Project summaries - 2009 Eco Schools grants
|2009 Eco Schools grants|
(all grants are $2,500 each)
|Ajuga School ||Ajuga's butterfly orchard |
|Alstonville High School ||Alstonville High waste wise and waste minimisation project |
|Billabong High School ||Billabong High - NPWS environmental partnership |
|Birrong Public School||Birrong Public School water conservation project stage 3|
|Bomaderry High School||Gumbuya - bush tucker garden|
|Carrington Public School ||Carrington Public School garden classroom |
|Cascade Environmental Education Centre ||Outdoor learning environment and bush tucker garden |
|Centaur Primary School ||Centaur Goes Green - reducing, recycling and composting green waste |
|Cleveland Street Intensive English High School ||Wipeout Water Wastage |
|Coledale Public School ||Coledale native gardens |
|Comboyne Public School ||Permaculture kitchen garden |
|Cootamundra High School ||Rural schools environmental renewal in response to drought |
|Cronulla South Primary School ||An integrated recycling centre made from recycled materials |
|Curl Curl North Public School ||Where are the bugs, lizards and butterflies? |
|Dulwich Hill Public School ||Taps and Tools project - water use reduction |
|Fisher Road Special School ||Developing a shaded sensory garden |
|Forster Public School ||Tucker up - bush tucker garden |
|Fort Street High School ||Urban Jungles: local provenance and fresh habitats in the inner west |
|Gol Gol Public School ||Regenerating, revegetating and remembering our environment |
|Gymea Technology High School ||Fostering native flora and fauna to flourish |
|Hamilton North Public School ||Eat Your School - sustainable food production in the schoolyard |
|Hammondville Public School ||Water wise sensory bush tucker garden and maze |
|Holgate Public School ||Restoration of remnant rainforest |
|Jennings Public School ||Reed-bed grey water recycling system and rare plant species garden |
|Katoomba High School ||Gondwana garden |
|Kellyville Public School ||Reducing energy use at Kellyville Public School |
|Kenthurst Public School ||Kenthurst native garden |
|Kingswood High School ||Electrical monitoring and waste minimisation program |
|Kirkton Public School ||Organic vegetable garden and compost facilities |
|Kyogle High School ||Red, Yellow, Green, Let's Keep Kyogle High School Clean |
|Lambton High School ||Creating lifelong green citizens at Lambton High School |
|Lavington East Public School ||Lavington East Public School learnscape |
|Macintyre High School ||Improving our carbon footprint |
|Mascot Public School ||Mascot Public School's eco-friendly vegetable garden project |
|Menindee Central School ||Menindee Central School development project|
|Mount Austin High School||Indigenous bush tucker and bush medicine outdoor learnscape |
|Northern Beaches Secondary College Mackellar Girls Campus ||Sustainable outdoor areas |
|Nundle Primary School ||Kitchen to garden to kitchen again |
|Observatory Hill Environmental Education Centre ||Ultra eco tour - student for sustainability in high schools |
|Oxley Park Public School ||Bush homes at Oxley Park |
|Pennant Hills Public School ||Year 2 Green Thumbs project 2010 |
|Port Macquarie High School ||Grounds management - sustainable planting |
|Putney Public School ||Greenhouse project|
|Rockdale Public School ||Cool conversations outdoor learning area |
|Seven Hills High School ||Cumberland Plains Woodland learning and teaching area |
|St Michaels Catholic Primary School, Nowra||Rainbow Snake Sustainable Garden |
|St Marys Primary School, Bellingen ||Full cycle recycling: whole school community waste minimisation |
|St Marys South Public School ||Outdoor learning centre and native gardens project |
|St Peters Catholic College, Tuggerah ||St Peter's bush tucker and herb garden |
|Stewart House School ||Outdoor learning area with seating set in a bush tucker garden |
|Sussex Inlet Public School ||The Green Gang's veggie patch |
|Sylvania High School ||Eco Rangers wiping out waste at Sylvania High |
|Tomaree High School ||Worimi food forest and gathering place |
|Tumbarumba High School||Green Footprints - reducing waste at Tumbarumba High School |
|Wahroonga Public School ||Adopt a Tree project|
|Waitara Public School ||Organic, edible garden and worm farms |
|Wallsend Public School ||Worms and vegies establishing a financial literacy program |
|Wattawa Heights Public School ||Creating a sustainable vegetable garden |
|Wollongong West Public School ||Growing healthy foods with chooks and worms |
|Woonona East Public School ||Understanding where we live - teaching others about where we live |
TOTAL 60 projects @ $2,500 = $150,000
Ajuga's butterfly orchard
Ajuga School for Special Purposes is a small school catering for 42 students who suffer with severe emotional disorders. A number of our families come from socio economically disadvantaged backgrounds. This project will involve planting a small orchard which will need to be covered with bird netting. A trellis will be erected to support grapes and kiwi fruit. The students receive fresh fruit daily and by planting an orchard they will develop an understanding of the value in eating locally grown food as opposed to food flown in from overseas thus reducing our carbon footprint and reducing the effects of climate change. Students will also develop an understanding of how food scraps can be composted and used as food for the new fruit trees, leading to an understanding about growing organic foods free from chemical fertilizers. We plan to select pest resistant varieties of citrus trees to avoid fruit fly problems. Manure and compost will be used to mulch the area and organic pest control will be used so students will develop an understanding of the advantages of organic vs. non-organic and reducing plant waste by recycling.
Alstonville High School
Alstonville High waste wise and waste minimisation project
Alstonville High has developed an environmental management plan, which includes a focus on waste avoidance and resource recovery to divert waste from landfill. The school recently conducted a waste audit which identified the potential to divert 30% (recyclables) and 22% (organic waste) from landfill and provided recommendations which form the basis of this project. Firstly, paper recycling in the school will be streamlined to increase paper recycling, through provision of adequate bins, signage and an education program supporting this. Secondly, organic waste will be separated out in the main quadrangle area, the canteen and the home economics department and composted in worm farms and compost heaps managed by the Agricultural department. Thirdly, the introduction of a co-mingled recycling system will be researched and if viable, implemented. Lastly, students and staff will be educated to avoid waste where possible. Specifically, a low-waste lunch campaign will be conducted to support reduced packaging in the long-term and the school community will be encouraged to reassess what western society considers to be "rubbish" and instead come to understand that "rubbish" is actually natural resources that are best diverted out of landfill if possible.
Billabong High School
Billabong High - NPWS environmental partnership
This project enables a group of middle school students that are excelling in environmental science to be involved in meaningful research in partnership with the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service. These very capable and enthusiastic students will be working to help save the Woolly Ragwort - a threatened plant species endemic to our local area. This project will extend their knowledge of the stage 4/5 curriculum outcomes in Geography and Science (particularly ecology, threatened species and sustaining biodiversity), but it will also equip them with fieldwork skills and the use of Geographic Information Systems. Working as a team in partnership with the NPWS will build their self-confidence and raise the level of environmental awareness within the school community. Importantly, this project provides an opportunity for our able students to explore the environmental sciences as an option for university study, work and research.
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Birrong Public School
Birrong PS water conservation project stage 3
The stage 3 project involves the initial conversion of the staff and female students' toilets to a dual flush system. As additional funds become available this will be followed by the installation of spring-loaded taps and the connection of a rainwater tank to the girls' toilet block to be used to flush toilets. It is anticipated that the project will make a significant difference as:
there will be a measurable reduction in water usage and costs as was previously achieved in 2007 when a similar project was undertaken to improve the boys' toilet block
students and the community will gain further knowledge and a deeper understanding of water conservation.
Bomaderry High School has an active Environment Committee whose membership includes students, parents and staff. The Committee is enthusiastic and committed to improving the school's environment through a number of strategic projects planned for implementation over a three-year period. The project identified for this application is landscaping an area of the school site so it will operate as a bush tucker garden. It is envisaged that a teacher on staff who is a qualified landscape gardener will work with the two Agriculture teachers, a senior class studying a School Developed Board Course (Eco-Culture), the school's Aboriginal Education Officer, Aboriginal students and members of the local Aboriginal community to create an area at the school dedicated to growing local native plants. The selection of plants will cover medicinal, therapeutic and culinary uses. This will enable staff in the Home Science, Science and Agriculture faculties to use the area as an outdoor learning environment.
Carrington Public School is a very old school with beautiful buildings and a fantastic atmosphere. Unfortunately 125 years ago, it was not designed with the thought that students could, or should learn outside of the four walls of the classroom. In order to enhance student learning outcomes and better connect the with environment, while giving back to the community, a committee of dedicated parents, teachers, students, community groups and local businesses decided that a 'Garden Classroom' would be ideal. Along with the existing garden, compost and worm farm area, the school would develop better seating for lessons, benches for working, equipment and resources to fully utilise the existing area. Students will be better equipped to learn about their environment, sustainable use of precious resources and learn in a different 'class' setting. This project will make a difference to the class environment by enhancing the student learning opportunities while also improving the aesthetic appeal of the school playground.
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Cascade Environmental Education Centre has a need for an outdoor environmental learning area to increase students' knowledge and understanding of uses of the natural environment. The area will include a bush tucker garden and seating to facilitate interaction. The main focus of the project will be the construction of outdoor seating arranged in a cooperative learning (circular) design, to engage students and assist teachers in the delivery of content in the curriculum to all stages, within various key learning areas and to provide a dry, safe and comfortable sitting area in a natural area. The second stage of the project will involve students planting, labelling and studying indigenous plants historically used for food and medicine. The bush tucker garden will be used in conjunction with the history walk, archaeology dig and sensory track. Benefits include increasing student understanding, respect and appreciation of Indigenous culture, knowledge of local non-Indigenous history and the natural environment of Cascade. The project will enhance specific curriculum outcomes on camps. Overall, the project will allow students to obtain a greater understanding of the environment around them and develop skills and understandings that will be able to be transferred to their schools.
Centaur Primary School
Centaur Goes Green - reducing, recycling and composting green waste
We aim to reduce our school's waste production and therefore reduce our ecological footprint. This will be achieved by educating students and members of the local community about landfill and its effect on the environment. We will implement sustainable practices throughout our school consisting of reducing our use of wasteful products and effectively disposing of waste through recycling and composting of green waste. Students will be involved in studying the correlation between recycling and reducing green house gas emissions and will be involved in studying units of work related to our management of waste.
As part of our School Environmental Management Plan audit of resources, recycling and wastage, both staff and students identified that water wastage through leaking taps is our most significant problem. The historical buildings, although charming, have plumbing which dates back 80 years in some parts. The tap systems vary in quality; many are rusty, leak water or are difficult to turn off and on. Students are reticent to drink from them. Several of the troughs have taps that do not work and no bubblers at all, which make getting fresh water to drink very difficult. The school wants to provide clean fresh water to our students and replace all taps in the buildings and toilets with 'automatic off' devices. The project will have long-term effects as we hope to change the culture of the school so the students will not buy bottled water. This will help reduce our rubbish waste and bottle recycling and furthermore, reduce the carbon emissions that our school produces. The third way this project will make a difference is through the way this project is linked to our curriculum. Our students attend this school to learn English and this project will provide authentic and meaningful lessons about an environmental issue (water wastage) and provide opportunities to discuss and write several texts including procedure, report, speech, PowerPoint and recount.
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Our project is to develop more biodiversity in our playground through the creation of a healthy ecology, and a sustainable native garden area. The front entrance area of our school has been identified by our Environmental Committee as being in need of regeneration. The area is used by parents each morning and afternoon as a meeting place to wait for their children. The ground is eroded - dust bowl in summer and mud patches in winter. We would like to regenerate the area and make an attractive and aesthetically pleasing first impression of our school for visitors. We see this project as an opportunity to learn about ecosystems, waste and water management, native plants, sustainability, minibeasts, methods of recycling and management of land.
The permaculture kitchen garden forms part of our sustainable schools project. The aim of this project is to engage students in learning about how they can plan an ecologically sustainable lifestyle for the future. So far, we have established a vegetable garden, propagation shade house and a poultry project which includes recycling food scraps. Future plans include photovoltaic solar panels to meet the school energy requirements and feed the grid, a more environmentally friendly lunch area surrounded by a permaculture garden to supply the school canteen, and cooking lessons using the food the garden will produce. The students are already engaged in the vegetable garden, newly established with the help of the Port Macquarie Hastings Seeding Our Future project. We want to extend the culture of growing food in the garden, so it becomes part of the everyday life of the students, rather than a place to visit. The whole school and the extended Comboyne community are involved in developing the school environmental plan with the P&C and the Comboyne Community Centre in full sustainable support.
Cootamundra High School
Rural schools environmental renewal in response to drought
The aim of this project is to transform a neglected, weed infested area of our school which was originally a memorial garden for the school community into an aesthetically pleasing learning space. The area will be planted with drought resistant plant species suited to the local area. It is hoped that the planned garden will be a self-sufficient garden providing students with knowledge in the use of water efficient rainwater and drip irrigation systems with water harvested from school buildings, with a long-term view of connecting to the town-recycled water supply. The garden will also develop student skills in plant propagation techniques. It is hoped the garden will attract native birds and animals into the school environment and provide an area of enlightenment for the school community to reflect as was the initial goal of the memorial garden. It is anticipated that the garden would not only enhance our school grounds but will also be an excellent teaching tool that will be utilised by many different subjects across all the year levels.
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Cronulla South Primary School
An integrated recycling centre made from recycled materials
The integrated recycling centre (IRC) will consist of a multiple-bay compost and sorting system to provide a clear and effective means of recycling, re-using and redistributing. The IRC will cater for paper and cardboard recycling, waste sorting into streams of both worm farming and composting, which can ultimately be redistributed onto the school gardens and lawns. The IRC will also cater for periodical recycling drives such as mobile phones, batteries, cartridges, etc. as chosen by the students. The IRC will be creatively designed from recycled materials - recycled timbers, etc. The physical fixture will also incorporate an authentic Aboriginal mural celebrating the sustainable practices of the traditional Aboriginal way of life. This will also strengthen the understanding of the local Dharawal people and their ability to use resources in a renewable manner. The IRC will support the foundation of a stronger environmental education focus within the South Cronulla School. This will be achieved by exposing students and teachers to the "Closed Loop System" of food production, consumption and redistribution and the concept of waste minimisation in all forms.
The students in Year 1 (five classes) were involved in an investigation of living things (plants and animals). During the investigation, they developed an understanding about the diversity of living things in a variety of habitats and their reliance on each other for survival. It soon became clear that the lack of sufficient variation and numbers of plant life had an effect on the numbers and variety of animals. To improve the situation we got involved in the kids' design project which challenged the students to design a plan to make a positive change to the school environment that will promote biodiversity. The students have selected an area close to their classrooms for action to be taken and established requirements for their design solutions. Improved habitats will attract more diverse animals which will greatly improve quality teaching and learning.
In 2008 the Dulwich Hill Community identified water conservation as a key priority. With public concerns over water restrictions, students and staff felt the school could do more to play its role in reducing its water consumption. These issues were included in the School Environmental Management Plan. Strategies for student education were put in place, with an emphasis on tap usage in the toilets. While students were proactive in turning taps off and in other ways monitoring usage, it was found that this was insufficient to alleviate the problem entirely. For example, some of the turn taps are particularly difficult for the younger children to completely turn off. Using water usage data provided by parents on the school's Environment Committee the Student Representative Council decided to use their share of walkathon money to trial the installation of timed push taps in two bathrooms. This has proven successful in eliminating tap water wastage in these bathrooms and younger students can now also play their role in water conservation. The Dulwich Hill Community is now keen to rollout its 'Taps and Tools' program in other facilities with 8 new time taps and the replacement of 8 single flush cisterns, a whole-of-school priority. The school would like to move to the next phase and install timed taps to the junior bathrooms and kindy toilets and install water efficient dual flush cisterns.
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Large established trees have formed a natural shade canopy under which grass will not grow. We wish to develop this area, putting in a wheelchair accessible natural path using recycled road base and planting out with suitable shade loving plants. On the periphery of the shaded area, what does remain of the original lawn, will be mulched, after laying a thick newspaper weed mat, and planted with bird attracting native plants. The overhanging trees will provide anchors for additional sensory objects for the students to interact with. A large drain is adjacent to this area, and we wish to pave the area near the drain, which currently collects a large amount of dirt. With many of our students having physical disabilities in tandem with their intellectual disability, providing a variety of interesting and interactive areas around the school for them to experience is embedded in our environmental and school plan, as is involving all students, regardless of their disability, in environmental education. A large amount of work for the project will be carried out by our Senior Gardening Work Skills Group.
Forster Primary was converted from a high school in 1993 and has slowly seen change to make it more suitable for primary education. The garden areas in between the concrete were mostly barren dirt or scrubby shrubs and weeds. Rehabilitation and restoration of school lands has proved a difficult task due to the rough treatment by primary students, the nature of existing trees, sandy soils and salt winds. A sub-committee of the P&C was formed and planned solutions for these environmental management issues. The first stage was the development of a retreat/outdoor classroom, and the implementation of a formal permaculture vegetable garden in 2006. The second stage saw the introduction of a citrus orchard and the third stage, a bush tucker garden has been planned. This project will be undertaken in conjunction with the local Aboriginal community. It is hoped it will not only make a difference to the visual appearance and health of the land that we rehabilitate, but also build a bridge between the school and the broader Aboriginal community - extending knowledge of traditional practices, use of bush foods and maintaining provenance within the plant species selected.
Fort Street High School
Urban Jungles: local provenance and fresh habitats in the inner west
The project aims to create a pocket of urban bushland with the simultaneous goals of creating vital fresh habitats for native fauna and restoring endemic plants in a heavily developed urban environment. The indigenous mini-forest will strengthen local biodiversity by planting endemic vegetation, improving the conditions for the resilience of indigenous plants by clearing noxious weeds, and subsequently attracting native birds, possums and the newly discovered disjunct population of long-nosed bandicoots in the area. The long-nosed bandicoots have been determined as an endangered population in the inner-west of Sydney. The project will make an important contribution to the ecological integrity and heritage of the local neighbourhood and wider community, as well as enhancing efficient water use. The use of endemic rather than generic natives will also provide an opportunity to assist in the development of seed banks in the region. The bushland will further provide learning spaces, shade and respite for students, enhanced privacy for both the school and local residents, and facilitate active citizenship.
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Gol Gol Public School
Regenerating, revegetating and remembering our environment
Gol Gol Public School has adopted a significant wetland and bird-breeding habitat as an outdoor environmental learning area. This is part of the school's long term Environmental Management Plan. Adjacent to the riparian zone is a working vineyard which utilises sustainable farming practices. This project will enable students to learn that sustainable agricultural farming can co-exist with environmentally sensitive areas. A small working group including community members and trustees are committed to developing this area. Early developments require the establishment of suitable walking tracks to access areas for safe student learning. The area, which is currently degenerated, is one of the few wildlife corridors from this riparian zone to the Gol Gol wetlands area. Weed control and revegetation of native species is vital for sustainability. The corridors will be planted with local endangered species as a student lead project. This is the initial stage of a series of proposed projects to establish this ecologically significant area as an environmental education centre that will be utilised by all 6 schools in the local cluster.
Gymea Technology High School sits on large grounds covered mainly by grass. The aim of the project is to empower the students to become the environmental stewards of their own local area, by regenerating some of the school grounds, to a more natural state. We will establish a bush corridor of endemic flora with the hope of encouraging native fauna to return to the area. The students will work in short and long-term learning plans, to plant and germinate seeds, tabulate and graph their growth patterns and eventually plant out the seedlings. The newly planted area will be monitored and maintained to develop into an established bush corridor. This native bush corridor will become a valuable natural resource for the school and its students now and in the future by allowing them to see first hand the re-establishment of native species and the ecosystem they provide for local native fauna.
Hamilton North Public School
Eat Your School - sustainable food production in the schoolyard
The Environment Club at Hamilton North goes further than just planting trees and recycling waste. We are working towards the creation of a school environment in which sustainable food production takes place, from sowing the seeds to eating the produce. Our vegetable gardens and orchard are maintained by the children, supported by parents and teachers. Each class is responsible for their patch, from Kinder's simple smell, touch and feel herb garden to Year 6's worm farm and composting complex. Funds are raised for seedling purchase through the sale of fruit and vegetables at our Environment Club shop, wholly staffed and operated by students. We have strong links with the Fig Tree Community Garden and the Newcastle Farmer Markets, which has offered us free stall space to sell or trade our produce as soon as our production increases. We have rainwater tanks and an energy management plan set out in our School Environmental Management Plan. The focus of this project is to integrate our food production into a whole-of-school activity: supplying the canteen, composting and worm farming our waste, and ensuring that every student in the school is involved in food production so that they know where their food comes from and how it got there. In short, we want to Eat Our School!
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Students at Hammondville Public School have continued their environmental initiatives through the targeting of an under utilised area of ground which presently suffers badly from erosion and poor soil quality. This area will be transformed from its present eyesore status as a dust bowl into a haven for native plants and bird life through the construction of a sensory bush tucker maze. Upon completion classes will be able to explore the maze investigating the numerous smells, textures and plant types through a hands on approach to environmental awareness and appreciation. Teachers will be able to take classes through the maze to explore the differing qualities of plants, to view native bird life and to use the area as a stimulus for creative arts workshops. The project will enhance classroom environmental programs by providing in-school opportunities for students to experience first hand on the school site. This area will provide a stimulus to drive discussion and learning activities when teaching about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island culture and its links to the land.
Holgate Public School has several areas where there are significant trees that are part of a remnant temperate rainforest. Within these areas there is a range of fauna that exists and depends on the existing flora. This will be expanded significantly with this project. The project will allow our school Environment Club to develop information boards related to the existing flora and fauna as well as allow the school community to remove noxious weeds and plants and replant with mainly lower growth plants that are indigenous to the area. The grant will also be used to create habitat areas and install native timber seats as observation areas.
Jennings Public School
Reed-bed grey water recycling system and rare plant species garden
Our School Environmental Management Plan identified that the school community would support more environmental education, and implementation of practical tasks. We also identified that the k-2 room was in need of a wash area, and want the water used to be collected rainwater, and wastewater to be re-used. To safely do this, and demonstrate to students some of the potential recycling opportunities available, we have designed a grey-water reed-bed water-purification system. The finer design details will be student-derived, with research carried out in 3-6 environmental education classes. Water from hand washing, and painting clean up, will pass through this system, and then be used to irrigate a rare and endangered plant species garden. Plants will be endemic to this region and of high conservation value. Students identified the issue of helping preserve rare and endangered plant species during environmental education classes, and expressed a desire to be involved in the planting of such species. Incorporated in this planting will be an outdoor lunch and learning area. Adding to our existing native plants at the school, will also enlarge our native animal corridor.
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The proposal is to establish a sustainable "Gondwana" bush tucker garden in the grounds of Katoomba High School with interpretive signs about the plants and their use. The garden will be a valuable resource not only to the Aboriginal children who will assist in its development but future Aboriginal children who will maintain the garden. The project will utilise the expertise and experiences of local Dharug and Gundungarra people: artists, Elders and parents to help students create artworks representing the Dreaming, such as mosaic walkway and totems. In five years time it is envisaged that the garden will have established plants, seating and pathways and provide a learning area for the development of cultural awareness and provide a teaching place and facility for students, staff and community.
We aim to identify sources of energy waste and loss throughout the school and specifically target two classroom blocks, which are currently without ceiling insulation and which have high thermal energy gain/loss through the uninsulated gyprock ceilings and large windows, for remedial work. If our funding application were successful, we plan to install ceiling insulation and reflective film or new glazing to the windows to reduce the amount of electrical and gas power used for cooling and heating. Then these classrooms will be cooler in summer and warm in winter with less energy consumption. We will measure and monitor energy savings. Students, teachers, parents and the community will be encouraged to continue looking for energy saving measures in their homes and places of work through our publicity and education programs.
Kenthurst Public School currently has an area of land that has suffered through years of erosion and is unusable in its current state. Students, parents, teachers and members of the community have identified the need for this area to be reclaimed and turned into a native garden. The project will involve learning about native plants and the impact they have on the environment. Following the informational process, stakeholders will be involved in all stages of the project: from design through to construction and maintenance. The establishment of this native garden will enhance the surrounding environment of the school by attracting local fauna, improving and conserving soil, maintaining the native identity of the area, lowering the use of water and improving the appearance of the local school and community. The construction of this garden complements the School Environment Management Plan and builds an ecologically sustainable learning environment for students now and in the future.
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Kingswood High School
Electrical monitoring and waste minimisation program
Currently staff and students have little awareness of the amount of power they consume and the environmental consequences for that. This project will allow both staff and students to see in real time the power that is consumed around them and what practical measures can be taken to reduce power demand. Within this program students and staff will learn about monitoring techniques, ghost load, maintenance load and peak load of appliances. They will relate this to daily and annual consumption demand. Students will learn about the relationship between power consumption and CO2 production. Students will record and analyse data within the Mathematics and Science curricula. The end result of the implementation of this program will be a change in attitudes of staff, students and their families to electricity usage. The device permitting the data logging of information is called a Power Mate. The Power Mate is an inline electronic meter that records a number of facets of power consumption.
Kirkton Public School
Organic vegetable garden and compost facilities
Our project involves establishing an organic vegetable garden and composting facilities in the school grounds in an underutilised area. By propagating, planting, growing and harvesting produce the students will develop a deeper understanding and respect of nature and their environment. Students will be engaged in activities related to the seasonal growth of vegetables, such as seed saving and propagation, companion planting, composting and soil improvement, pest control and healthy and varied eating options. The garden is being developed and maintained by the students, staff and parents. It will be a valuable 'hands-on' teaching and learning resource for all the students of Kirkton Public School.
Kyogle High School
Red, Yellow, Green, Let's Keep Kyogle High School Clean
Red, Yellow, Green, Let's Keep Kyogle High School Clean project is a waste management program that aims to develop student awareness of waste issues and promote responsible waste practices. Our aim is to promote a safe and clean learning environment both inside and outside the classroom. Our program builds on the successful, Red, Yellow, Green, Let's Keep it Clean, program adopted by Lismore Council in our area. Our program will expand on current practice and reinforce strategies currently operating within the school. It will integrate with our current waste management strategies and allow for increased capacity for recycling of PET and green waste for our worm farms. Our plan is to use waste receptacles in the form of metal pedestal bins and sulo bins in three different colours - red, yellow, green. These three sulo bins will form a mini MRF - materials recycling facility. There will be 15 stations around the school. We aim to paint our bins and erect signage showing best practice. We aim to restructure our current waste strategy by reducing our rubbish skips from two to one and obtain a recycling skip from Richmond River Waste. This will give us one skip for rubbish, one for paper and one for pet bottles. We aim to put black paper recycling bins in all classrooms.
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Lambton High School
Creating lifelong green citizens at Lambton High School
The front of the school is badly degraded with the vegetation consisting mainly of trees. There is little ground cover and no shrub layer. The area does not provide habitat or food sources for local birds and fauna. The grounds are not attractive and do not make the school appear enticing to the community. The soil is compacted in many places and drainage is poor. When it rains, the soil is eroded and often washed into drains which become blocked. The Green Team, which consists of teachers and students from Year 7 to 11 and members of the parent body, intend to plant natives that are native to the local area. The greenhouse will be used by the group to develop seedlings and tubestock for ground cover and the shrub layer. The school WaterWatch team could use the greenhouse to grow seedlings in order to rehabilitate the creek they test. Year 7 and 8 Science and Year 11 Biology and Earth and Environmental Science students will use the greenhouse to design practicals and so develop deep understanding of relevant parts of their curriculum. Students would also be able to grow herbs to be used by Food Technology.
Students and the community at Lavington East want a degraded section of their school grounds to be transformed into a learnscape incorporating the planting of native plants and shrubs, groundcovers, paving and seating. The rehabilitation of this area is essential following the construction of a covered outdoor learning area (COLA) in 2007, as well as depletion from continued drought and large gum trees leaving this adjoining corridor area bare, dusty and deficient of grasses and plants. It is a vital link to the main play areas of the school and is currently a real hazard for students as they cross to the play equipment or oval. The construction of a natural amphitheatre (tiered) also linked to the COLA would allow for outdoor performances in the warmer weather. The setting is ideal for outdoor education as it is easily accessed by classes enabling greater focus on environmental studies undertaken in the school curriculum. This new learnscape would also enable an increase in biodiversity, providing habitat for birds and other native species. Recycled water can easily be diverted from the 128,000 litre water tank (Green Vouchers Grant) already linked to the COLA and student toilets, with other outlets set up for linking to future gardens and learnscapes.
To improve the sustainable nature of the school's farm. Currently the paddocks are double cropped to meet the feed requirements of the livestock and fences are reinforced with electric wires powered by the mains supply. There is a central tree belt which barely services the paddocks for shade all day round. The aim is to incorporate shelter belts so at all times of the day shade is available and the trees aid in carbon sequestration; move from using mains supply for electric fences to solar powered energy and establish at least 50% of the school farm to permanent healthy pasture and utilise holistic grazing techniques. All these aims will help improve the school environment both by aiding carbon use and reducing non-renewable energy usage.
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Mascot Public School
Mascot Public School's eco-friendly vegetable garden project
Mascot Public School's environmental project aims to sustain and enhance the vegetable garden program that our school and community have already initiated. Mascot PS with the assistance of the school and local community has established a small vegetable and orchard garden. The aim of the project is to be able to continue to support this project as it fosters cultural diversity and teaches our students how to make good food choices in order to promote life long learning and good eating habits. Students learn how to grow and harvest vegetables and fruit from our garden. They will then use the harvest as the garden develops as well as other spices and herbs to prepare meals that represent the various cultural backgrounds that make up our school. Another exciting aspect of the project will be when the students sit together and share the meal they have harvested and prepared. This learning for life will incorporate aspects of environmental sustainability, nutrition, cooperative behaviour, healthy eating principles and working together as a team.
Within the school grounds there is a fenced area of 90 square metres which contains a semi-covered shade house frame of 18 square metres. The initial proposal which this grant will fund involves the refurbishment of this structure to become a functional garden nursery and outdoor learning area. The shade frame will serve as an area for the propagation of seeds and cuttings. This area will also incorporate facilities for worm farming and composting, to assist in the reduction and recycling of organic waste generated by the school. The production from this area is intended to serve a multitude of purposes, including the provision of seedlings for a school vegetable/agricultural plot, indigenous plants to be used in habitat regeneration both within the school grounds and the community. Being an isolated area, the cost of fresh produce in Menindee is expensive and supply is limited. By giving students access to equipment, land and expertise the project would assist students to develop skills that may in turn supplement family incomes and provide nutritious produce. Project sustainability will also arise through the sale of produce to the school canteen, and throughout the wider community.
Mount Austin High School
Indigenous bush tucker and bush medicine outdoor learnscape
An Indigenous bush tucker and bush medicine outdoor learnscape will connect students to the land and the environment. This outdoor learnscape has been designed by Years 9, 10, 11 and 12 Aboriginal Studies classes in co-operation with our Aboriginal Student Leadership Group (MAKET - Mount Austin Koori Education Team). The learnscape is located in an ecology area with limited native vegetation and features a stepped down amphitheatre on a natural slope. The area will be fenced to protect plants and signage of plants. Information for each plant will be linked to Wiradjuri language. This project encompasses students, teachers, parents/carers, community, Elders and Wagga Wagga Rural TAFE working together to improve the attendance and retention level of Indigenous students and improve the learning outcomes for all students whilst encompassing environmental education and Aboriginal perspectives.
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The Student Representative Council have put together a school environmental management project for 2009-2010 that involves the re-landscaping and re-construction of outdoor areas to be used for learning and recreation. This project intends to demonstrate how sustainable outdoor areas can improve the aesthetic, functionality and environment of the schools outdoor environments to the benefit both the school community as well as the natural environment. An area at the front of the school between two blocks that is used by many students every recess, lunch and classes has been chosen for this project. Currently in this space is a variety of ageing outdoor furniture, few trees, native or otherwise, compacted grass and a dirt area. The project will design and place outdoor furniture made of recycled plastic to improve functionality and facilitate communication. In addition, the project will plant trees and other flora for shade as well as enhancing and creating habitat for native fauna and contributing to creating a local carbon sink. Signage will be integrated into the area with environmental messages as well as information about the waste cycle, waste minimisation and recycling.
Our aim is to develop an edible community kitchen garden using sustainable techniques. This project will teach students the positive impact that growing their own food has on the environment, and to value fresh, home grown food. We will use the produce grown in our school kitchen garden to prepare and share meals together. The garden will be developed and maintained by pupils, staff and the local community. By developing the reduce, reuse, recycle concepts and values associated with a kitchen garden the children and the community will be reducing food waste and packaging, thus reducing waste to landfill and our school community's carbon footprint. The fun, wellbeing aspects and value of eating fresh, non-processed foods will ripple out to the entire community. We will reduce, reuse and recycle our school waste to develop compost for the vegetable garden. We will install an irrigation system using harvested rain water to water the garden. The project will contribute in a positive way to building responsible and sustainable patterns of living.
The Centre has promoted student leadership across our educational region during the last planning year, mostly through forums/conferences workshops. Feedback from teachers/students indicates the desire to gain first hand and practical insights into schools with successful initiatives in integrating curriculum-based sustainability projects. The two ultra eco tour's target high schools and sets up opportunities for groups of schools to take tours to exchange ideas, logistics and resources to implement their own sustainability projects. The tours will provide an opportunity to produce a film clip to create a multiplier effect. The film clip will form the basis of a podcast/video conference to be made available to those schools unable to participate in either of the two tours. During the tours students will be calculating their carbon footprint from travel to, during and returning home and signing off on action to offset their carbon emissions from participating in the event.
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At Oxley Park Public School there is a lack of biodiversity within the grounds. There are very few habitats for small creatures such as lizards to find shelter or to encourage a variety of insect or bird life. There is a need to promote and grow local flora that may provide a corridor for bird life and provide habitat for small reptiles and insects. We intend to replace species from the Cumberland Woodland Plains as a part of our ongoing environmental education. Through establishing this bushland area, we hope to build awareness of what the landscape once was before urbanisation. The population of Aboriginal students within our school have also created a desire for some traditional Aboriginal bush food to be planted within our bushland area. This would give all students the chance to gain a deeper understanding of Australia's heritage.
Our school was involved, up until 2002, in the Tree for Life project run by Rotary which involved the use of a large potting shed constructed by Rotary on our school grounds. Over many years members of our local community visited the school on a regular basis to work with Year 2 students and teachers to raise seedlings in the potting shed. These seedlings were then taken and planted in parks in our local area. Since 2002, the potting shed has had very little use. In order to further develop the children's knowledge, understandings and skills in relation to environmental education and their responsibility for its sustainability, we propose a Year 2 Green Thumbs Project which will include teachers, students and parents working together to create a wonderful outdoor learning area in the potting shed. We consider that by raising seedlings native to our local area and starting a worm farm to create compost for our soil, this will allow us to make changes to our school grounds and highlight the need for awareness of environmental sustainability. Our ultimate goal will be to create a habitat haven in an established garden area near our shed which will attract more insects, lizards and birds to our school for the students to observe.
To implement plans devised as a result of the planting audit conducted in 2008. To improve biodiversity and restore degraded areas of the school. To work with Landcare contacts to improve our land management practices. To model sustainable garden practices with wise water planting and mulching practices. There is an urgent need to:
restore areas which have had demountable classrooms removed and are now steeply sloping on areas with exposed topsoils open to rapid erosion and removal of the topsoil
create a hedge of planting around our recently installed water tanks
develop terraced garden beds in the steeply sloping and severely degraded area behind the Senior study and adjacent to the multi-purpose centre , which presents a poor visual amenity to the community
restore numerous garden beds which require weeds and noxious plants to be removed, replacement of plants and mulching of areas left open to bare soil.
The project will make a difference in allowing degraded and unattractive areas of the school to be repaired to an acceptable level, for exposed soils to be saved and for gardens to model the water wise "drip" garden categories as recommended by Port Macquarie-Hastings Council.
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We have secured the expertise of ABC presenter/gardener expert Meredith Kirton to assist students and staff with the implementation of a sustainable approach to providing a playground enriched with learning centres: sensory garden, herb garden, vegetable garden, black and white gardens (school colours). A greenhouse would provide for the implementation of rich learning tasks, which would be embedded into classroom and specialist group activities. As part of the School Environmental Management Plan, environmental monitors from Years 2-6 would work in conjunction with student councillors and members of the school gardening club.
Our project involves the creation of an outdoor learning area that all students and their teachers will have access to. It will be a peaceful learning area that will also be environmentally sustainable, made from environmentally friendly materials. It will have native plants and trees that require minimum upkeep and the students will be involved in planting and looking after a vegetable and a herb garden. There will be outdoor seating in the form of benches for students to sit on and have lessons in, and there will also be a birdbath to attract some native fauna.
Seven Hills High School
Cumberland Plains Woodland learning and teaching area
Our School Environmental Management Plan (SEMP) has four focus areas: water, energy, land and waste. Within the land focus there is the goal of re-establishing Cumberland Plains Woodland (CPW) species on the school site. Overall the Seven Hills High School SEMP addresses the need for the teaching and learning to be aware of the importance of their individual and collective actions in acting in ways which lead to sustainability for both human and non-human life. This project aims to make a difference by teaching student-centred environmental activities which show how students and citizens can re-establish areas of indigenous plants species. These will lead to more sustainable habitats for indigenous wildlife. As the proposed project includes planting and maintaining garden areas of indigenous CPW species traditionally used by Aboriginal communities’ students and teachers can appreciate both their long term and contemporary importance. As some of the species will be edible the staff and students may consider how the incorporation of these plant species could benefit modern diets.
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St Michael's is a community committed to increasing awareness of environmentally sustainable living practices. There are many initiatives already existing in our school to promote sustainable living. To continue our journey of sustainable living we will develop an indigenous bush tucker garden and vegetable garden in our school grounds. The garden will be made in the shape of the rainbow snake to signify the importance of the Indigenous culture to our school and highlight the journey that we are all taking towards a sustainable school. Our school rules and school symbol both feature a rainbow and it is highly significant in the moral teachings of our school. Along the rainbow snake there will be totem poles decorated with assistance from local Indigenous Elders and artists. Each grade will take responsibility for a totem pole to symbolise how we are all on the journey of discovery together. The bush tucker and vegetables will be planted along the snake, with a shared responsibility among the students in our school. The "Rainbow Snake Sustainable Garden" will be a centrepiece of our school with seating for classes to complete outdoor learning activities, indigenous elders and community members to be invited into our school to enrich our understanding of local heritage.
St Marys Primary School, Bellingen
Full cycle recycling: whole school community waste minimisation
Full cycle recycling is a lunchbox to garden project involving the whole St Mary's school community in reducing the amount of waste leaving the school by 25%. This will primarily be achieved through composting of all organic waste onsite in two large and efficient compost tumblers. By incorporating the resulting compost material into two raised vegetable garden beds students will experience the 'full cycle' as their waste is recycled into fresh, organic, unpackaged food that will be used in the school tuckshop or sent home for families. In addition, the school will continue to raise awareness of parents and students about the importance of minimising packaging through the school newsletter, website and by embedding these principles within the curriculum. A baseline waste audit will be used to determine current waste levels of organic, recyclable and non-recyclable materials. A follow up waste audit will be conducted to measure the effectiveness of the project. Students will be involved in the entire process from designing and conducting waste audits for each class, collecting organic waste for composting, using the compost to create a productive organic vegetable garden and presenting their findings at the annual Bellingen Renewable Energy and Sustainability Fair in May 2010.
There is presently a corner of the school playground that has a native tree that the children play under and call the tree house. It is proposed to turn the area around this tree into an outdoor learning area by constructing appropriate seating, a shade roof and native gardens centred around the tree and radiating out along the dividing fences between the school and its neighbours. The project will satisfy numerous purposes:
outside learning area
native gardens and bird habitat
anti graffiti strategy
link with learning programs and our stormwater/catchment project just finishing
will involve community
will involve staff professional learning.
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St Peters Catholic College, Tuggerah
St Peter's bushtucker and herb garden
As part of our ongoing environmental education plan devised by the student environment portfolio, this project develops a herb and bushtucker garden in the school grounds. This is part of a plan to incorporate environmental sustainability into the curriculum. It has links to Building Construction (who will excavate, stabilise and rejuvenate the site), Food Technology and Hospitality (who will plant, mulch, water, compost and harvest the herbs) and our College Indigenous Student Group (who will select, plant and care for bush tucker species). The site is currently a heavily eroded bank infested with weeds such as lantana, asparagus fern and camphor laurel. To fertilise the garden the student environment group will set up and maintain two compost bins and water will be collected from a nearby classroom roof into a tank to gravity-feed water to the garden.
Stewart House School
Outdoor learning area with seating set in a bush tucker garden
Stewart House's School Environment Management Plan focuses on providing opportunities for the students to develop knowledge, values and behaviours consistent with the sustainability of the local environment. The goals of our School Environmental Management Plan are across five focus areas; curriculum, resource management, grounds management, whole school planning and school community participation. Our school identified a need for an outdoor learning area to be established. The outdoor learning area would provide an ideal space for teaching and learning activities which incorporate the bush tucker garden. Lessons will develop students' understanding of traditional uses of the natural environment and will include a discussion of past, present and future environmental issues and solutions. Our aim is for students to practise environmentally friendly behaviour throughout their lives. The project will make a difference by providing seating, paving and shade where these lessons can take place.
The project involves the revitalisation of old unused fenced area into a sustainable organic vegetable plot cared for by K-6 students, parents and community. Parents via the P&C have indicated a desire and willingness to contribute to their child's learning through assisting in the garden. An array of produce will be distributed to students. The project builds on the success of a worm farm that was introduced last year and seeks to build on established positive links between the school and community.
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Sylvania High School
Eco Rangers wiping out waste at Sylvania High
Eco Rangers is a 100 hour year 10 elective subject at Sylvania High School (SHS), based on service learning, with an emphasis on leadership. A substantial part of the program for this subject is contributing through service and ecological sustainability at SHS. After conducting a school waste audit-WOW (Wipe Out Waste), aiming to implement the Schools Climate Change Forum Protocol and with our School Environmental Management Plan in mind, one obvious need has arisen of reducing food scraps waste in our kitchens/canteen by composting our kitchen/canteen food scraps, growing our own herbs and some vegetables and using fertiliser from a worm farm. This project will help reduce our carbon footprint by reducing the waste of commercially grown herbs and vegetables in large quantities that are often not consumed, composting of food scraps that now end up in landfill, in a composter and worm farm.
Tomaree High School is a relatively young school site and was designed with multiple gardens throughout the site, many of which are not connected to mains water. The designated area is an ongoing project which incorporates a culturally sensitive area for meetings of the schools Indigenous population and the food plants that are of significance to the Worimi people. In addition, the whole school population uses this area as an outdoor meeting place and as a focus for studies in the following areas of curriculum: Food Technology, Art & Drama, Human Society and Its Environment, Construction and Primary Industries. As a multi-campus school, incorporating a primary and secondary school, a TAFE facility and a community hall, this area has the potential to become a focus for all users of the site. This partially completed area is currently being used for curriculum studies and for the meetings of community groups which include the Aboriginal student group and their mentors.
Tumbarumba High School
Green Footprints - reducing waste at Tumbarumba High School
Tumbarumba High School is a small isolated rural secondary school located in the Riverina Region. To date, there has not been a large focus on recycling at our school and to address this we are hoping to implement a food waste recycling program under a campaign called Green Footprints. This campaign will reduce the amount of food scrap waste which goes into the school's rubbish by collecting food waste in special bins and turning it into both compost and food for our school chickens and worm farm. The main drivers of Green Footprints will be our school leadership team, who will promote usage of the bins to the school body, and the students, who will carry out the majority of the composting. Education of the importance of recycling and composting to students, teachers and other staff will be critical to Green Footprints' success. This will be implemented via whole school assemblies and year meetings, specific lessons on recycling and composting (particularly for Science, Food Technology and Agriculture students), educating the students in how to carry out the composting process and a half day training session for staff on a school development day.
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Wahroonga Public School is the custodian of a small part of remnant Blue Gum High Forest which is listed as an endangered ecological community under the NSW Threatened Species Act. Our bush is unique and special however, there has been little interest in this threatened community since the 1990s. As a result, school gardens and our bush areas have become degraded. The Adopt a Tree project aims to restore and develop native gardens around several stressed Blackbutt trees in the school's play areas. The trees, once the centrepiece of the gardens are stressed from students pulling strips of bark from their trunk and walking on their roots. Our stage 1 students identified this problem after walking around the school. They brainstormed solutions and decided the establishment of native gardens and educational signage would alleviate the trees' stress. Located in a central area of the school, it is envisaged these gardens will become learning spaces where students interact with the environment, develop a sense of ownership and learn to value their unique school grounds. The project will be integrated into our Science and Connected Outcome Group units and will provide students significant opportunities to learn about environmental issues within our own context and be able to apply this knowledge to future projects.
Waitara Public School staff and students are developing an organic, edible garden and natural learning area. Our organic garden project forms an integral part of the school’s long-term commitment to integrate sustainability into school life and to celebrate the health benefits and enjoyment of gardening based on sustainable practices. The garden will also deal with the issue of waste within the school, using worm farms to dispose of organic waste and to produce and sustain healthy soil for use in the garden through the use of worm castings and liquid fertiliser. The garden aims to nurture the area’s biodiversity by planting a selection of native plants. Children from K-6 will assist in establishing, managing and using the organic vegetable garden and natural learning area.
Wallsend Public School
Worms and vegies establishing a financial literacy program
Our School Environmental Management Plan (SEMP) aims to create a school environment that reflects students actively working with the natural environment, whilst learning practices that are environmentally friendly. This project is in line with the SEMP. The selected area is to be transformed into a school vegetable garden, with a worm farm large enough to cater for the school's food wastage. Students from Kindergarten to Year 6 will be involved in the planning, implementing and evaluation of the project. The school's Environmental Team will ensure the upkeep of the vegetable garden and worm farm, whilst establishing a financial literacy program, where funds raised will be used to enhance the school's environmental practices.
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Wattawa Heights Public school project will be creating a sustainable vegetable garden. This will be an invaluable teaching tool, as the children will have the opportunity to experience hands on how to plant, care, harvest and eat vegetables. Not only will they discover the important role plants play in their world and the environment, they will gain a deeper understanding on how to live sustainably. Also they increase their awareness on healthy eating. This is a school-based project however community support will be encouraged. For example, on open days such as Education Week there will be information sessions for parents. This will be run by the students and will allow them to demonstrate and inform the parents on the important role of a vegetable garden, therefore, building on the community’s understanding and knowledge.
In 2008 a waste audit was conducted by Stage 3 students. From the results of this audit, it was established that a considerable component of the waste being thrown out was organic in nature (food scraps, paper, etc). Students researched ways of reducing this waste and developed a plan to recycle this waste with chooks and a worm farm. The resulting manure, worm juice and castings would then be dug into the vegetable garden and around the orchard trees, increasing the health and productivity of the plants. This project will make a difference by reducing the school's overall waste output, teaching students about environmental sustainability and the care of chooks and worms, encouraging the wider school community to share in the project and adopt similar strategies at home and provide environmental education and sustainability learning in a practical and achievable way.
Woonona East Public School
Understanding where we live - teaching others about where we live
Woonona East Public School is a coastal school nestled in a hind dune within the City of Wollongong. The school is in the process of planting representative ecological communities that are endemic to the Illawarra Coastal Plain. This landscape is being used as a 'learnscape' to discuss the environment around us: why the coastal vegetation ecosystem is important, and how to protect the remaining coastline and vegetation communities. Hand in hand, with the planting of this vegetation is the interpretation and communication of this landscape by students to each other, their families and to the wider community. The key learnscapes within the school that will be interpreted in the wider landscape context are; wetlands (frog ponds), coastal dune vegetation, and bush tucker/rainforest. It is intended that the students will communicate this through their own words and artwork. Students will prepare interpretative signage for the school, a resource book for future classes to refer to, and the development of environment activities including a plant treasure hunt. The school landscape will only foster learning where the students actively engage in it. This project makes this step by providing the students with the opportunity to interpret the landscape in their own words and expression.
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Page last updated: 27 February 2011