3-6 Catchment Studies

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Second Nature Education offers an amazing variety of educational and experiential programs to a variety of wetlands, waterways and catchments in: Queensland and New South Wales; throughout Australia; and overseas.

All our programs are either tailored to support relevant units within the Australian curriculum, or as specifically requested by our clients.


What we provide

  • Award-winning educators/ facilitators
  • Itineraries and flyers
  • Curriculum-based work-booklets
  • All relevant equipment (supplying up to 150x students per session)
  • Example assessment tasks
  • Transportation options (we provide quotes to utilise our own buses for every excursion and can purchase all relevant flights relating to your program where applicable)
  • Pre/Post excursion activities (usually a PPP)
  • Risk assessment (location specific)
  • Variety of field-work locations (where available)
  • Accommodation options (we provide quotes to utilise the most affordable and most appropriate accommodation to suit your needs)
  • Catering options (we provide quotes to utilise our own in-house catering service for every excursion (where available) and/or catering through a third-party provider

Secondary School (Yr 3-6) Programs

Our “Catchment Studies” programs for years 3-6 have been specifically developed for this age group, and for a variety of learning abilities. Through participation, students gain a basic understanding and awareness of the importance of healthy waterways through direct interaction with the natural environment (excursions) or through an interactive PPP with a variety of items to pass around/try (incursions). The experience can be delivered to complement the following units or modules:


  • Year 4 The Earth’s Environment Sustains All Life (QLD) or The Earth’s Environment (NSW)
  • Year 5 Factors that Shape the Human and Environmental Characteristics of Places (QLD) or Factors that Shape Places (NSW)
  • Year 5 Factors that Shape Places and Influence Interconnections (VIC)


  • Year 4 Biological Sciences (QLD/VIC) or Living World (NSW)
  • Year 6 Biological Sciences (QLD/VIC) or Living World (NSW)
  • Year 3 Earth and Space Sciences (QLD/VIC) or Earth and Space (NSW)
  • Year 4 Earth and Space Sciences (QLD/VIC) or Earth and Space (NSW)
  • Year 5 Earth and Space Sciences (QLD/VIC) or Earth and Space (NSW)
  • Year 6 Earth and Space Sciences (QLD/VIC) or Earth and Space (NSW)

Trip Overview

Primary teachers choosing to undertake one of our field-based “Catchment Studies” excursions have the option of an ‘Experiential’ field trip (usually Grades K/P-4) or a ‘Work-booklet’ based field trip (usually grades 5-6/7). Experiential field trips are less structured than work-booklet-based field trips and allow flexibility to follow the specific interests of the group. Work-booklet-based field trips allow for a methodical and structured waterway health assessment. Virtual waterway health assessments allow students who are unable to participate in a field trip (e.g. due to finances, proximity to habitat, behaviour issues, etc.) to gain a basic understanding of their local catchment through a well-designed in-class presentation.


  • Bird watching
  • Identifying native and migratory shore birds
  • Using nets to catch invertebrates
  • Sketching
  • Map-reading/comprehension
  • Beautiful walks through pristine wetlands
  • Monitoring waterway health using age-appropriate equipment

More Information



  • Guided walk through a wetland
  • Shore bird identification activity
  • “Magic spot” quiet reflection and field sketch
  • Nets to catch macroinvertebrates. Learn about bioindicators!
  • Equipment to measure chemical properties of the water (optional)
  • Presentation on human impacts (observable in the natural environment)


  • An age-appropriate interactive PowerPoint presentation
  • Investigate ecosystem services provided by wetland plants with samples from living ecosystems to be passed around
  • Learn about the cultural value of some wetland plants (e.g. in art). A short craft activity is optional.
  • Undertake a variety of chemical tests on water samples taken from living ecosystems
  • Shore bird identification activities
  • Quiz (with prizes!) to assess comprehension
Educational Outcomes
  • Awareness and knowledge of threats to water quality
  • An understanding of the importance of healthy waterways
  • Awareness of the impacts of human activities on catchments both locally and globally
  • Knowledge of local and largescale environmental issues affecting wetlands including habitat destruction, overharvesting, invasive species, habitat fragmentation and pollution
  • Learning of sustainable behaviours that minimise these issues
  • A sense of connection to and feeling of stewardship towards students’ local catchments
  • An understanding of the complex processes involved in managing our catchments in a sustainable manner.

Below is an example itinerary for a 1-day “Catchment Studies” excursion. All excursions packages include the necessary work booklets and equipment.

9:30      Tour group pick-up Second Nature have a fleet of vehicles available to cater for any number of passengers (within reason). We can provide transport to and from schools and airports
10:00   Arrive at destination for Activity session 1 The site you will visit will be part of a much larger network of creeks, rivers and dams.  During this activity, you will learn where your study site is situated in the relevant catchment and what ecosystem services the wetlands provide to adjacent and downstream settlements. You will then conduct a visual survey to assess how humans use the space and the disturbance this activity may have caused.
11:00   Activity session 2 The types of macro invertebrates hiding in the reeds that flank the banks can be a good indication of how healthy or polluted a waterway is. During this activity, you will use nets to catch as many water bugs as possible in the hour available. SIGNAL 2 sensitivity gradings of the bugs captured and identified will allow you to judge the health of the waterway.
11:30   Lunch at destination Picnic lunch in a beautiful spot to enjoy the scenery.
13:00   Activity 3 Use binoculars to spot native and migrating shore birds amongst the trees and in the distance. Describe and identify them with the help of your guides. Learn about the life cycle of birds and the important role of migration.
14:00   Activity 4 “Magic spot” quiet reflection and field sketch. Students sit for a moment away from their peers to look and listen to their surroundings. They should conduct a field sketch in this time.
14:30   Depart wetland site for school or airport
15:00   Arrive back at school or airport when required