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SLA - What's new

Due to the current COVID-19 restrictions, Sydney Learning Adventures has not been running any excursions for the month April and will continue without any excursions for May 2020.

However we have been busy creating virtual tours ar the ICC Sydney virtual events studios, including two primary programs and a secondary program which will be available as a virtual online program in Term 2.

We hope you can join us for an interactive virtual online program.

New Archaeology Virtual Online Primary Program

The Dirt Detectives Virtual online program targets Stages 2 and 3 History.  The newly condensed one hour virtual program has been trialled and will be offered in term 2, 2020.  Here's a snippet of the program.

Teacher Comments:

"Wow! That was incredibly valuable. I’m going to discuss on Zoom with small groups of students."

I thought kids in Stage 2 might struggle with a whole hour but from my perspective (Year 4) I think they will have really enjoyed it. Will check in with them later".

"Thank you I also really enjoyed it and will also discuss with my students on zoom. The lesson was pitched perfectly to our students with wonderful language and storytelling. Students would have found the discussion over artefacts so interesting". 

"I had some Zoom meetings with small groups at midday and they were unanimously positive about Dirt Detectives. We discussed the various artefacts and different convicts. There was a lot of interest in the story of George and his fishy end. Every child said they loved the entire hour which is quite a feat."

“So engaging, I’m going to make a quiz for them to see what they understood (rather than what they merely remembered). Thanks again and I’ll look out for the T2 Webcast".

New Aboriginal Virtual Online Primary Program - FREE TRIAL OFFER

Stages 2 and 3 History, Science, Geography and Aboriginal Languages
Ngara Virtual online program is now available and we are inviting schools to participate in a free trial run that will be offered in May 2020. 
If your school is interested in joining the 1 hour trial, please email or call (02) 9240 8552.

New Archaeology Virtual Online Secondary Program - FREE TRIAL

Groundwork: The Archaeology at The Big Dig virtual online program is designed for Stage 5 Elective History; Stage 6 Ancient History and History Extension students.
We are inviting schools to participate in the free trial run that will be offered in May 2020.  If your school is interested in joining the 1 hour trial, please email or call (02) 9240 8552​

Existing Bookings 

If you have any existing program bookings for Term 2 and would like to talk to us about rescheduling or converting to an online virtual program if possible, 
please email or give us a call on (02) 9240 8552

We sent our 2020 Education programs brochure to your school.  If you haven't received it yet and you'd like a copy, please email or give us a call on (02) 9240 8552 for our full program or to download a copy  


Program name changed

Our popular 'Chinese Whispers' primary program has changed name to 'Double Dragons'.
Double Dragons - Stages 2 and 3: History and Geography

Stage 2

Inquiry question: How have Chinese individuals and groups contributed to changes in our community over time?

Stage 3
Inquiry question: How has the Chinese community contributed to Australian society, and what key challenges have they experienced as individuals and as groups?

There are two main components to the program:

1. Chinatown (45 mins): students will experience the vibrancy and colour of Chinatown as our guides share stories of Chinese culture and community in relation to first contact, British colonisation, celebrations and commemorations.

(15 mins allowed for walking)
2. Chinese Garden of Friendship (1 hr): students will be guided on a quest to find an ancient Chinese story book hidden somewhere in the garden. On the journey students will solve riddles and complete tasks to piece together the legend of the Chinese zodiac. Students will also explore the garden’s features and characteristics, plus learn about how it is maintained, and the significance of the garden within Sydney’s Chinese community.

For more information about this program or to book, please please email  or give us a call on (02) 9240 8552. 

Updated Cesspits and Old Rubbish - Stage 4 History

How do historians and archaeologists investigate the past?
Archaeology has been dubbed "the science of rubbish" because it involves the excavation and analysis of object people have thrown away.  The Cesspits and Old Rubbish program enables students to work as archaeologists, exploring the Big Dig archaeological site, examining historical sources and analysing artefacts discovered in wells, cisterns, cellars and backyards.  This differentiated investigation will see students identify key challenges of everyday life that Colonial Sydney faced and compare them to life in Ancient cities as they explore the lives of some of the more colourful individuals the cosy little houses, narrow lands and twisted streets of The Rocks' close-knit community.

For more information about this program or to book, please please email  or give us a call on (02) 9240 8552.   

New secondary program
With an increase in interest for a secondary program at the Chinese Garden of Friendship.  'Silk Road to Gold Tracks' has been designed for years 7 - 11 History and Geography students.  Students will examine the history of Chinese immigration to Australia and observe its impact on past and present communities.  
This program aims to gain an understanding of the history that has created the multicultural Australia of today.  The program includes a visit to the Chinese Garden of Friendship and is available from Term 1 2020.

For more information about this program or to book, please please email  or give us a call on (02) 9240 8552.   

 Groundwork Extended (full day) program is offered throughout the year. This interactive, hands-on full day program incorporates all the components of the Groundwork two-hour program, plus exclusive access to the Dawes Point archaeological site, and a visit to The Rocks Discovery Museum to see artefacts excavated from the site of The Big Dig.

Groundwork Extended

How do historians and archaeologists investigate the past? What types of questions do they ask? What ethical issues are involved in the excavation, conservation and interpretation of a site? Students use written and archaeological sources to undertake an enquiry-based investigation into topics such as the lives of real men and women who lived and worked in The Rocks during the 19th century, the impact of the industrial revolution on them, and the sociocultural identity of The Rocks.
Program components
• archaeology presentation
• exclusive access to The Big Dig archaeological site tour
• hands-on artefact analysis
• exclusive access to the Dawes Point archaeological site
• visit to The Rocks Discovery Museum

Time:    9.30am – 2.15pm
Cost:    $25 per student (minimum cost for 20 students applies)

For more information about this program or to book, please email or give us a call on (02) 9240 8552

Aboriginal secondary programs

There are two Aboriginal secondary programs on offer, Giba-Nura (Stage 4, History, Science, Geography, Aboriginal Studies and Aboriginal Languages and  Mana-Nura (Stage 5 - 6 History, Science, Geography, Aboriginal Studies and Aboriginal Languages).

Giba-Nura allows students to develop a knowledge and understanding of local Aboriginal identity and experiences, and explore how to analyse historical and archaeological evidence.

Mana-Nura will allow students to explore the significant social and political events that have affected and continue to affect Indigenous Australia, as well as the local history, heritage and culture.

For more information on the programs or to book, please call us on (02) 9240 8552 or email

Primary program prices
$14 per student for Little Diggers; Dirt Detectives; Pieces of the Past; Gadigal Mudgin and Ngara programs.
$16 per student for Double Dragons program.

$26 per student for Stage 2 package (Double Dragons and Dirt Detectives) or Stage 3 (Double Dragons and Pieces of the Past).
 * This discounted rate will only apply when any of the two programs are booked for the same day.

Secondary program prices
$14  per student for Cesspits and Old Rubbish; Shopfront to Western Front; Groundwork: Archaeology at The Big Dig; Giba-Nura and Mana-Nura programs.
$25  per student for Groundwork Extended program.

All prices above include GST.

For more information about 2020 program prices, and to book, please call us on (02) 9240 8552 or email

Get a glimpse of The Big Dig Archaeology Education Centre before you book!

Check out our new video and discover why teachers and students are queueing up to experience The Big Dig.

  • Gain an understanding of what to expect at The Big Dig when you book a program.
  • See the unique hands-on learning experiences offered at The Big Dig.
  • Reveal some of the resources and activities the programs offer.
  • Preview the digsite and see the exclusive access students get on our programs.
  • See the engagement and knowledge of our experienced guide team.

View our unique hands-on Big Dig archaeology programs for students in years 1-12 below.

Blog: History in the classroom – image makeover

Drawing on her experience as a secondary school teacher, volunteer archaeologist and education officer at the Port Arthur Historic Site in Tasmania, Sarah Stockwin blogs about why history has a serious image problem and how educators can turn boring on its head.

SLA Term 1, 2020 Prize Winner 

Congratulations to St Oliver's Primary School, the winner of our book prize for Term 1, 2020.

Thanks to everyone who filled in a program evaluation form, which are automatically entered into the draw for our book prize each term.

Pre-visit resource: The Rocks Beneath our Feet video