With a teacher on the Green Journey team, school garden coordinators, parents and teachers will find an ever expanding toolbox of resources and events here that provide ideas for integrating the environment, sustainability, food and gardening into the curriculum.
Junior Landcare Backyard Challenge - Open from 10 September 2012
This exciting new challenge gives kids the opportunity to explore what is growing in their very own backyards!
Yates are asking kids to submit a photo or short video, and want to hear about everything from pot plants on apartment balconies to leafy suburban gardens or rural and remote properties, and everything in between.
Awesome prizes are up for grabs from Canon Australia, and a few exciting celebrity judges will pick the winning entries!
Please refer to the attached media release and fact sheet for more info.This very exciting new campaign invites children from all over Australia to get involved – they have already received a few photo and video entries www.juniorlandcarechallenge.com.au
Kids aged 8 – 16 can enter, and you can enter as individuals, families, schools, or with a youth group such as Scouts or Girl Guides. Visit the website to register.
Free trees for Arbor Day - 9 October 2012
Plant a tree for Arbor day - Trees provide shade and contribute to the health of our communities.
Since 1890 Brisbane children have celebrated Arbor Day on the second Tuesday in October. It's the perfect time for spring planting.
School events and activities:
- primary schools are eligible to claim up to 50 free plants from Brisbane City Council for Arbor Day, plus one extra plant for each Year 1 student;
- students can write stories about their favourite tree and publish them on the website;
- schools can plan ahead to celebrate your tree on International Tree Dressing Day.
Check Our Community for current grants available.
2012 Coles Junior Landcare School Garden Grant (now closed).
Since 2008 Coles has been providing School Garden Grants of up to $1,000 to schools and youth groups to help create gardens in their grounds or community, such as bush tucker gardens, water wise gardens or veggie gardens.
These programs encourage students to learn about the environment through “outdoor learning” and interaction in developing their own school gardens.
- Round 3: Closed Friday 27th July, 5pm (EST)
BHP Billiton Science Awards 2012. Student Awards reward young people who have undertaken practical research projects, which demonstrate innovative approaches and thorough scientific procedures. Teacher Awards recognise outstanding contributions made by classroom teachers to science education.
BFA Organic School Gardens - Leader School Program. The program has been developed to recognise schools who are committed to following the full Organic School Gardens Curriculum Program (details below). There are many benefits to your school becoming a Leader. Check applications for 2012. Grants award a minimum of $1000 retail value of gardening goods.
The Green Heart Schools program in Brisbane supports students and schools to become more ecologically sustainable. There are a number of resources available to teachers and students. Register to be a Green Heart school and be alerted to Green Heart events, new resources and to receive the quarterly Green Heart Schools eNews. There is a wealth of information for students and teachers on this site.
Toohey Forest Environmental Education Centre (TFEEC) is a Department of Education and Training facility located in the modern, sustainably designed Griffith University EcoCentre. The facility is located 10 kilometres from the Brisbane CBD, and surrounded by the natural backdrop of Toohey Forest. The aim of the facility is to provide quality educational programs that promote an improved awareness and understanding of the natural environment and issues of sustainability. With a compliment of 3 experienced teachers, TFEEC provides a range of day visit programs to students ranging from Prep to Year 12. Program themes include: Australian flora and fauna / Biodiversity / Ecology; Sustainability / Energy / Waste; Environmental Awareness / Human Impact Studies; and Catchment Health / Water quality monitoring.
Programs incorporate: a significant 'hands on' approach to student learning; both indoor and outdoor learning experiences; the use of technology (ICT's) to enhance the learning experience; and activities that support a range of Key Learning Areas (KLA's).
See a full description of available programs (4 programs for Prep - Year 3; 7 for Years 4-8; and 6 for Years 9-12).
In addition to on-site programs, TFEEC is able to deliver select programs at a variety of locations in the Metropolitan region. TFEEC coordinates invitational programs for select senior students to provide access and exposure to Griffith University staff and facilities. Professional development and training is provided for teachers, including both primary and secondary, on a range of environmental and sustainability related topics.
The Ergon Energy Ergonia website was designed several years ago to help Queensland students learn about electricity and energy. Targetting middle to upper primary, content is fairly text-based (and print-friendly), and provides a useful starting point. Content includes: Saving Energy, Safety, Energy Sources, Electricity (history and how it works); Links to other useful sites for your research needs; and Activities including colouring, a quiz, a crossword, a wordsearch; and a Home Safety Check for students to use at home.
Our Cool School, educating young Australians for a sustainable future. Our Cool School identifies the challenges we face, investigates the solutions available and shows students how to get involved.
There's a broad range of content/topics on this site (although some links weren't working on 29.10.11). Select your state and the year level you're teaching. Browse environmental issues, recent news, events and Big Topic Fact Sheets (attractive and accessible PDFs) on pollution, water, forests, climate change, waste, energy, wildlife, and food. (These links are for the Year 9-10 materials.)
National Recycling Week Resources:
- The Schools Recycle Right Challenge offers a wide range of recycling-themed activities, lesson plans and events ideas that have been developed specifically for Australian schools including a Getting Started Guide.
- Which drink container has the highest recycling rate? Students can test their knowledge with the Recycle Right Quiz.
- Australians dispose of 270 million batteries each year. Check out Battery Buzz for the why, how and where of battery recycling and the benefits of rechargeables.
The Water Page is an independent initiative dedicated to the promotion of sustainable water resources management and use. A particular emphasis is placed on the development, utilisation and protection of water in Africa and other developing regions. The site is deliberately low-tech to facilitate access in developing countries. The design is largely text-based, somewhat 'clunky' in places, and several links are broken. However, it does provide links to material that are probably worth exploring for Year 11 and 12 Geography and/or Science. For example, an article from National Geographic explores the use of the simple electric water pump in bringing about India's 'green revolution', and the emerging problem of overuse: "If you replenish water, that is a green revolution... But if you destroy your water capital, what kind of green revolution is that?" As a second example, the site also links to an opinion piece on Confusing cause and effect: Poverty, Development & the Environment.
The Story of Broke is another highly engaging resource by Anne Leonard (see The Story of Stuff below) that challenges us to rethink mainstream theory and opinion about economic management in our society. Sounds dry. Isn't!
The Story of Stuff. If you think schools should be supplementing reading, writing and arithmetic lessons with some schooling on the other three R's - reducing, reusing and recycling - the Story of Stuff Project has some great resources for you, your kids and teachers. For high school teachers and students the Story of Stuff collaborated with Facing the Future to create Buy, Use, Toss: A Closer Look at the Things We Buy, a free two-week curriculum that includes ten, fully planned lessons aligned with national science and social studies standards.
For the younger set, but only available in the US, Annie Leonard worked with WGBH-Boston and PBS Kids to develop Loop Scoops, a series of fun 2-minute videos that help get kids thinking about the Stuff in their lives. Things like: What is this made of? Where did it come from? Who made it? And what happens when I throw it away?
Sunshine Coast Council's Waste 2 Resource Education Program is an educational service provided free to schools on the coast.
The program teaches students, parents and teachers about the '3Rs' (reduce, reuse and recycle), sustainable living, and alternative energies. Students can either tour Council's Waste and Resource Recovery Centre, or a council representative can visit the classroom to give presentations about waste. Topics and summaries are provided in the School Education Program flyer, which is also required for making bookings.
For further information, contact Sandie Johnston. Ph: 5439-6888; 0421-346-486; Email: email@example.com.
NQ Dry Tropics Healthy Habitat for Schools - There's some relevant material here despite the program's regional focus. The program provides a free online tool kit available to all schools covering topics such as planting cyclone-resistant native trees; avoiding dangerous plants; declared weeds; companion planting for school vegetable gardens; and ideas for student activities. NQ Dry Tropics' Laura Dunstan says the program is designed to get the whole school involved, from teachers, grounds persons, parents and carers to students in every year level. "There are free online resources, professional development workshops and curriculum-based classroom activities. It really fills the needs that schools have at the moment to reach their biodiversity goals." For further information, contact Laura Dunstan on 4722-5732 or visit NQ Dry Tropics' Healthy Habitat for Schools.
Free Poster - Inland Water Cycle - The poster depicts Queensland's inland water system, including the extensive groundwater aquifers, and is accompanied by guidelines for use.
The poster is available free to Queensland councils and schools and can be ordered online or downloaded from the DERM.
Bird Observation and Conservation Australia includes several educational resources, for primary and secondary students. These include: a raptor kite template and instructions, raptor word search, engaging illustrated children's stories, quizzes, research reports, photos, and a Shorebirds Kit for Yrs 5-6.
The Ride2School Program is designed to make riding and walking normal for kids through practical and tailored strategies, guidance and advice. Ride2School stands for helping kids build the skills, know-how and confidence to ride or walk to school, and beyond.
The Program offers practical (tailored where possible), strategies, guidance, and advice to create active, healthy kids both in and out of school. Member schools will enjoy a reputation for offering active, healthy learning opportunities.
The site includes lots of resources and support including: Ride2School in 4 simple steps; Getting over the weather; Getting the wheels turning to make riding 'normal'; Parent Incentives; Traffic Safety, and more.
Junior Landcare Launched in May 1998, Junior Landcare recognises that the contribution of young people is vital if the land they are to inherit is to be in the best possible condition. Junior Landcare also encourages young people to develop a sense of responsibility to the land and other natural resources.
Landcare activities can be successfully integrated into a range of topics within the school curriculum or be part of scout or similar youth group activities.
Landcare programs organised by schools and youth groups provide a great framework for learning in outdoor 'living classrooms'. Junior Landcare enables kids of all ages to become involved with their local landcare group and work on a range of environmental projects.
What Local Native Plant is That? This comprehensive, regularly updated free resource helps connect Sunshine Coast schools with local plant experts. Schools can then make their own Herbarium, unique collections of specimens and information about their nearby bushland. The project stimulates students' interest in local flora and fauna and motivation for dedicated research and environmental advocacy.
What Local Native Plant is That? has been developed around the Queensland Studies Authority Essential Learnings Framework. The project goals, activities and expected outcomes are not only relevant to the curriculum, they also provide Sunshine Coast schools with the opportunity to focus on learning about their own local plants and environments, and develop integrated Knowledge and Understanding in the KLAs of Science and Studies of Society and Environment (SOSE). The main approaches to teaching and learning include inquiry, experiential learning and community problem solving.
Although the lessons mainly target primary Years 6 and 7, or Levels 3 to 5 more broadly, with main focuses on Science and SOSE, teachers are welcomed to adapt them for students from other levels and subject areas (e.g. The Arts, English, Technology).
Green Lane Diary is a curriculum linked education program designed by environmental educators to help 8-13 year old children become aware of the stresses our planet confronts and how sustainable living can make a difference. By working through topics including water, waste, energy and biodiversity, young people turn 10 weeks of discovery into a Green Scrapbook which can go into the draw to win prizes.
The site is highly engaging thanks to the quality of visuals and content. Some printed content and project materials are provided to participating schools. The online content is comprehensive and well-organised. Presented in accessible chunks using video, cartoons, clearly labelled diagrams and including links to Google searches and news reports, the content also includes interactive components such as a check list that students complete and email to themselves or their teacher. At all times, content is related back to students’ own lives and the types of actions that they can commit to and write about in their Diaries. The multiple Project Ideas aim to inspire class groups to undertake relevant and achievable challenges in support of one or other aspect of environmental sustainability.
The resource includes a full section for teachers that includes FAQs, How the Green Lane Diary Program works for Teachers, Teachers Notes, Curriculum Links and more.
It’s hard to do justice to this site in a short summary. Please visit and see for yourself!
The BFA Organic School Gardens Program. In May 2010, the Biological Farmers of Australia (BFA) launched the Organic School Gardens Program - a free organic gardening curriculum program available to all Australian primary schools and anyone with an interest in organic gardening.
The program is designed for students aged 8 -12 years and provides practical support to schools with detailed lessons and accompanying teacher's notes for setting up and maintaining an organic school garden. Written and illustrated by the author of highly acclaimed and twice-published gardening guide Easy Organic Gardening and Moon Planting, the program provides expert information in an easy-to-use curriculum format.
Lessons and resources are suitable for use as individual lessons and for integration into the curriculum as a unit of work. The lessons compliment VELS and the national cross-curriculum priorities of Education for Sustainability, and the ResourceSmart AuSSI Vic and AuSSI Program state and national education initiatives. The Organic School Gardens Program aims to support schools with quality online educational material for teaching and learning.
Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation. "This program is changing the way children approach and think about food. All around the country, children are enthusiastically getting their hands dirty and learning how to grow, harvest, prepare and share fresh, seasonal food. The fundamental philosophy that underpins the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program is that by setting good examples and engaging children’s innate curiosity, as well as their energy and their taste buds, we can provide positive and memorable food experiences that will form the basis of positive lifelong eating habits.
The revolution rumbled into action in 2001, when renowned cook and food writer Stephanie Alexander OAM joined forces with an inner-Melbourne school community to establish the Kitchen Garden Program at Collingwood College. Stephanie’s pioneering approach to food education is now flourishing in many schools, with more to come through ongoing Australian national and state government funding. Kitchen Garden Schools commit to a dynamic and innovative model that sees kitchen and garden classes run weekly, enabling skills-based learning that extends across the entire school curriculum. As participants in the Kitchen Garden Program, eight to twelve year-old children spend time in a productive veggie garden and home-style kitchen each and every week. There they learn skills that will last them a lifetime, and discover just how much fun it is to grow and cook their own seasonal vegetables and fruits.
The diversity of locations of Kitchen Garden Schools – from Coober Pedy in the outback, to Alawa in the tropics, to beachside Bondi – means that each school community has its own challenges and successes. But all are united in their passion to bring the benefits of food education to their students." The website details participation, funding opportunities, stories from participating schools, workshops and training for school staff and supporters, tools for teachers including the attached sample classroom teaching materials, and more.
The Australian Sustainable Schools Initiative (AuSSI) is a partnership of the Australian Government and the states and territories that seek to support schools and their communities to become sustainable.
AuSSI engages participants in a whole-of-school approach, to explore through real-life learning experiences, improvements in a school's management of resources and facilities including energy, waste, water, biodiversity, landscape design, products and materials. It also addresses associated social and financial issues. AuSSI is a broad framework incorporating a wide range of activities which help schools and their communities to become more sustainable. Individual schools may choose to focus on certain areas that are of most relevance and interest to their school community. See How to Register, and see the Areas of Activity for more information.
Education Queensland has a range of programs and initiatives that support schools to reduce their ecological footprint. The Earth Smart Environmental Sustainability Strategic Plan 2008-2012 sets the strategic direction for the department and outlines the goals for environmental sustainability.
Key EQ environmental sustainability initiatives include:
This summary, which includes a local example of the program in place, was prepared by Sue Gibson, Earth Smart Science Facilitator – Barambah Environmental Education Centre. Ph: 4168-8190; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
"Earth Smart Science is a three year initiative by Education Queensland which supports state primary, P10 and P12 schools to become more sustainable in their policies and practices. The program is delivered by Earth Smart Science facilitators mostly based in Outdoor and Environmental Education Centres throughout the state. The facilitators work closely with school communities to develop strategies to reduce the school ecological footprint through the development and implementation of School Environmental Management Plans (SEMPs). The implementation and monitoring of a SEMP encourages a whole of school approach to wisely managing resources, and focuses on waste minimisation, water conservation, energy efficiency and biodiversity improvements.
The key to the Earth Smart Science program is to foster knowledge of and commitment to environmental sustainability through integration of the SEMP process into the curriculum with a particular focus on science and mathematics. Teachers in Earth Smart schools attend professional development workshops to increase knowledge and skills in teaching in outdoor environments and collecting baseline data in the four focus areas of the SEMP.
This is successfully achieved through working closely with a variety of education service providers and experts in the field; and Science Spark teachers who are currently working with state primary school teachers to enhance the teaching of science. A wonderful local example of this is the River Science Skills for Educators program which is a joint initiative between Gympie Science Spark teachers Zela Bissett and Don Reid and the staff of the Mary River Catchment Coordinating Committee. The River Science Skills sessions are being delivered by MRCCC staff and include the topics of macro invertebrates, endangered species, water quality testing and riparian restoration; and are designed to give teachers skills to deliver these topics as part of their own teaching. Zela has also worked with teachers to write the Marvelous Mary River unit which is currently being taught in year 5 at the Mary Valley State College and in years 4/5 at Gympie South State School.
As a result of the increased teaching of sustainability topics in the classroom and the inclusion of sustainability as a cross-curricula priority in the new Australian Curriculum, students in Earth Smart schools become involved in hands-on learning about the environment and play a significant role in the implementation of the SEMP strategies and actions. Examples of energy smart strategies being undertaken in schools include auditing energy use through the use of meters and the Solar Schools website, developing school energy policies, putting up signage to remind everyone to switch off appliances when not in use and developing energy wise checklists for classrooms.
Biodiversity initiatives include removal of exotic and invasive species, revegetation projects, development of bush tucker gardens and care of wetlands areas. Water smart strategies to reduce water consumption include conducting water audits, retrofitting old plumbing devices, placing waterwise signage around the school and promoting waterwise awareness and behaviours. Waste smart initiatives focus on reducing the amount of packaging coming into the schools and improving recycling within the school. A popular strategy at the moment is the introduction of "litter free lunches" which aim to reduce packaging in lunchboxes and therefore waste overall. This is complemented by increasing numbers of schools composting organic waste on site and using the compost to improve soil quality in garden areas of the school.
At the September 13 meeting of the MRCCC students from a Gympie Earth Smart Science school were guest speakers and gave a presentation on being Earth Smart at their school."
"O&EECs promote, develop, provide and deliver highly effective outdoor and environmental education programs for schools and the community, and provide professional development for teachers. Education for a sustainable future and valuing biodiversity are key themes within O&EEC programs. All outdoor and environmental education programs are linked to the school curriculum, team building and leadership objectives. Strong links are fostered with local communities by providing information about environmental issues and serving as venues for community forums.
O&EECs offer environmental education programs in environments such as forests; tropical reef-fringed islands; beach; outback and rural Queensland; estuarine; and freshwater habitats. O&EECs provide specialised learning strategies including archaeology and heritage interpretation; environmental arts; urban renewal; waterwatch programs; and environmental investigations.
This website aims to support schools, their partners and the community in realising a positive environmental vision for their school. The two core modules are: School Environmental Management Plan (SEMP) Builder (SEMP Guide available here) and the Resource Use & Monitoring Tool. Queensland schools are invited to register and request a login and password for ongoing access to the online tools and resources designed to help them to research, plan, monitor and manage their school's impact on the environment. The Education Centre has curriculum, teaching and learning resources to assist Queensland schools to become environmentally sustainable. In the future, a My Community section will enable clusters of schools and networks of organisations to communicate with one other.
Solar Schools Project This website provides schools with an opportunity to understand their energy usage and then take action to reduce it. The project aims to utilise technology readily accepted by students today to stimulate interest in energy education through the use of the real time data in classroom analysis. Students can compare online the electricity generation data from five different solar schools. Students can analyse the effect that different weather conditions may have on the electricity generation from the solar panels from schools in different cities and regions between Australia and New Zealand. The data can be compared for a specific day, week, month or year. Additionally, the website contains an impressive range of information, approaches to teaching about energy, activities, and resources. The Teacher Resources section includes a page on Energy and the Curriculum, which says: "You can debate the topic, study the topic socially, scientifically or mathematically, creatively 'advertise' the topic or technically build and develop the topic. With energy we are limited only by our imaginations." There are also suggested links for every curriculum area. The Teachers Resources Table shows, for primary and secondary respectively, how a range of topics might be taught, and includes links to an extensive range of resources. External Links to relevant resources are also provided. The site also includes content on Solar Energy.
Environmental Education for Sustainability "Sustainability education has been a feature of Education Queensland schools for more than 30 years. In many schools it has been creatively incorporated into the curriculum in each phase of learning, and is also reflected in the school's facilities and actions of its teachers." The site has links to a range of resources grouped under Significant Documents, Organisations, Initiatives, and Activities.
Department of Environment & Resource Management - Education Resources. Teaching students about sustainable environmental and natural resource management is essential to Queensland’s future economic growth, environmental well-being and social development. This site provides teachers with a number of resources suited to primary school students on catchment and land management; water cycles and catchments; dungbusters and water topics. They also provide a number of fact sheets, activities and publications suitable for students and links to other sustainable resources.
Change the World in 5 Minutes - Everyday at School
With a little creative thought and a helping hand from teachers, be inspired by how many different ways primary school kids really CAN change the world in five minutes a day!