Our two primary school programs – Convict Times and Then, Now and Tomorrow – each support several key syllabus areas of the NSW Curriculum and have been designed to foster enquiry-based learning. Critically, students will have fun as they interact with historical artefacts from different eras and explore one of the most extraordinary places on Sydney Harbour.
Students (Kindergarten to Year 4) will journey to a bygone era with ‘Convict Times’. Through dress up and role-play, they will learn about the First fleet, the impact on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People, and the island’s convict penal establishment, which operated from 1839 to 1869.
Students (Year 1 to Year 4) will be delve into Cockatoo Island’s complex and layered history with ‘Then, Now & Tomorrow’. Through dress up and role-play, they will gain insights into the major historical developments, including community actions, that saw the island evolve from a convict penal establishment into a vibrant cultural destination.
The easiest way to get to Cockatoo Island is by Public ferry. The F3 and F8 services operate to Cockatoo Island daily, departing from Circular Quay and Barangaroo as well as from wharves along Parramatta River. For further information, including timetables, visit the Transport NSW website.
If your group is travelling to Cockatoo Island by ferry, each person will need to be in possession of an Opal Card with sufficient funds. Alternatively, you can pre-purchase Opal One Day Travel Passes for their entire group. To arrange Opal One Day Travel Passes for your group, visit opaldaypass.transport.nsw.gov.au.
On-street parking is available for cars near the ferry wharves at Woolwich, Greenwich, Chiswick, Huntleys Point, Drummoyne, Birchgrove and Balmain. The Clarkes Point Reserve Carpark (access via Clarke Road, Woolwich) offers parking for coaches and is a short walk from the Woolwich ferry wharf.
Warning to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples: Our primary school programs contain stories (and may contain images and/or visuals) of deceased people.
Island conditions: Most areas of the island are wheelchair accessible; however, there is a steep incline from the lower island to the upper plateau, and – owing to the island’s industrial heritage – there are uneven surfaces as well as some buildings not accessible by wheelchair
What to bring: Suitable walking shoes, sun protection, wet weather gear (if needed) and packed lunches.
Weather: Bookings for our primary school programs will proceed regardless of weather conditions except in the event that ferry services advise against travelling to Cockatoo Island due to extreme weather conditions
Cancellations: If you decide to cancel a booking, please provide 48 hours’ notice to avoid being charged a fee to cover casual staff costs.
Learn about history, geography, biodiversity and First Nations cultures with our selection of resources for primary school students...