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School group walking through Cockatoo Island's Convict Precinct.

Schools and groups

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Want your school-aged children to experience authentic primary sources and deepen their historical learning? We encourage school, scout and youth groups to escape to Cockatoo Island for an outdoors learning experience.

Known to Sydney’s First Nations Peoples as Wareamah, Cockatoo Island is a great place for primary and high school classes to extend their understanding of Australian history. As your students explore historical buildings and spaces with a specialist education guide, they will have opportunities to consider how the past has influenced the present.

Critically, our 90-minute education programs for Stages 1 to 6 meet NSW Syllabus and Australian Curriculum Outcomes. Plus, our campground is available for bookings by school, scout and youth groups. 

Planning a self-guided excursion? Please register your scheduled visit with us so staff, including rangers, can ensure your group has a safe and enjoyable experience.  

Note: Our education tours will be available until 14 December 2023. We look forward to offering these programs again in February 2024. 

Stage-specific school programs

Seeking an inspired school excursion idea? Escape your classroom and head to Cockatoo Island for an outcomes-based learning experience.

Primary schools

We have three primary school programs – Making History (Stage 1), Convict Times (Stage 2) and Then, Now and Tomorrow (Stage 3). Each is bookended by teacher-led pre- and post-visit lesson plans, forming an entire lesson sequence. Lessons include direct teaching and activities and resources are supplied at the time of booking.

High schools

We offer two high school programs – History Site Study (Stages 4 & 5) and Social and Maritime Case Study (Stage 6). Each program uses storytelling and on-site resources to extend and consolidate historical learning. Critically, students will consider what it was like to be a convict, the role dock workers played during the Second World War and the community-led actions to protect Cockatoo Island.

Book a program
To book one of our programs for your primary or high school group, complete our booking form.
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Camping trips

Extend your excursion with a stay in a waterfront setting bordered by landmarks from the island’s convict and shipyard eras.

Owing to its layered history, Cockatoo Island is the perfect camping spot for school, scout and youth groups. The island’s waterfront campground is situated alongside landmarks from the turbulent convict era (1839-69) and celebrated dockyard years (1857-1991), making it a great launching pad for exploration and adventure.

Camping Tents Cockatoo Island Sydney Harbour 650X550

Helpful links

Looking to visit, stay at or tour Cockatoo Island? Here are some useful links.