Schools can be important places for a variety of plants and animals. Biodiversity investigations assist students to understand their environment and develop plans for protecting and enhancing their school’s biodiversity.
Sustainability action process learning resources
The sustainability action process is a five step process that supports problem solving through active student participation. These resources provide a structured and consistent approach to teaching sustainability across the curriculum and support learning outcomes in science, geography, mathematics and English.
A biodiversity audit includes school grounds surveys to identify the features of the grounds, their use and habitat assessments. Information gathered during this process can inform the school community on future planning.
Activities for this survey and mapping process can include:
- researching the history of the school site
- mapping the physical features of the school and its immediate environment
- mapping how the school grounds are used by people, plants and animals
- assessing habitats and biodiversity to determine the importance of the school grounds for local species
- identifying significant trees and assessing tree health
- preparing a summary report of the survey findings and proposing ways to enhance biodiversity into the future.
Contribute to a sustainable future by taking actions to protect or enhance biodiversity in the school, local community and home so that natural ecosystems are maintained in the present and into the future.
Planting lilly pillies to improve air quality at Belmore South PS (06:03 min) showcases the community of students, teachers and parents working together to enhance biodiversity and amenity of their school grounds located on a busy Sydney urban road.
Small bird haven at Pennant Hills Primary School (05:33 min) showcases a collaborative project to provide habitat for small birds within the school grounds and the ensuing student learning opportunities.
STEM project Rosemeadow Public School - Improving our school environment - explains a STEM project in which Stage 3 students identified areas of the school needing improvement which led to the design and construction of a greenhouse to support the growth of seedlings for a new garden and outdoor learning area.
STEM project Crabbes Creek Public School - Bees - explains a STEM project in which Stage 2 and 3 students informed the community about the current bee problem and put forward solutions to address the issue.
School grounds surveys and biodiversity audits support investigations in the Science and Technology K-6 Syllabus, Science 7-10 Syllabus and Geography K-10 Syllabus. Specific modules, focus areas and content are identified in each survey and mapping activity.
NSW ecosystems on show, an online resource by NSW Department of Education, highlights fifteen ecosystems outlining the plants and animals they support, NSW locations, significance, threats and protection measures.
Save our catchment, a virtual excursion by the NSW Department of Education for Stage 5, which investigates pest species invading the NSW upper Clarence River catchment.
Tears in the jungle – Stage 2 sustainability conceptual unit (546MB DOCX) provides teaching and learning sequences for English, geography, visual arts and science and technology based around the texts Tears in the jungle: A children’s adventure to save the orangutan and Tears in the jungle: Fight for survival.
A guide to implementing waste as art and environmental art projects in schools (DOCX 92.02 KB) and Precious plants and animals (DOCX 1.1MB), by NSW Department of Education, provide learning sequences that explore biodiversity through visual arts.
SPaRK – The curious garden shares sustainability teaching activities and resource ideas for geography Stage 1, Stage 3 and Stage 4 that help students answer the question – How can we care for and improve our spaces and places?