A teachers’ guide to WA school excursions


Western Australia offers a vast and diverse playground for educators passionate about inspiring and engaging students far beyond the classroom. Rich history and vibrant cultural heritage combine to create a selection of engaging opportunities for young adventurers and the teachers lucky enough to accompany them.

The Roundhouse
1 The Terrace, Fremantle
08 9336 9210

Nestled in the heart of Western Australia’s historic port city, Fremantle, The Round House stands as a living testament to the state’s rich heritage and offers an engaging and educational experience for students of all ages. If you’re a teacher planning a school excursion in Western Australia, here’s why the Round House should be at the top of your list.

A glimpse into Western Australia’s past: The Round House is Western Australia’s oldest public building. It was built in 1831 and served as the colony’s first purpose-built gaol (and symbol of authority during a tumultuous period in the state’s history). Today, it stands as a fascinating window into the past, allowing students to explore the early days of British settlement in Western Australia.

An interactive history lesson: Students can gain insights into the colonial history of Western Australia, including the lives of early settlers, convicts, and First Nations peoples.

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Cross-curricular learning: opportunities for cross-curricular learning include geography, mathematics, and creative writing.

The Round House is accessible to students of all ages and abilities. It offers a safe and controlled environment for school excursions, with trained staff ensuring a secure and educational visit. Plan for a visit of approximately one to two hours as you journey back in time at this treasure trove of historical knowledge.

Fremantle Prison
1 The Terrace, Fremantle
08 9336 9210

Bring learning to life with a unique and immersive student experience at Fremantle Prison.

This historical site isn’t just a museum; it’s a living testament to Australia’s convict past. Here’s why it should be on every educator’s radar:

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Historical significance: It was built by convicts in the 1850s and is now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. It provides a tangible link to Australia’s colonial history, making it an invaluable educational resource.

Diverse learning opportunities: The prison offers a wide range of educational programs tailored to different age groups and curriculum requirements. Whether you’re teaching history, social studies, or even science, there’s an experience at Fremantle Prison that can enhance your lessons.

Engagement and empathy: Walking through the prison’s imposing gates and exploring its cells, gallows, and exercise yards, students can’t help but feel a deep sense of empathy for the individuals who lived and worked here. It’s a powerful tool for teaching deeper levels of understanding.

Make sure you book in advance, choose an appropriate program for curriculum goals, and take advantage of the hands-on and interactive elements of the excursion by asking questions, engaging with exhibits, and participating in activities.

City West Centre, Sutherland Street, West Perth
08 9215 0700

Engage students in interactive science and technology exhibits and shows at Scitech. It’s Western Australia’s leading science education institution and offers interactive exhibits and experiences designed to ignite a passion for science.

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The “hands-on, minds-on” philosophy at Scitech encourages active participation. Students can explore and experiment, fostering a deeper knowledge of scientific concepts.

Scitech offers tailor-made programs, workshops, and activities that cater to various age groups for educators seeking to enhance their students’ STEM skills.

The venue also hosts entertaining and educational science shows that bring scientific principles to life in a fun and memorable way.

A visit to Scitech has the potential to transform how students perceive and engage with science. It nurtures their innate curiosity, inspires them to ask questions, and empowers them to explore the world through a scientific lens.

The Gravity Discovery Centre
1098 Military Road, Gingin

08 9575 7577

Western Australia’s Gravity Discovery Centre (GDC) is truly out of this world. Educators planning fun scientific school excursions will love this quest to understand gravity, a fundamental force that shapes our universe.

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Hands-on learning: The GDC offers an interactive experience that engages students in the world of physics and astronomy. From pendulum experiments to astronaut simulations, students can touch, see, and feel the science in action.

Expert guidance: Astronomers are on-site to help make complex topics accessible and exciting as they guide students through exhibits, answer questions, and provide insights into the wonders of the universe.

Unique experiences: Highlights include the Leaning Tower of Gingin, where students can conduct gravity-defying experiments, and the cosmology gallery, which explores the universe’s history and evolution. Plus, the GDC is situated in a tranquil location with clear, dark skies ideal for stargazing and observing celestial objects through powerful telescopes.

Before you go: encourage students to research basic astronomy and physics concepts before the excursion to maximise their understanding on the day, and dress for an all-weather outdoor excursion, especially for evening stargazing.

Albany’s Historic Whaling Station – Whale World
Frenchman Bay Road, Torndirrup
08 9844 4021

Learn about the history of whaling in Australia and the nation’s marine conservation efforts at this remarkable destination that promises an enriching and educational experience.

Whale World in Albany is a maritime museum and portal to Western Australia’s rich maritime past. Housed in a converted whaling station, this site provides a unique opportunity for students to step back in time and explore the history of whaling, a once-vital industry that shaped the region. For history and social studies teachers, it’s a goldmine of historical context and primary sources.

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Complete immersion: Students can immerse themselves in exhibits that showcase the whaling process, complete with life-sized replicas and audio-visual displays. This experiential learning approach is especially effective for helping students grasp the intricacies of historical maritime events.

Marine biology and conservation insights: Students can explore the biology of whales and other marine creatures and engage in discussions about the importance of protecting our oceans and the incredible creatures that inhabit them.

Educational programs and workshops: Whale World Albany goes the extra mile to support educators with tailored educational programs and workshops designed to align with curriculum objectives for a wide range of topics including history, science, environmental studies, sustainability, economics and geography. Exploring the consequences of historical industries can be a thought-provoking lesson in the interconnectedness of economic, environmental, and social factors.

The museum is easily accessible, and pre-booked school groups are taken on exclusive 40-minute guided tours.

“Discover the stories and artefacts from life as a whaler and see our jaw-dropping marine skeletons. A gun blast, followed by a cloud of smoke and the camaraderie between two whalers awakens students to the audio re-enactment of a whale chase upon the Cheynes IV, and the journey begins. Take a cinematic journey in our whale oil tanks to discover ‘A Day in the Life of a Whaler’, plus the world’s first 3-D animated whale movie and additional multimedia shows.”

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Factor in an extra hour and add the Australian Wildlife Park & Regional Wildflower Garden experience to your excursion at no additional cost.

These unique Western Australia school excursions offer students a break from the routine and a chance to explore, learn, and create lasting memories that will shape their educational journey.

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By Charlie
Charlie Writes is a Sydney based, London born, Caribbean writer, interviewer and poet. A colourful 27 year career has taken Charlie from typing poems on the spot on her 1970’s typerwiter named June, to donning a hard hat as a roving reporter in the construction industry. All while living out her favourite quote that the greatest adventures begin with a simple conversation.