Education


Facilitated programs

The Arboretum offers a range of engaging facilitated workshops and educational programs for students of all year levels. Students can learn about:

  • sustainability and the environment
  • ecology and conservation
  • geography

Facilitated educational programs are linked to the Australian school curriculum, and operate between 9am and 5:30pm weekdays.  After hours programs also available

Bookings are essential and can be made through www.bookcanberraexcursions.com.au

Select a year:

Year group

Program

Description

Duration

Curriculum links

Preschool, Kindergarten

Meet the trees

Trees have common features, but are they all the same? How do these differences help trees to grow and be healthy?


This program is a sensory exploration of the trees and plants at the Arboretum, comparing leaves, fruit and seeds. Touch, look, smell , listen and explore some of the trees using shape, texture and colour. Listen to a story in the Bonsai display, and imagine living in a miniature world.

1 hour

ACSSU002 – Living things have basic needs, including food and water

ASCHE013 – Science involves observing, asking questions about, and describing changes in, objects and events

ACSIS001 – Participate in guided investigations and make observations using the senses

K - 2

Seasons, cycles, wind and weather

How do trees change through the seasons? What is the impact that different weather can have on trees?

This program uses some of the forests in the Arboretum to explore seasonal change and cycles and the direct impact on climate and weather on tree growth and health

Consider adding kite making as an extension activity for this program.

1 hour

ACSSU004 – Daily and seasonal changes in our environment affect everyday life

ACSSU002 – Living things have basic needs, including food and water

ASCHE013 – Science involves observing, asking questions about, and describing changes in, objects and events

ACSIS001 – Participate in guided investigations and make observations using the senses

ACHASSK032 – The weather and seasons of places and the ways in which different cultural groups, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, describe them

Years 1 - 2

Our Place 

Explore the man-made and natural landscapes of the Arboretum, and learn about how these features have been designed for special purposes.

Learn about some of the different ways the community uses the Arboretum, the activities undertaken, and why it's a significant place.

1 hour

ACSSU019 exploring the local environment to identify and describe natural, managed and constructed features

ACHASSK031 – The natural, managed and constructed features of places, their location, how they change and how they can be cared for

ACHASSI023 – Compare objects from the past with those from the present and consider how places have changed over time

ACHASSI026

Reflect on learning to propose how to care for places and sites that are important or significant

Years 3 - 6

Walk Around the World

The trees we have at the Arboretum come from all over the world, and from climates ranging from the desert to the tropics. 


This guided walk explores some of the trees planted at the Arboretum, and the various climate zones they are from. We are able to look at how our particular climate is impacting on these trees, and what measures we are taking to ensure they can grow successfully.

 

ACSSU072 – Living things have life cycles

ACSSU073 – Living things depend on each other and the environment to survive

ACHASSK068 – The main climate types of the world and the similarities and differences between the climates of different places.

ACHASSK113 – The environmental and human influences on the location and characteristics of a place and the management of spaces within them.

ACHASSK114 – The impact of bushfires or floods on environments and communities, and how people can respond

Years 3 - 10

Conserving our forests

How trees have changed over time? How they have adapted to their environment? What role the Arboretum plays in preserving these for the future?


This program explores the purpose of the Arboretum, and its role in the conservation of threatened forests. Students have the opportunity to walk through the forests and discover some of the unique characteristics of the trees and their remarkable stories of survival.

1 hour

Year 3

ACSSU044: Living things can be grouped on the basis of observable features and can be distinguished from non-living things.

Year 4

ACSSU072: Living things have life cycles.

Year 5

ACSSU043: Living things have structural features and adaptations that help them to survive in their environment.

Year 6

ACSSU094: The growth and survival of living things are affected by physical conditions of their environment.

Year 7

ACSSU111: Classification helps organise the diverse group of organisms.

Year 9

ACSSU176: Ecosystems consist of communities of interdependent organisms and abiotic components of the environment; matter and energy flow through these systems.

Year 10

ACSSU185: The theory of evolution by natural selection explains the diversity of living things and is supported by a range of scientific evidence.

Years 5 – 12

Orienteering afterhours

Head out with torches after sunset and challenge your students in the fun and engaging activity of orienteering.


Students work together to read maps, search for markers and problem solve.  The activities can be adapted to suit the group.

1 hour

ACMMG065 Create and interpret simple grid maps to show position and pathways

ACPMP050 Participate in outdoor games and activities to examine how participation promotes a connection between the community, natural and built environments, and health and wellbeing

ACPMP050 Apply basic rules and scoring systems, and demonstrate fair play when participating

ACMMG090 Use simple scales, legends and directions to interpret information contained in basic maps.

ACMMG133 Use a grid reference system to describe locations.  Describe routes landmarks and directional language

ACPMP067 Participate positively in groups and teams by encouraging others and negotiating roles and responsibilities

Years 5 - 12

Water and Sustainability

The Arboretum is home to over 40,000 trees. What do our trees need to survive and thrive? How do we manage to get water to all of our forests? How do we know what to water and when?


This guided walk explores sustainable water supply, and the strategies and systems put in place to manage water onsite. We also look at soil, tree health and how we are dealing with pests and diseases.

1 hour

ACSSU116 Some of Earth’s resources are renewable, including water that cycles through the environment, but other are non-renewable.

The Sustainability cross-curriculum priority

Sustainability addresses the ongoing capacity of Earth to maintain all life.

Sustainable patterns of living meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. Actions to improve sustainability are individual and collective endeavours shared across local and global communities. They necessitate a renewed and balanced approach to the way humans interact with each other and the environment.

All ages

Orienteering

Take advantage of the wide open spaces at the Arboretum and challenge your students in the fun and engaging activity of orienteering.  

They will work together to read maps, search for markers and problem solve.  The activities can be adapted to suit the group.

45 minutes

ACMMG065 Create and interpret simple grid maps to show position and pathways

ACPMP050 Participate in outdoor games and activities to examine how participation promotes a connection between the community, natural and built environments, and health and wellbeing

ACPMP050 Apply basic rules and scoring systems, and demonstrate fair play when participating

ACMMG090 Use simple scales, legends and directions to interpret information contained in basic maps.

ACMMG133 Use a grid reference system to describe locations.  Describe routes landmarks and directional language

ACPMP067 Participate positively in groups and teams by encouraging others and negotiating roles and responsibilities

All ages

Kite making

Decorate, create and fly your own kite on the grassy amphitheatre at one of Canberra's most scenic locations.


Students take their kites home with them to fly again.


Note: Kite decoration and assembly can still go ahead, even if the weather is unsuitable for flying.

1 hour

ACSSU005 The way objects move depends on a variety of factors, including their size and shape

ACSSU033 A push or pull affects how an object moves or changes shape.

ACAVAM107 Use and experiment with different materials, techniques, technologies and processes to make artworks

All ages

Short Bus tour

Bus tours are a good option for large school groups with limited time to explore the Arboretum. 


An Arboretum guide will take the group on a highlights tour and overview of the Arboretum.


The tour stops at the Dairy Farmers Hill lookout to allow students to take in the views across the Arboretum and beyond.

45 minutes

Year 3

ACSSU044: Living things can be grouped on the basis of observable features and can be distinguished from non-living things.

Year 4

ACSSU072: Living things have life cycles.

Year 5

ACSSU043: Living things have structural features and adaptations that help them to survive in their environment.

Year 6

ACSSU094: The growth and survival of living things are affected by physical conditions of their environment.

Year 7

ACSSU111: Classification helps organise the diverse group of organisms.

Year 9

ACSSU176: Ecosystems consist of communities of interdependent organisms and abiotic components of the environment; matter and energy flow through these systems.

Year 10

ACSSU185: The theory of evolution by natural selection explains the diversity of living things and is supported by a range of scientific evidence.

Self-guided visits

A variety of free self-guided and teacher-guided options are available for visitors wanting to create their own adventure.

Allow a minimum of 1.5 hours for a visit.

Cost: FREE.

Bookings are essential for all self-guided school groups and can be made through www.bookcanberraexcursions.com.au

Things to do

Learn more

Tracks and trails

A number of walking trails are available to explore with your students. Maps are available in the Village Centre.

Explore the Arboretum’s tracks and trails

National Bonsai and Penjing Collection

Students are very welcome to visit the Bonsai and Penjing collection. Due to the precious nature of this collection, please keep group sizes to a maximum of 20, and remind the students not to touch the display. The Bonsai Curators are happy to talk with visiting groups about the collection, and our friendly volunteers are able to answer questions about the trees they working on.

Read more about the National Bonsai and Penjing Collection

Gardens

There are a number of gardens that students can explore on the Event Terrace including a Discovery Garden, Children’s Garden and Labyrinth.

Learn more about the gardens

Events Terrace

The Event Terrace is located on the north side of the main building. The area has extensive lawn areas that you are able to use for lunch breaks. There is a water refill station, and rubbish bins located in the Discovery Garden.

Learn more about the Discovery Garden

POD Playground

Visiting school groups are welcome to use the Pod Playground. Please be mindful that during the week the playground is being used mostly by toddlers and pre-schoolers, so ensure the students are aware that this is a shared space with the public. The Pod playground is accessible from the main car park if the Village centre is closed.

Read more about the POD Playground

Plan your visit

Bookings are essential for all school groups visiting the Arboretum, including self-guided groups, through www.bookcanberraexcursions.com.au.

Please bring

Water, sunscreen, hat, comfortable and sturdy enclosed shoes for walking on uneven ground.

You are welcome to bring your own food and drinks and eat outdoors in the forests or on the Village Centre decks. Food and drinks can be purchased from the Arboretum Cafe in the Village Centre. You may pre-order food from Arboretum Cafe if you wish to purchase refreshments for your school group. The Village Centre and Arboretum Cafe are open daily from 9am to 4pm. Please note: Indoor seating in the Village Centre is reserved for cafe patrons only.

Clothes

In warm weather, visitors are advised to wear light, long-sleeved tops; light, long trousers and a wide-brim hat to protect skin from the sun.

In cold weather, visitors are advised to wear warm, windproof clothing and a hat. Please note the Arboretum can get very windy in any season, so please dress accordingly.

Shoes

Sturdy, enclosed shoes suitable for unsealed tracks and uneven rocky surfaces, must be worn at all times.

Sun protection

Wear sunscreen to protect against sunburn and windburn, and re-apply as needed. Please ensure all students bring a hat.

Rainy weather

Please ensure everyone brings a raincoat if rain looks likely on the day of your visit.

Programs will still run in the event of light rain. Our onsite Education Officer will contact the event organiser if the program needs to be cancelled or rescheduled due to bad weather.

Site safety

All groups are requested to follow the public use policy of the National Arboretum Canberra and any instructions provided by Arboretum staff.

School excursion organisers are required to familiarise themselves with the Arboretum's site safety information.