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Gibberagong Environmental Education Centre

Gibberagong Environmental Education Centre

Wonder, Engage, Inspire

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Earth's Natural Systems

NEW 2024 Geography Syllabus: Earth's Natural Systems



Students will conduct a geographical investigation into the processes, cycles and circulations connecting natural systems by comparing the atmospheric, hydrological, geomorphic and ecological systems in the mangrove forest at Bobbin Head in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park.

They will collect and analyse data collected in the field using specialised fieldwork equipment.  Students will use geographical skills and tools, such as maps, photographs, climate and ternary graphs, to increase their understanding of the processes, cycles and circulations connecting the natural systems in the mangrove forest and link this to the earth’s natural systems at a variety of scales.

Secondary resources are available to be used before and after the excursion to enhance this geographical inquiry.

Special Note

This program requires a low tide day to enable the students to study the crabs. Please ask our staff when you are making a booking.

Inquiry questions

How does an understanding of earth’s natural systems help to:

  • Profile the characteristics and functioning of a natural system - mangrove forest?
  • Understand the processes, cycles and systems that shape this environment?
  • Explain the processes, cycles and circulations that exist at different scales that contribute to this natural system?
  • Investigate human impacts that lead to changes in the natural system here at different scales?

Learning Activities

Pre-excusion work

Students use the pre-excursion google site to learn how to use specialised fieldwork equipment and complete topographic mapping questions to familiarise them with the study site.  They will also investigate geographical concepts related to atmospheric, geomorphic, hydrological and ecological systems at a variety of scales that contribute to the existence of the natural system here.

Excursion day

Students will start the day exploring nature as a source of inspiration and wonder, and investigating Aboriginal connections to this place.

They will discuss geographical inquiry questions that could shape the fieldwork methods used to gather data about this natural system.

Students use specialised fieldwork equipment to identify, collect and record primary data about the atmospheric, hydrological, geomorphic and ecological systems here.

Students will synthesise and interpret their findings to explain the processes, cycles and systems that contribute to the existence the mangrove forest.

Post excursion

Students will communicate and evaluate their findings in post-fieldwork activities back at school.

Excursion Locations

This program is offered at Bobbin Head. Click on the image to find out more about this site.

Sample Timetable

NOTE: Variations to timetable based on specific location, number of students and weather.

Time Class A Class B

Acknowledgement of Country, Welcome, Review of pre-visit material

10.20am Morning Tea

Exploring nature as a source of inspiration and wonder

Investigating Aboriginal connections to this place


Geomorphic systems

Hydrological systems

Atmospheric systems

Ecological systems


Atmospheric systems

Ecological systems

Geomorphic systems

Hydrological systems

12.55pm Discussion and summary
1.30pm Lunch
2.00pm Depart

Teacher Information

Download the program flyer

Excursion locations Bobbin Head
Bus access map

Map for access to venue will be sent with the confirmation

Please ensure you print a copy and provide to the bus driver on the morning of the excursion.


2024 DoE $20 per student - GST free

2024 Non-gov school cost $25 per student - GST free, minimum charge $600 per class. 

NOTE:  National Parks entry is $1.10 per student in addition

Class numbers and size

Up to 4 classes

Max. 30 students per class

Risk Assessments Bobbin Head
What to bring

Backpack, medication, low-waste food, water bottle, sunblock, raincoat, hat, sturdy shoes, mask.

Students wear sports uniform.

Adverse weather
On days where the weather is unsuitable (see risk assessment), a Gibberagong staff member will contact the organising teacher to discuss alternative arrangments.
Medical notifications
Notify Gibberagong EEC by completing and returning the medical form before the excursion. This form will be sent out upon confirmation of booking.

Program Resources

Coming Soon - Earth's Natural Systems Support Resource

This online resource supports the fieldwork program and includes information, resources and activities to familiarise students with the inquiry questions, the study site, mangroves, mapping and the fieldwork tests.  Please contact the Centre for more information.

Syllabus outcomes and content

Geography Stage 6 Syllabus 


GE-11-01 examines places, environments and natural and human phenomena, for their characteristics, spatial patterns, interactions and changes over time

GE-11-02 explains geographical processes and influences, at a range of scales, that form and transform places and environments

GE-11-05 analyses and synthesises relevant geographical information from a variety of sources

GE-11-06 identifies geographical methods used in geographical inquiry and their relevance in the contemporary world environments

GE-11-07 applies geographical inquiry skills and tools, including spatial technologies, fieldwork, and ethical practices, to investigate places and

GE-11-08 applies mathematical ideas and techniques to analyse geographical data

GE-11-09 communicates and applies geographical understanding, using geographical knowledge, concepts, terms and tools, in appropriate forms

Geography Stage 6 Syllabus © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2009