Planning your excursion
Policies and guidelines
Department of Education teachers should consult the new Variation of routine intranet page for excursion requirements.
Teachers should be familiar with the following policies and guidelines:
- Sport and Physical Activity Policy
- Requirements for all sport and physical activity
- Excursions Policy
- Bushwalking safety guidelines
- Parent or caregiver information and consent forms (Department of Education staff only)
Excursion coordinators should consult with their Principal to ensure compliance with department requirements.
Schools must obtain signed consent forms granting permission for students to participate in an excursion and a medical information form from parents or caregivers. Include the following information in parent or caregiver information consent forms. You can find this information in the background information for your excursion’s sites and on your booking confirmation:
- details of location
- supervision to be provided
- degree of difficulty
- contact system
Teacher to student ratios
Based on the bushwalking safety guidelines, most walks on our excursions are considered short or novice walks.
To meet safety guidelines, the maximum adult: student ratio is 1:15. This is usually met by having 1 EEC teacher and 1 teacher from the visiting school per group (therefore 2 adults: maximum 30 students).
To comply with policy and guidelines, the visiting school must provide one teacher per class (or group) on excursion. This teacher must take overall responsibility and assume duty of care for students.
Risk assessment and management plan
Once your booking is confirmed, we will email you a draft risk assessment and management plan. Use the information to assist you in preparing your own risk assessment. Your risk assessment should also take into account:
- transport to and from the excursion
- your student group
- individual student health care plans
- access and special requirements for students with additional needs
- any incidents on previous excursions.
You should also consider the background information for the site(s) you are visiting.
Please consider the following when booking buses:
- What is their cancellation policy? We recommend booking with a company that allows schools to cancel on the morning of the excursion without penalty. It is disappointing if you have had to cancel one, two or three days ahead based on a forecast, and wake up to a beautiful day.
- Will the bus be staying at the venue all day or leaving and returning? This is helpful information when making a decision based on the weather.
- Ensure you confirm drop off and pick up locations and times at the time of booking and with the driver on the day.
Health, welfare, behaviour and additional needs
Please submit a Welfare form at least one week before your excursion. You can fill in one form per excursion or one form per class/group. Or, coordinate with your office to print out a list to attach to the form.
Please contact the centre, before the excursion, to discuss any significant student or staff needs that may need accommodation on the day.
Parents, caregivers and volunteers
Parents, caregivers and volunteers are welcome to accompany excursions and assist teachers. They do not need to pay to attend, however, they will need to pay park entry if they drive separately. Duty of care remains with the visiting teachers and cannot be delegated to parents, caregivers or volunteers.
If you are planning an excursion to Bonnie Vale/mangroves, rock platforms or other coastal areas, please look at the tides 2023 as you study your school calendar. A low tide in the morning or middle of the day is ideal.
As most of our programs are outdoors, we may have to postpone your excursion if the forecast weather compromises safety. We will reschedule your excursion as quickly as possible.
Check Sydney's weather forecast or a more detailed forecast for Royal National Park or Bundeena (visits to Bonnie Vale, Jibbon).
Please contact us if you have any concerns on the mobile number provided on your Booking Confirmation.
During bushfire season (approx. 1 October – 31 March), check the Rural Fire Service fire danger rating (fire danger ratings are usually set by 4:30pm for the following day; at times they are upgraded or downgraded in the morning).
During catastrophic ratings the park and centre are closed and excursions postponed.
During extreme ratings, excursions may be cancelled or relocated to ensure the safety of students.
All attending Department of Education school staff must hold current e-Emergency Care and Anaphylaxis e-learning certification.
All EEC teachers hold current e-Emergency Care and Anaphylaxis e-learning certification. Additionally, most EEC teachers hold current Provide CPR, Provide First Aid, and Recognition and Management of Anaphylaxis Program (RAMOAP) certification.
First aid kits
Visiting teachers must carry an appropriately equipped first aid kit. Department of Education portable kits must include a general use adrenaline injector (EpiPen), an ASCIA First Aid Plan for Anaphylaxis (Orange) EpiPen, asthma reliever inhaler (ventolin) and an asthma spacer device.
All EEC teachers will carry up-to-date portable first aid kits, compliant with Department of Education First Aid Procedures. All kits include a general use adrenaline injector (EpiPen), an ASCIA First Aid Plan for Anaphylaxis (Orange) EpiPen, asthma reliever inhaler (ventolin), an asthma spacer device, high compression bandage for snake bite and a sharps container.
Visiting teachers are responsible for carrying and administering any student prescribed medication. Please liaise with your EEC teacher on excursion if medication needs to be administered at a specific time or with food.
The group is very likely to encounter members of the public. Visiting teachers need to be aware of where students are at all times. Child protection measures and supervision is required when students access public toilets.
What to bring
- Low waste lunch and recess: Many sites have no bins so we will ask students to take their rubbish home with them. A low waste lunch may include sandwiches wrapped in grease-proof paper, fresh fruit and snacks in reusable containers. It avoids plastic wrap and disposable packaging.
- Reusable water bottle: 2 x bottles recommended. Minimum 1.2L per student essential for longer walks and sites without access to water (e.g., Wattamolla, Bola Creek, Garie Beach, Jibbon).
- School or sports uniform (sports uniform preferred)
- Sturdy, closed-in walking shoes
- Backpack (no plastic bags)
- High schools: clipboard & pencil
- Bonnie Vale only: spare old shoes and hand towel recommended
- Beach and rock platform sites: sunglasses recommended
- Students’ prescribed medications
- Health Action Plans
- Portable First Aid Kit
- General use adrenaline injector (EpiPen) and ASCIA First Aid Plan for Anaphylaxis (Orange) EpiPen
- Asthma reliever inhaler (ventolin) and asthma spacer device
- Printed worksheets (if applicable)
- Pencils (if applicable)
Expectations of visiting teachers during the excursion
- Each group must include a teacher from the visiting school.
- Ensure group size is maximum 30 students (to maintain adult: student ratio of 1:15).
- Maintain duty of care for your students throughout the day, including breaks.
- Actively participate in activities with your students. Where appropriate, you are invited to team teach with EEC teachers.
- Maintain discipline, manage challenging behaviours and support the EEC teacher’s instructions. While EEC teachers are experienced in classroom management, you are more familiar with your students and your school’s policies and guidelines.
- On bushwalks, the EEC teacher will lead the group and the class teacher will supervise students at the rear of the group, being the last in line.
- If an extremely undisciplined child/children need/s to be excluded from the activities, you will contact your Principal to arrange for their transport back to school.