

Community Service Project

Integrated Unit (PDHPE, Studies of Religion, Civics and Citizenship, Sustainability)

Our health is connected to the health of our environment. And it’s great to get active outdoors too!  We’ll have a short discussion about what our community would be like if it were based solely on negative behaviours, and then the rangers will lead a positive hands-on bush regeneration activity. (Studies of Religion discussion: The teachings of all faiths entrust humans to care for the environment.)

Insect and Dragon Eco-Art

Visual Arts

Shrink down to the marvellous world of minibeasts! Students will explore real and imagined creatures by interpreting their ideas into clay sculptures. The rangers will have some live minibeast ‘models’ to inspire the artist within; each child will leave with their own artwork made of natural, locally sourced materials.

Mapping

Integrated Unit (Math, English, HSIE, Science and Technology)

People have made and used maps for thousands of years. Maps have the power to take us on a great adventure, and that’s exactly what we’ll be doing! Working cooperatively, students will need to interpret the map’s key to explore the Wildflower Garden’s network of bush trails.