Kitchen gardens

Kitchen gardens enable schools to promote environmental and sustainability learning.  They provide opportunities to grow and produce healthy food and connect students with healthy food and lifestyles.

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, technology, PDHPE, geography, mathematics and English.

Assess your situation

Identify the capacity of your school to create and maintain a kitchen garden by:

  • evaluating staff and community interest and support
  • assessing the grounds for potential locations
  • identifying grants and funding sources.

Go outside and walk around the school to investigate potential locations that have adequate sun, access to water and are accessible to classes. Record physical features on the school’s site map or a satellite image and label uses of areas. Identify the role of the grounds within the school, local community and local environment.

Activities for this investigation can include:

Take action

Contribute to a sustainable future by actively participating in kitchen gardens and food cultivation to produce foods that are grown locally and seasonally. This reduces the environmental impacts of transporting and storing foods.

Our kitchen rules at Bob’s Farm (05:07 min) showcases the learning and lifestyle benefits of the kitchen garden program at Bob’s Farm Public School in the Port Stephens area.

Gardening and bushcare at Chatswood Intensive English Centre (06:41 min) showcases the learning and social opportunities provided by a food garden and composting managed by students new to Australia.

No-dig garden at Cringela Public School (03:03 min) explains the process of creating a no-dig food garden in the school grounds.

Alstonville Public School - Chook farmers, Eden Public School - A chicken coop for Tarerergudje and Holmwood Public School - Chicken run - explain STEM projects in which students design chicken coops and runs for their school grounds that provide opportunities for the raising of and caring for chickens as well as producing and using eggs in food production.

Syllabus content

Using kitchen gardens for investigations into living things and food production enables students to work scientifically and use design and production skills in support of the Science and Technology K-6 Syllabus and the Technology Mandatory 7-8 Syllabus in:

  • Early Stage 1 Living world – characteristics and basic needs of living things; using living things as food and fibre
  • Stage 1 Living world – living things live in different places; plants and animals used for food and fibre
  • Stage 2 Living world – survival of living things; producing food and fibre from living things
  • Stage 3 Living world – growth and survival of living things; sustainably managing environments to source food and fibre
  • Stage 4 Agriculture and food technologies.

Kitchen gardens are relevant to investigations into natural resource use and management in support of the Geography K-10 Syllabus in:

  • Stage 1 Features of places – how places are organised
  • Stage 2 The Earth’s environment – significance of environments; perception of environments
  • Stage 3 Factors that shape places – humans shape places
  • Stage 4 Place and liveability – enhancing liveability
  • Stage 5 Sustainable biomes – biomes produce food.

Maintenance, harvest and use of kitchen garden produce can be used to support learning in PDHPE in the content strand of healthy, safe and active lifestyles, in particular, food choices, food groups and nutrition.

Interactions with kitchen gardens and their produce provide opportunities for students to read and compose procedural texts and work mathematically in collecting and representing data.

Additional resources

Kitchen gardening for sustainability and wellbeing K-6 (DOCX 14.5MB) by NSW Department of Education, 2019, is a resource that provides learning sequences for students to sustainably grow and produce healthy food at school.

How does your garden grow? by NSW Department of Education, 2018, is a resource that develops understandings of seasons and other factors that influence what, when and where we plant our fruit and vegetables.

Environmental Trust eco schools grants, administered by the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage.

Potato roadmap (PDF 183KB), by St James Ethics Centre, provides a visual representation of the sequence of converting potatoes from the farm to chips for retail sale and consumption.

Natural fibre garment roadmap (PDF 200KB), by St James Ethics Centre, provides a visual representation of the sequence of converting wool and cotton from cultivation to fabric garments for retail sale and consumer use.

Building roadmap (PDF 214KB) by St James Ethics Centre, provides a visual representation of the sequence of defining the need through construction, selling and using a sustainable building.

SPaRK – A patch from scratch shares teaching activities for science and technology and PDHPE for Early Stage 1 and Stage 1 that enable students to grow and harvest plants and prepare healthy food.

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