Geographers Out and About

Geographers Out and About

Fieldwork Year 8

In Year 8, the students visit Manly. Whilst there, they complete fieldwork associated with their studies of various aspects of the new Australian Curriculum.

All Year 8 Barker students attend a four day excursion to The Grange, Barker’s Outdoor Education Centre at Mount Victoria in the Blue Mountains. The students spend two days studying Geography in the field, with a particular focus on human impact on the natural environment. They then investigate ways that the environment can be managed, so that people can appreciate and benefit from it in the future.

With its recent listing as a World Heritage Site, the Blue Mountains provide an excellent environment for the students to be involved in Geographic fieldwork. The students participate in a wide range of activities which include a visit to Katoomba Falls, the Scenic Railway, the Jannei Goat Dairy, Mount Piper Power Station and a hanging swamp.

The students explore the Newnes Plateau, putting their newly acquired mapping skills into practice, walking through the Glow Worm Tunnel and exploring the site of the former shale-oil plant at Newnes. They further their Outdoor Education Skills by sleeping out for two nights.

The students return to school with a fresh appreciation of the natural beauty of Blue Mountains, and the vital need to preserve and protect it for the long term.

Fieldwork Year 9

Year 9 enjoys a two day field trip to the Illawarra district. The trip starts with a tour of the Minnamurra Rainforest. The trip's focus is catchment management and the walk up into the forest shows the students the start of the Minnamurra River as it tumbles over the falls. Next stop is further down the river. The students canoe the estuary section of the river as it winds its way through mangroves to its mouth.

After spending the night in Jamberoo, it's off to Bushranger Bay. Here the students don wetsuits and snorkel an aquatic reserve. A highlight of the trip, fish abound in this bottom end of the catchment. After a session with our guides, relating what was seen to the management of the catchment, the students go to see the impact of another human activity in the catchment - Jamberoo, where they control the action!

Fieldwork Year 10

Year 10 currently undertake fieldwork in the centre of Sydney. The day's focus is spatial inequality and involves a walk along the Finger Wharf in Woolloomooloo, observations from the top of Sydney Tower, lunch in the International Food Court in Pitt Street Mall and Oz Trek in Sydney Tower. Students get a valuable look at different sections of the city, from on high and down low, and enjoy some of the city's main tourist attractions.

A recent development has been the opportunity for Year 10 students to visit Timor-Leste. This ten day trip sees students learn about one of our nearest neighbours primarily through participation in RYPEN (Rotary Youth Program of Encouragement) and through our partnership with the villagers of Hera 45 minutes from Dili. This has been a life-changing experience for a number of students.

Fieldwork Year 11

Year 11 Geography students visit Myall Coast for a two day, overnight stay, field trip during their study of Biophysical Interactions. Students carry out testing, take measurements, observe maps and draw field sketches in order to investigate the coastal processes of this significant environment. This Coastal Management Case Study equips students with skills in Fieldwork method and gives them ideas about how to pursue their own research project via the Senior Geography Project (SGP). The SGP is an integral part of the Preliminary Certificate and gives students valuable exposure to the world of research and report writing; skills of enquiry and presentation that will hold them in good stead at University and in the workforce thereafter.

Fieldwork Year 12

Fieldwork is a highlight of the HSC course as it provides students with an opportunity to get out and about and learn in a variety of environments outside the class room. The locations of our fieldwork vary dramatically and have been chosen with the aim of broadening our students’ horizons.

The first trip, taken in Term 4 Year 11, is to the renewed, but environmentally challenged Homebush Bay. In the middle of Year 12, we explore the recent changes made to the bustling urban landscape of Pyrmont.

The HSC course finishes with investigating the activities of the wine industry in the picturesque Hunter Valley. Each of these locations provide visual stimulus and consolidate fieldwork techniques.


Geography is a hands on subject that encourages students to gain a greater understanding of their world. Geography Tours are an unique opportunity for students to see places and people that they would not normally encounter.

Each year late in Term 3, the Geography Department organises a tour to Timor-Leste with a small group of Year 10 students. Aside from seeing many of the beautiful sites of this near neighbour, students engage with local young people within communities. There is singing, there is dancing, there is game playing and there are reading sessions with the local children. The trip also includes a weekend leadership program, RYPEN (Rotary Youth Program of Encouragement). Barker students support this program financially and then participate in the course with folks from various parts of Timor-Leste. It is a challenging, but highly rewarding residential weekend. Students make friends for life and make a significant impact in a very young nation.