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How a free school program is putting sustainability in the spotlight

Tuesday 17 January 2023 | 3 min read

Calling all teachers and educators! Is your school or preschool registered for the Sustainable Schools program? Read on to learn about the free program and how to get your site involved.

The Sustainable Schools program, proudly delivered by Green Adelaide, supports schools and preschools to develop the values, skills and knowledge to take action towards sustainability.

It helps students in school and preschool learn about and connect to the natural world while taking practical action. The Sustainable Schools program actively encourages a culture of continuous improvement that builds the confidence, capacity, skills, knowledge and understanding of the whole school community.

Wish your school was involved? Here’s everything you need to know.

How does it work?

Sustainable Schools is an ongoing program tailored to each unique site. Once a school or preschool registers, a Green Adelaide Education Officer is assigned to work with them and support their sustainability journey.

The Education Officer will meet with the site leadership, staff and students to understand what they are already doing and what sort of help they need. Schools decide the key actions and projects they want to work on to achieve their goals.

The site’s vision, goals and plans are collated into a Site Environmental Management Plan, which is used to track and evaluate progress. There is no right way to go about sustainability, so it’s up to each site and their community to set the agenda and choose the strategies most appropriate to them and their community.

The Education Officer can provide information on possible funding avenues, and the program facilitates professional development sessions for teachers, support staff and community members throughout each year.

Sites will be invited to showcase their progress through events, training, youth leadership programs and case studies.

What will Sustainable Schools offer?

Training and networking events with other schools

Participating schools gain access to professional development training and networking. They can stay connected with other schools on their sustainability projects to share tips and ideas with each other.

A voice for students

The program’s Youth Voice guide helps give students a say, by forming their own environmental groups and hearing from the Youth Environment Council about how to get involved.

Students can get support to create an Environment Group, develop a vision, set goals, find a mentor, fundraise, and plan their actions.

From there, your school can access resources and advice to build student-led projects – from community gardens to repair cafés, recycling stations and collaboration with councils, there’s plenty of ideas.

Free knowledge resources

On top of that, the program offers access to a loan library of books, videos, curriculum resources and equipment. This includes resources for developing and implementing sustainable practices, along with local information (including ID charts, factsheets, and games) on the ecosystems around them.

A network of support

The Green Adelaide Education Team is just a call or email away for advice and support for your sustainability and learning initiatives.

Schools and their wider community also keep in touch through the weekly Sustainable Schools eNews, which will keep you in the know about upcoming events, examples of how other schools are promoting sustainability, funding opportunities, new resources, and fun updates like Creature Features focussing on the wildlife and plants in your school or backyard.

A young boy and girl inspecting a sample of water they collected at the edge of a lake.
Get your school registered

How you approach sustainability at your school will be unique. We have the tools and resources to help you get started at any level and at a scale that suits you.

Ready to register? Talk to your school leaders and fill out the quick and easy registration form.

You can find and share more info on the Sustainable Schools website.

Want some flyers for your school? Contact the Green Adelaide Education Team!

Not a teacher but love the concept? If you have school-aged kids, maybe you can suggest this program on your school’s forum or next meeting? Or tell your teacher friends to keep it in mind.

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