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Off to the tip - Early stage 1 and stage 1

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Bush fire safety


The ‘Off to the Tip’ safety message explores the importance of preparing for bushfire season by managing (e.g. relocating, disposing of, or dispersing) flammable materials close to your home or sheds. This could include piled up branches, bark, leaves, twigs, heavy mulch and other wood piles.

This lesson should ideally be completed after the ‘Raking up Twigs and Leaves’ and ‘What is a Spot Fire?’ lessons.

It is recommended that you view the background information for teachers before undertaking this lesson.

Links to NSW Curriculum


Environment strand

  • ENES1 – Gathers information about the natural and built environments and communicates some of the ways in which they interact with, and can care for, these environments.
  • ENS1.5 – Compares and contrasts natural and built features in their local area and the ways in which people interact with these features.
  • ENS1.6 – Demonstrates an understanding of the relationship between environments and people

Personal Development, Health and Physical Education

Personal Health strand

  • PHS1.12 – Recognises that positive health choices can promote wellbeing.

Safe Living strand

  • SLES1.13 – Demonstrates an emerging awareness of the concepts of safe and unsafe living.
  • SLS1.13 – Recognises that their safety depends on the environment and the behavior of themselves and others.


  • ENe-11D – responds to and composes simple text about familiar aspects of the world and their own experiences.
  • EN1-11D - responds to and composes simple text about familiar aspects of the world and their own experiences

Learning outcomes

Participating in this lesson will help students to achieve the following learning outcomes:

  • Students will learn how they can help protect their home from bushfire damage.
  • Students will learn about potential bushfire hazards around the home and how to manage/ dispose of them correctly.


Lesson steps

As a class, watch the ‘Off to the Tip' video. Ask students to discuss the safety message, record their responses. Questions could include:

  • What was Amy’s job?
  • How was Maddie helping?
  • Why were they taking the branches to the tip?

With a partner, students discuss what things around their yard could be a problem in a fire. Record these ideas. Discuss how each could be addressed. Explain to students that not every hazard needs to be disposed of. Some items can be moved or tidied to address the hazard.

Explain that having a tidy yard helps to reduce potential fire hazards (such as branches, bark, leaves, twigs, rubbish, heavy mulch and other wood piles). Ask students why they think having these things lying around close to buildings may be dangerous. Explain to students that hazards as small as leaves and twigs, which are sometimes referred to as ‘fine fuel’ can turn into embers (which can lead to fires).

Give students the ‘Yard Tidy Up!’ activity sheet to colour in. Ask them to circle any hazards they can find in the picture and label how they might ‘manage’ the hazard (e.g. organics or compost bin, move to a safer area, tidy, recycle, take to the tip, etc.). If students are having difficulty with the labeling, replace it with a class discussion and write ideas on the board.

Once completed, ask students:

  • Other than piled up branches, what else can catch fire easily?
  • Why is it important to prepare for bushfire season?
  • What can you do to help keep your yard tidy at home?

Further activities

Here are some suggested extra activities to extend the students’ learning.

  • Invite someone from your local bushfire service to speak to the class about ways to prepare for bushfire season.
  • Students to collect small twigs and leaves to use in a fire-themed creative arts project.
  • Organise a trip to a local tip or recycling centre. Find out how it operates.

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Australiasian Fire and Emergency Services Council