3-6 Heathland

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Second Nature Education offers an amazing variety of educational and experiential programs to a diverse array of heathland 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 “Heathland” 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 unique community of plants and animals that inhabit heathland environments through direct interaction with the natural environment (excursions) or through an interactive PPP with a variety of items salvaged from heathland to pass around (incursion). 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 4 Biological Sciences (QLD/VIC) or Living World (NSW)
  • Year 4 Earth and Space Sciences (QLD/VIC) or Earth and Space (NSW)
  • Year 5 Biological Sciences (QLD/VIC) or Living World (NSW)
  • Year 6 Biological Sciences (QLD/VIC) or Living World (NSW)

Trip Overview

Heathland is not a commonly considered destination for studies in biology or ecosystem dynamics. However, this habitat presents a number of unique plant and animal adaptations that support life in a highly dynamic environment. Primary teachers choosing to undertake one of our field-based “Heathland” 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 investigation of heathland and coastal/desert environments. Virtual heathland 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 heathland and coastal/desert environments through a well-designed in-class presentation.


  • Exploring an exciting new ecosystem!
  • Sketching
  • Map-reading/comprehension
  • Biodiversity surveys
  • Identifying adaptations of xerophytic plants (heat/light/water/reproduction etc.)
  • Identification of plants and animals suited to the desert using age-appropriate keys
  • Scientific equipment use (anemometers/barometers/thermometers etc.)
  • Looking for evidence of wildlife (bird nests etc.)

More Information



  • Exploration of 1-2 heathland or coastal environments
  • Xerophytic plant identification activity
  • Bird identification activity
  • Guided field sketch
  • Presentation on human impacts and management (observable in the natural environment)
  • Simple field work


  • An age-appropriate interactive PowerPoint presentation
  • Investigation of xerophytic plant adaptations using samples taken from a living ecosystem
  • Bird and plant identification activities
  • Passing around of items found in heathland
  • Active “Food Chains and Food Webs” game
  • Quiz (with prizes!) to assess comprehension
Educational Outcomes
  • Awareness and knowledge of heathland and coastal/desert environments
  • Appreciation for the diversity of heathland organisms
  • A basic understanding of how heathland systems work including knowledge of food chains/webs, habitats and propagules.
  • Awareness of the impacts of human activities on heathland and coastal/desert environments both locally and globally
  • Knowledge of local and largescale environmental issues affecting heathland and coastal /desert environments including invasive species and pollution, as well as habitat destruction and fragmentation
  • Learning of sustainable behaviours that minimise these issues
  • A sense of connection to and feeling of stewardship towards Australia’s heathland and coastal/desert environments
  • An understanding of the complex processes involved in managing our heathland and coastal environments in a sustainable manner.

Below is an example itinerary for a 1-day coastal heathland excursion. All excursion packages include the necessary work booklets and equipment.

09:00 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
09:45 Arrive at destination for Activity session 1 Australia’s heathlands are home to a unique community of plants and animals that have pioneered some bizarre and impressive adaptations to cope with a dynamic semi-arid environment. During this activity, you will identify plants and animals of the heathland and nearby beach (or desert). You will take note of the adaptations they use to survive in their environment and draw a lateral view of the visible plant communities as an initial field sketch.
10:45 Morning tea
11:15 Field Work Session 2 Line transects and quadrat surveys are frequently utilised by field scientists to monitor how an area changes over time. During this activity, students will be divided into groups to assess an undisturbed area of heathland using techniques explained by our guides. The activity will involve taking measurements of physical factors using supplied equipment and recording results in a data collection table. This is excellent hands on experience in the field!
12:15 Lunch at destination Great areas to take a break and enjoy the scenery
13:15 Field Work Session 2 Students will conduct a contrasting line transect and or quadrat survey at a second study site. This site will have been disturbed by natural processes (e.g. wind erosion) or human activity (e.g. invasive species). The comparison of undisturbed and disturbed sites will later form the basis of the students’ summative field reports.
14:15 Depart destination, back to school or airport
15:00 Arrive back at school or airport when required