Whole-school sustainability planning and the Australian Curriculum

The whole-school approach to sustainability was recently shown to be the preferred method to embed Education for Sustainability in a systemic way in schools to facilitate sustainability learning across the Australian Curriculum. Read about the Education for Sustainability (EfS) and the Australian Curriculum federally funded project here:

The research also revealed that, whilst 92% of teachers consider sustainability an important concept for their students to learn, less than 20% of teachers know how to integrate sustainability into their teaching.

There are many opportunities in your school grounds to highlight EfS (Education for Sustainability) concepts, which encompass social, cultural, economic, personal as well as environmental sustainability, and provide a start for sustainability projects.

Staff at Wetland optimised

For example, a tour of the school grounds during an onsite workshop at Maitland Grossmann High School in the Hunter Valley, in July this year, surprised many of the teachers with the resources available at their fingertips for exploring EfS.This included remnant historical features from the original settlement of the school site, a constructed wetland, vistas of the Hunter River floodplain, an Aboriginal yarning circle, a Zen garden and food garden beds.


Projects in the school grounds can feed into subject outcomes and promote 21st century skills such as leadership, working in teams, social cohesion, creativity, critical thinking and problem solving.

How do I get started with sustainability?

A great way to start on your school’s sustainability journey is to let the students take the initiative! If your school doesn’t have a green team, find some interested students and get them to survey other students and staff to find out where to start. For the survey template, sourced originally from the Sustainable Schools SA website (www.sustainableschools.sa.edu.au), click here

,Screen Shot attitudinal survey

Fnd some interested students and get them to map the school grounds to identify areas for a project to kickstart the process e.g. a biodiversity area

 by Sandra Nichols

More templates and resources are provided at the forthcoming course: Whole-school sustainability planning Friday 14 November

Visit www.educationforsustainability.com.au for ideas and resources on EfS and workshop testimonials.



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2 thoughts on “Whole-school sustainability planning and the Australian Curriculum”

  1. These are good tips. I have tried to get things going in my school, a secondary senior campus where are there are so many ‘higher’ priorities. Educating young people how to have a sustainable future has to be of the highest order. Difficult when you only have the students on campus for three years and the HSC is one of them!

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