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SLA - What's new

Step out of the classroom and into the places where history lives on with Sydney Learning Adventures' curriculum-linked primary and secondary excursions.  Our hands-on programs are implemented by a dynamic guide team and supported with first-class teacher resources.

We hope you can join us for an interactive, hands-on experience in Sydney's heritage and cultural precinct of The Rocks.

Little Diggers
Little DiggersEarly Stage 1 and Stage 1 HSIE
Personal and Family Histories - Past and Present Family Life           

Learning to use historical enquiry and communication, students look at how family life has changed over time and how we can show that the present is different or similar to the past.
By Excavating artefacts from our simulated archaeological dig, hearing stories of families who lived in The Rocks during the 1800s and examining artefacts together with our interactive map, students will gain a sound understanding of how the past can be communicated.
This program helps students connect to and form a greater understanding of the past through hands-on learning facilitated by our experienced Education Guide team.

Teachers’ feedback:
Greenwich Public School:
Very informative and interactive. Great hands on experience for the students and very well aimed at their level.”
“This is the most amazing hands on activity for kindergarten to learn history. They are using technical language with each other. All students were engaged.”
"It covers so many different learning areas - obviously history but also Maths with the mapping and positional language.”

Haberfield Public School:
“Looking at the old buildings and talking about what they use to be, the purpose, function and design of the buildings and the families that use to live in them was fascinating.”

Stages 4 and 5 History and Aboriginal Languages  
Stages 4 to 6 Aboriginal Studies

  • Giba-Nura means Rock Country in Gadigal language.
  • This program explores the local history and heritage of the area from an Aboriginal perspective through Aboriginal content.
  • From pre-colonisation and first contact to the present.
  • Students will explore the culture and customs of the Gadigal people and learn how their lives were impacted after first contact through social and political events.
  • Gain an understanding of events, past and present, that have moulded and continue to shape Aboriginal peoples struggles for social and political justice.
  • Discover the natural environment through a bush tucker talk.
  • Included is The Rocks Discovery Museum component to explore Aboriginal artefacts.

The program starts at the Tallowollah Place, in front of the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) and stops include Bligh Barney Reserve, Campbell’s Cove, Hickson Reserve, Dawes Point Observatory, George St and The Rocks Discovery Museum.

Teacher's feedback:
North Sydney Girls High School:
"Excellent program, interesting and relevant content.  Highlight of the program was the artefacts in the museum."
"Guide was interactive and amazing with the students.  Guide's knowledge of the Aboriginal culture was outstanding."

St Scholastica's College:
"The program content matched our prelim work and outlined where we are going.  So helpful!"

For more information and to book the programs please give us a call on (02) 9240 8552 or email We are also able to tailor our programs to better meet your students’ needs.

Sydney Learning Adventures is offering the new Groundwork Extended (full day) program in 2017 instead of the Archaeology in The Rocks program. 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

Groundwork Extended Stage 5 Elective History
 Stage 6 Ancient History
 Stage 6 History Extension

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

2017 brochure                    

We’ve recently sent our new 2017 Education Programs brochure to your school.  If you haven't received it yet and you'd like a copy, please give us a call on (02) 9240 8552 or email for our full program or to download a copy  PDF iconSLA brochure  2017.pdf

Program prices

Sydney Learning Adventures’ program prices have increased. All 2017 bookings will be charged at the new rates. 

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

Primary programs

$14 per student for Little Diggers; Dirt Detectives; Pieces of the Past and Ngara programs.
$16 per student for Chinese Whispers program.

$25 per student for Stage 2 package (Chinese Whispers and Dirt Detectives) or Stage 3 (Chinese Whispers and Pieces of the Past).
 * This discounted rate will only apply when any of the two programs are booked for the same day.

Secondary progams

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

All prices above include GST.

For more information about 2017 program prices, and to book, please call us on (02) 9240 8552 or email

Chinese Whispers

Stages 2 and 3: History and Geography

Teachers’ feedback:SLA - Chinese Whispers program image
“Good insights and tour through Chinatown.”
“Engaging and interesting program, the key ceremony and book reading were the highlights.”
“Students were actively engaged and loved the treasure hunt format.”

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

    Walking The Rocks AppWalking The Rocks Ap

    Now you can uncover the unique heritage heart of Sydney with an app that takes you on a self-guided tour of nooks, pathways and cobbled streets to reveal fascinating facts about The Rocks.  Sydney Cove and The Rocks have been pivotal in the development of the Australian nation for more than 200 years; for thousands of years before that, the Gadigal people utilised the fresh water of local streams and the abundant seafood found in Sydney Harbour. 
    Download the free app from the App store or Google Play.

    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 queuing 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 2, 2017 Prize Winner 

    Congratulations to North Sydney Girls High School, the winner of our book prize for Term 2, 2017.

    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