3-6 Coral Reefs

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Second Nature Education offers an amazing variety of educational and experiential programs to coral reef 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 Primary School programs have been specifically developed for this age group, and for a variety of learning abilities. By participating in a “Coral Reefs” program, students gain a basic understanding and awareness of the importance of coral reef ecosystems through direct interaction with the natural environment (excursions) or through an interactive PPP with a variety of coral and other animal skeletons to pass around (incursion). This experience can be delivered to complement the following units or modules:


  • Year 4 The Earth’s Environment (QLD/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 4 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

Coral reefs are biodiversity hotspots and represent an exciting change of scenery from the classroom! Primary teachers choosing to undertake one of our field-based “Coral Reefs” excursions have the option of an ‘Experiential’ field trip (usually Grades 3-4) 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 investigation of coral reef environments. Virtual coral reef 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 coral reef environments through a well-designed in-class presentation.


  • Snorkelling over a rainbow of corals and fishes!
  • Being part of an ongoing citizen science project aimed at monitoring reefs throughout Australia and around the world (CoralWatch)
  • Hearing about current, unpublished research from a marine biologist
  • Learning to care for the reef by behaving sustainably
  • Feeding sharks from the comfort of a liveaboard boat (only on camp programs)

More Information



  • Snorkel equipment for exploring the reef
  • Boat fares for travel to and from the reef
  • Coral Watch equipment for measuring the level of bleaching at various sites on the reef
  • Talk from a CoralWatch ambassador
  • Gear to clear plastic from the reef ecosystem
  • Talk from a marine biologist about the current state of the reef
  • Night snorkels and shark feeding optional on multi-day programs using a liveaboard boat!


  • An age-appropriate interactive PowerPoint presentation
  • Investigating reef structure with coral skeletons to pass around
  • Learning about the cultural value of reef resources with tribal artefacts to pass around
  • Learn about how reefs are formed with the help of a fun animation
  • Recognise feeding relationships on the reef with a “Friend or Food” game and an on-your-feet “Human Food Web” game
  • Learn about threats to coral reefs
Educational Outcomes
  • Awareness and knowledge of coral reef ecosystems
  • Appreciation for the diversity of coral reef organisms
  • A basic understanding of how coral reef ecosystems work including knowledge of food chains/food webs
  • Awareness of the impacts of human activities on coral reefs both locally and globally
  • Knowledge of local and large-scale environmental issues affecting coral reefs including habitat destruction, overharvesting, invasive species, coral bleaching and pollution
  • Learning of sustainable behaviours that minimise these issues
  • A sense of connection to and feeling of stewardship towards Australia’s coral reefs
  • An understanding of the complex processes involved in managing our coral reefs in a sustainable manner.
  • Experience in planning and conducting scientific field studies

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

8:00 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.
8:45 Arrive at marina to board your vessel to the reef! Snorkel gear will be delegated before students enter the boat and a safety briefing will be delivered on board.
10:00 Activity Session 1 Introductory snorkel. Students will be briefed on snorkeling techniques and assisted with the identification of marine organisms in the reef community.
11:30 Enjoy a buffet lunch on board the catamaran.
12:30 Activity Session 2 Coral Watch field work. Students will be briefed on the use of CoralWatch equipment to measure the level of bleaching in corals on different parts of the reef. They will then use the same techniques to collect primary data for both their field reports and an online database sustained by citizen science.
13:30 Activity Session 3 Talk from a CoralWatch ambassador and marine biologist. The students will learn about how the data they collected is assisting scientists to monitor the state of the reef, and how this data can be used to ensure the sustainable management of the ecosystem.
14:00 Depart destination for marina
15:00 Return to marina Depart immediately for school or airport
15:45 Return to school or airport at required time