Lower Primary

Learning about bushfires

This section introduces the theme of 'Learning about bushfires' in the context of safety messages. It provides a foundation, providing a basic awareness of why bushfires are dangerous, when bushfires are most likely to happen and the systems in place to help keep people safe. These understandings play a key role why as to why it very important to learn about bushfire safety.

Throughout this section, care needs to be taken to clarify any misconceptions students may have about bushfires. For example, some students may be familiar with plans for safe exits and a safe meeting place in the event of a house fire or a fire drill at school, when the danger is inside. Be sure they understand that in a bushfire the danger comes from outside, so people will have different safety plans depending on their circumstances.

Types of fires – good and bad

Overview: Students will be asked to reflect on their prior knowledge and experiences of fire. Through the exploration and tasks it is intended that students will come to understand that some fires are helpful and other fires cause problems. Students will practise and use language related to fires and bushfires.

The Fire Triangle

Overview: In this session students come to appreciate the elements a fire needs to start and continue burning. This is aided by the model of the Fire Triangle as well as key language such as fuel, heat, oxygen, embers and wind. 

The impact of radiant heat during bushfires

Overview: Students will come to understand that we need radiant heat however the heat that a fire gives off can be dangerous. The students will be guided to know that we do not have to be touched by flames to be burnt or hurt by fire. The safety message of moving away from the heat source or by putting something between them and the heat source will be made explicit to the students.

Understanding the Fire Danger Rating system

Overview: Students are encouraged to use their knowledge of how fires start (the fire triangle) to understand that there are many causes of bushfires. They will then explore the factors and conditions related to the Fire Danger Rating system used in Victoria, and how this is a safety system for alerting people to potential bush fire dangers.