Local Area Study

Integrating environmental and sustainability education into the curriculum

Local Area Study is an incursion program for Stages 2 and 3. The program is designed to help teachers use their school’s local environment and grounds as a teaching and learning resource by providing teaching materials, specialist environmental education teachers and teaching resources like water testing kits, dipnets, specimen collection jars etc. The program also emphasises outdoor learning and experience-based learning as a way to connect students with their local environment, promote engagement and enhance learning outcomes in KLA’s, particularly HSIE and Science and Technology.

Up to four classes can be catered for on the one day. Participating teachers can decide on the most appropriate local environment program by taking into account their curriculum programming, the school’s site, situation and distance to the environmental study site. Teachers can choose from the following programs, locations and topics. (combinations across classes and Year groups can also be arranged)

Program 1. local bushland – a study of the importance of biodiversity

Program 2. local waterway – a study of stormwater pollution and management

Program 3. local beach – a study of the causes and effects of litter on oceans

The program is underpinned by the Sustainability Action Process (SAP), a curriculum framework used to teach students about sustainability issues.

A pre-program teachers meeting will be organised by the centre, so centre staff can asses any WHS issues to be addressed and negotiate a program in collaboration with the class teachers involved.

Program objectives:

  • To encourage the use of the local environment and promote outdoor learning as a valued resource for teachers and a rich learning space for students.
  • To promote Quality Teaching and Learning by focusing on the dimension of a quality learning environment (particularly the elements of engagement) and the   dimension of significance (particularly the element of connectedness).
  • To demonstrate the use of the Sustainability Action Process (SAP) as a curriculum delivery framework model to achieve Sustainability Education outcomes.

Risk Assessment Pro Forma – Local Area Study

Summary of learning sites, activities and student outcomes

Learning sites Activities Outcomes HSIE and Science and Technology Fieldwork in action
Program 1. Local Bushland – Biodiversity Investigation
Classroom, school grounds and local bushland Biodiversity Investigation

Students will:

  • View a film clip about the importance of biodiversity
  • Use ipads and aerial photographs to estimate the proportion of school grounds that can support biodiversity (stage 3)
  • Complete a habitat assessment of either school gardens, school bushland or local bushland
  • Undertake an invertebrate and bird survey in school gardens and/or local bushland
HSIE Stage 2

ENS 2.5 Describes places in the local area and other parts of Australia and explains their significance

ENS 2.6 Describes peoples interactions with environments and identifies responsible ways of interacting with environments.

HSIE Stage 3

ENS 3.5 Demonstrates an understanding of the interconnectedness between Australian and global environments and how individuals and groups can act in an ecologically responsible manner.

ENS 3.6 Explains how various beliefs and practices influence the ways in which people interact with, change and value their environment.

Science and Technology

Stage 2 ST2 – 11LW Describes ways that Science knowledge helps people understand the effects of their actions on the environment and on the survival of living things.

Stage 3 ST3-11LW

Describes some physical conditions of the environment and how these effect the growth and survival of living things

Undertaking a biodiversity audit
Program 2. Local Waterway – Stormwater Investigation
Classroom, School grounds and local waterway Stormwater Investigation

Students will:

  • Learn about stormwater, sewerage and catchments
  • Locate their school within a catchment and identify where stormwater drains flow
  • Identify typical stormwater management issues
  • Conduct a stormwater drain audit to determine the contents of school stormwater drains and any possible effects on local waterways
  • Visit a local waterway to conduct a local waterway health check, a water quality test and use a dip net to collect and identify aquatic invertebrates
HSIE Stage 2

ENS 2.5 Describes places in the local area and other parts of Australia and explains their significance

ENS 2.6 Describes peoples interactions with environments and identifies responsible ways of interacting with environments.

HSIE Stage 3

ENS 3.5 Demonstrates an understanding of the interconnectedness between Australian and global environments and how individuals and groups can act in an ecologically responsible manner.

ENS 3.6 Explains how various beliefs and practices influence the ways in which people interact with, change and value their environment.

Science and Technology

Stage 2 ST2 – 11LW Describes ways that Science knowledge helps people understand the effects of their actions on the environment and on the survival of living things.

Stage 3 ST3-11LW

Describes some physical conditions of the environment and how these effect the growth and survival of living things

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Program 3. Beach Study – Ocean Litter Investigation
Classroom, school grounds and local beach Beach Litter Investigation

Students will:

  • View a filmclip about the impacts of plastic pollution in oceans.
  • Conduct a beach litter survey as part of a national CSIRO litter survey
  • Examine the contents of a typical school waste bin to calculate the percentage of items that could be recycled or sent to landfill
  • conduct a waste audit to identify the percentage of school waste made of plastic
HSIE Stage 2

ENS 2.5 Describes places in the local area and other parts of Australia and explains their significance

ENS 2.6 Describes peoples interactions with environments and identifies responsible ways of interacting with environments.

HSIE Stage 3

ENS 3.5 Demonstrates an understanding of the interconnectedness between Australian and global environments and how individuals and groups can act in an ecologically responsible manner.

ENS 3.6 Explains how various beliefs and practices influence the ways in which people interact with, change and value their environment.

Science and Technology

Stage 2 ST2 – 11LW Describes ways that Science knowledge helps people understand the effects of their actions on the environment and on the survival of living things.

Stage 3 ST3-11LW

Describes some physical conditions of the environment and how these effect the growth and survival of living things

Beach Patrol

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