3-6 Coastal Processes

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Second Nature Education offers an amazing variety of educational and experiential programs to a variety of coastal environments 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

Primary School (3-6) Programs

Our “Coastal Processes” programs for years 3-6 have been specifically developed for this age group, and for a variety of learning abilities. Through participation in this program, students gain a basic understanding and awareness of the importance of beach ecosystems through direct interaction with the natural environment (excursions) or through an interactive PPP with a variety of items scavenged from the beach to pass around (incursions). This experience can be delivered to complement the following units or modules:


  • Year 3 Places are both Similar and Different (QLD) or Places are Similar and Different (NSW)
  • Year 3 Diversity and Significance of Places and Environments (VIC)
  • 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 3 Biological Sciences (QLD/VIC) or Living World (NSW)
  • Year 5 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

Australia is famous for its beaches! Primary teachers choosing to undertake one of our field-based coastal 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 a group. Work-booklet-based field trips allow for a methodical and structured investigation of beach environments. Virtual coastal investigations 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 coastal environments through a well-designed in-class presentation.


  • Exploring sand dunes and other beach landforms
  • Looking for evidence of life in the littoral zone (e.g. crab burrows and bivalve shells)
  • Seeing beach management in action!
  • Sketching
  • Map-reading/comprehension
  • Biodiversity surveys
  • Identification of common coastal plants
  • Identifying adaptations of coastal plants (roots/salt/reproduction etc.)

More Information



  • 1-5 site visits/beaches!
  • Guided beach walk/s
  • Coastal plant identification activity
  • “Magic spot” quiet reflection and field sketch
  • Passing around of items found in the littoral zone with discussion
  • Presentation on human impacts and management (observable in the natural environment)
  • Field work (simple quadrat or transect studies)


  • An age-appropriate interactive PowerPoint presentation
  • Investigation of coastal plant adaptations using samples taken from a living ecosystem
  • Sea bird and coastal plant identification activities
  • Passing around of items found in the littoral zone
  • Game: “Observing the beach” (learn about how to spot rips/currents, constructive/destructive waves, etc.).
  • Quiz (with prizes!) to assess comprehension
Educational Outcomes
  • Awareness and knowledge of beach ecosystems
  • Appreciation for the diversity of coastal organisms
  • A basic understanding of how dynamic beach ecosystems work including knowledge of food chains/webs, habitats and propagules.
  • Awareness of the impacts of human activities on beaches (and other coastal environments) both locally and globally
  • Knowledge of local and largescale environmental issues affecting beaches 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 Australia’s beaches
  • An understanding of the complex processes involved in managing our beaches in a sustainable manner.

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

08:15 Tour group pick- 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
09:00 Arrive at Beach 1 for Field Work Session 1 This site will be severely affected by erosion. Students will use the provided equipment to measure physical properties affecting the beach environment (e.g. wind velocity, soil temperature, etc.). This data will be compared with data from at least one other site before the conclusion of the field trip. There will also be a discussion of natural and human factors contributing to the local erosion issue.
10:30 Morning tea enjoyed on the beach
11:00 Depart Beach 1 for Beach 2
11:15 Arrive at Beach 2 for Information Session 1 Here, we will see beach management in action. Our guides will do their best to find an appropriate site that is subject to beach nourishment, the construction of an artificial reef, protection from a sea wall, etc. Students will receive some information about the history of the relevant project.
11:30 Depart Beach 2 for Beach 3
11:45 Arrive at Beach 3 for Information Session 2 Here, students will pause for a moment to reflect on the efficiency of visible infrastructure in protecting the beach from erosion. They will compare their observations to those made at Beach 1.
12:15 Lunch at Beach 3. Students will have options to swim or use play equipment (at teacher’s discretion)
13:00 Depart Beach 3 for Beach 4
13:15 Arrive at Beach 4 for Information Session 3 Beach 4 will be another site where active beach management will be observable for the students’ documentation. There will again be signs of beach nourishment, the construction of an artificial reef, protection from a sea wall or other infrastructure preventing erosion.
13:45 Depart Beach 4 for Beach 5
14:00 Arrive at Beach 5 for Field Work Session 2 This site will be unaffected by erosion relative to Beach 1. Students will again use the provided equipment to measure physical properties affecting the beach environment (e.g. wind velocity, soil temperature, etc.). There will be a discussion of how the local erosion issue is managed more effectively at this site than at Beach 1.
15:00 Depart Beach 5, back to school or airport
15:45 Arrive back at school or airport when required