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Our Garden, Our Place, Our Sustainable School

EDF 2303 MEC Assignment 1 by Eleanor Rees


on 31 March 2016

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Transcript of Our Garden, Our Place, Our Sustainable School

Sun safety
Awareness of potential poisons in the school garden environment:
learning what you can and can't eat from the garden
learning that the produce requires a wash before eaten
awareness of and avoiding poisonous parts of a plant
contaminated soil
pest control methods - ideally garden needs to be organic and the use of natural pest control methods
Safety near and around water
Safety with tools
Other potential risks:
A school garden, but not just any school garden....
A Fruit and Vegetable Garden

Seasonal fruit and vegetables
Indigenous - bush tucker
Multicultural food garden
Edible flower garden
All produce to be used in cookery classes and/or for sale at local produce farmers market (potential revenue)

Hot house for propagation
Raised/in-ground garden beds
A Native Plant Garden with a Native Plant Nursery

Locally growing native ground covers, shrubs and trees
Locally growing native plant nursery - potential for revenue

Nesting boxes, bird feeders, stones, rocks and logs - encourage native birds and other native wildlife (also essential for aiding pollination)
Pond - habitat for wildlife
A Sensory Garden

Themed sections:
Fragrant plants garden bed
Rock garden with cacti/succulents
Herb garden bed
Zen/Japanese garden
Water feature - pond and running stream
Australian sensory plants and other sensory plant garden
In addition:
Visual art pieces
Various textured walkways and footpaths
Curriculum Links and Interdisciplinary Learning
Literature - picture story books/poetry
Peer review of classmates work
Informational texts
Research reports
Diary entries
Narrative - e.g. stories set in the garden
Expositions - advertising
Procedures - e.g. recipes
Explanations - e.g. Scientific writing
Speaking and Listening:
Following directions & Understanding sequences
Expressing opinions

Number and Algebra:
basic number operations
money & financial mathematics

Measurement and Geometry:
Length and area
Volume and capacity
Weight and mass
Scales and positions
2-dimensional plans and 3-dimensional models

Statistics and Probability:
Gathering and organising data - such as talllying, graphing and databases
Science Understanding:
Biological Science
Living things have needs
Classification of living things
Lifecycles of living things
Reproduction of living things
Chemical Science
Natural and Processed material properties
Soil testing
Earth and Space Sciences
Daily and seasonal changes
Water cycle
Soils and geology

Science as a Human Endeavour:
Use of senses to explore the surroundings
Understanding about caring for the environment and living things

Science Inquiry skills:
Investigation, observing, recording, measuring, predicting, testing, comparing and concluding
Geographical Knowledge:
Natural and built components
School and local environment
National and neighbouring countries environment

Geographical Inquiry:
Collect, record, evaluate and represent geographical data - e.g mapping school grounds

Historical Knowledge and Understanding:
History of Gardening incl indigenous bush tucker
Past and present - school grounds and local community

Budgeting and costings related to developing and maintaining a school garden

Physical, Personal and Social
Health and Physical Education:
Personal health choices
Nutrition education
Cooking with plant foods
Outdoor activities/games
Safety - lifting, carrying, digging
Safety with tools

Civics and Citizenship:
identifying how to care for the natural and built environment - e.g recycling, water conservation
Community engagement - e.g. identifying roles of volunteers
Developing a sense of community and school and local community spirit
Community services learning - sharing produce and flowers

Interpersonal Development:
Developing social relationships
Co-operative learning - conflict resolution, communication skills

Personal Capabilities
Recognising qualities and achievements - developing a productive sustainable garden
Developing skills to become confident, resilient and adaptable
Develop positive values and attitudes
Arts and Crafts
Painting and drawing
Garden ornaments - decorating and for labeling

Dance - e.g. rain dance
Drama - role play
Making musical instruments from natural and processed materials found in the garden
Making wind chimes

Vegetable dyes
Vegetable printing
Scarecrow construction
Mosaic pavers,
Leaf print stepping stones
Interdisciplinary Learning

Presenting and planning presentations
Interviewing peers and community members
Collaborative work, sharing of ideas and information

Design, Creativity and Technology:

Investigating and designing a school garden
Signage and displays
Designing an effective watering system
Produce for sale
Taste testing - analysis and evaluation

Use of databases, spreadsheets and word-processing
Web research
Digital photography
Twitter account/Facebook page


Inquiry - e.g. what plants grow best in the school garden
Problem-solving - e.g how to best weed the garden
Reflection of inquiry and problem-solving activities

Cross-Curriculum Priorities
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education:

Bush tucker and medicine plants
Traditional craft plants

Multicultural Education - specifically Asia

Cultural gardens - e.g. zen gardens, Japanese gardens
Origins of plants
Environmental Education:

Habitat preservation
Environmental issues
Biodiversity and complexity
Organic gardening
Resource conservation/Earth Footprint
Pollution Prevention

Interdependence of healthy social, economic and ecological systems
And finally..........
Children learn through sensory and physical activity. The variety and richness of natural settings (colours, sounds, textures, moving and changing elements) and the opportunity to interact with that environment all contribute to physical, cognitive and emotional development.

(Nursery and Garden Industry Australia Limited: KidsGrow, 2005, pp2)
Schools impart values of belonging, responsibility, care and respect when they engage in sustainable practices to conserve and protect environmental ecosystems and resources.
(Growing Communities,: Professional Development pdf leaflet)
A school vegetable garden let students taste the wonder of fresh foods that they have planted, tended for and watch grow.
Why a school garden........
School gardens provide an opportunity for year round lessons and activities both indoors and outdoors. The initial planning, design and building of the garden also provides a valuable opportunity for whole school participation as well as providing access for the other small primary schools within the cluster.
The additional multiple benefits to developing and sustaining a school garden are:
Enhance academic achievement
Gardening has been shown to improve performance in all curriculum areas as well as overall attitudes towards learning.

It is an inclusive space aiding students to discover new strengths or build on existing ones.

A school garden can be seen as an outdoor classroom, a holistic area which consists of a living laboratory, a library, a site which promotes inquiry-based learning and a place which exposes problems for students to overcome.

Promote Healthy Lifestyles
Enables students to be aware of, learn about and participate in good nutrition practices, healthy lifestyle choices and healthy minds.

It equips the students with the knowledge and tools to promote 'life-sustaining habits' such as the physical aspects in developing and maintaining a school garden, promoting the fun and positive experiences of healthy outdoor activity and play, to cooking the produce and sharing the experience with family, friends and community.
Encourage community and social development
Purposeful gardening which builds on and develops life skills including 'teamwork, volunteerism, self-understanding, leadership skills, decision-making ability, and communication skills' (Bucklin-Sporer & Pringle, 2010)

It builds not only a whole school community but includes access for other local primary schools along with the residents within the local community. It provides opportunities for service learning installing positive values and attitudes.

Promote stewardship
The activities conducted within a school garden empower the students to take the initiative and responsibility for the ecosystem around them and thus has the potential to initiate a students environmental stewardship ethic.

Building this stewardship from the beginning at school level to local community, state, national and globally,

Creating a desire to find a way and to use that way to look after 'our world'.

Sense of place
"A sense of place is fundamental to our understanding of who we are. What the natural world looks, feels, and smells like on our part of the planet, helps us distinguish how we are the same and how we are different from the rest of the world.

How will kids grow to care about larger planetary issues such as climate change or diminishing rainforests if they can't appreciate their own place on this earth?"
( Bucklin-Sporer & Pringle, 2010)
Fun Gardening
Beyond the positive academic capabilities and sustainability, gardening uniquely stimulates:

exploration and imagination
encourages artistic and creative expression
provides a journey for the senses
inspires healthy outdoor activity and play
( Bucklin-Sporer & Pringle, 2010)

Students can play with the fairies and gnomes in imaginative and unstructured natural play.
Imaginative and active play
Scavenger hunts
Physical work required when:
Pulling weeds
Mulching the beds
Digging and planting
Habitat preservation
Water conservation
Pollution prevention - air quality, water quality, healthy soil
Natural resource use
Energy efficiency
Waste minimisation and recycling
Food and culture
Develop a strong class and school community, provide access and build relationships with the other local primary schools:
class outdoor lunches
school garden parties
Develop a relationship within family and the local community
community fundraisers
volunteers from the local community
donations of produce to the local needy
flowers for the elderly
Additional features within the whole garden....
Cubby house/Weather Station/Tool shed
Compass rose on pavement/path
Shaded outdoor classroom seating area & black board
Compost Bins and Worm Farm
Solar panels to run pond pump
Water tanks to collect rain water run-off from Cubby house roof
Rain Barrel (s)
Wide paths for easy assess for all
Additional Learning Opportunities
Learning about school friendly gardening practices
Weed Control:
pulling weeds out

Pest and disease:
barriers & repellants

Waterwise watering practices
(Nursery & Garden Industry Australia Limited: KidsGrow, 2005)
Financing the garden
Obviously the garden doesn't just happen, it requires funding to buy the one-time expenses to build the garden such as:
Prepare the site (with or without the help of professionals such as landscape professional, carpenter, plumber etc)
Community outreach (flyers/mailing) and publicity and

The funding for one-time expenses and on-going expenses can come from the following avenues:
Parents Association
Schools discretionary funds
School site fundraising - farmers market, garden dinners/harvest party with small entry fee, walk-a-thon, silent auction etc
Community investment - donations for sale or auction
State and national government
Local councils
Private foundations
Large corporations
ABC Gardening Australia

Australian Government: Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities : Sustainability Education

Australian Native Plants Society (Australia)

Bunnings Warehouse

Foodbank School Garden Website

Gould League

Healthy Kids Association

Junior Landcare - Coles Grant

KidsGrow (Nursery and Gardens Industry Australia Limited

Bucklin-Sporer, A., & Pringle, R.K.. (2010). How to Grow a School Garden: A Complete Guide for Parents and Teachers. Portland. London: Timber Press

Durie, J. (2005). Outdoor Kids: A Practical Guide for Kids in the Garden. Crows Nest, NSW: Jamie Durie Publishing

Growing Communities. http://www.growingcommunities.org.au/ [Accessed 14 Sept 13]

Moreton Bay Regional Community Gardens Network. http://www.mbcommunitygardens.com.au/ [Accessed 14 Sept 13]

Nursery and Gardens Industry Australia: KidsGrow. http://www.ngia.com.au/Category?Action=View&Category_id=444. [Accessed 14 Sept 13]

Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority. AusVELS. http://ausvels.vcaa.vic.edu.au/ [Accessed 14 Sept 13]

Williams, D.R., & Brown, J.D., (2012). Learning Gardens and Sustainability Education: Bring Life to Schools and Schools to Life. New York. USA: Routledge
My Healthy School

National Solar Schools Program

NSW Government - Environment and Heritage

Organic School Gardens

School Garden Wizard

Seed Savers: Food Gardens in Schools

Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation

Victorian Schools Garden Awards

Yates Junior Landcare School Environmental Management Planning Grant
within the school grounds at Ripplebrook Primary School
Full transcript