Here’s some highlights from our Sustainable Schools initiative over the past year – plus how your school can get involved in 2024.

Green Adelaide staff member speaking to young teenagers about a nesting box in a tree in front of them.

Sustainable Schools supports school and preschool teachers and students to develop skills and knowledge to act sustainably.

This year marked the first year of the program. Here are some highlights from the past year that we hope might inspire you to get your school on board!

1. We helped teachers teach about sustainability

Woman pouring a watering can on native grass in a tank at an event display.

We connected with more than 480 school staff across 107 participating schools. We helped teachers and other teaching staff plan and involve students in sustainability projects – from scoping the project, to guiding them on where and how to apply for funding.

We also delivered professional development workshops to build knowledge about the environment with online and face-to-face sessions on topics like how to engage students in growing food and how to encourage action over fear while teaching about climate change.

2. We empowered students to show leadership

Youth Environment Council participants in a group photo with the Youth Environment Council banner.

We delivered 3 programs for 853 students: the Youth Environment Council, Youth Environment Leaders Program and Climate Ready Schools. Here’s a bit about each of them:

Youth Environment Council

Youth Environment Council is a year-long program providing young people with a voice in key environmental issues facing SA, and opportunities to take environmental action in their community.

Last year, 40 students participated to build their public speaking and leadership skills, while working with their mentors and peers on their own sustainability projects, such as making their own sustainable products, litter clean-ups and habitat restoration for native birds.

Youth Environment Leaders Program

Youth Environment Leaders Program is where a group of students in years 5 to 8 are supported in deciding, planning and taking action on an environmental project.

We supported environment groups in schools developing Site Environment Management Plans, and Youth Environment Leader forums were held across 35 schools, with 216 students and 47 educators involved.

Special mention to 6 students at Coromandel Valley Primary School who installed cameras and shelters to monitor and look after local native bandicoots. They won an Oliphant Science Award in their inaugural Citizen Science category, and even got on ABC’s Behind the News TV Show!

Climate Ready Schools Program

Climate Ready Schools runs in term 2 and 3 to challenge students to investigate different topics around climate change and possible solutions.

Last year, 13 schools participated, coming up with their own solutions to different environmental issues and showcasing their projects to the rest of their schools. The program focuses on local issues affecting each school’s area.

A great example is at Endeavour College, where 110 year 7 students and 8 educators showcasing their ideas for the suburb of Salisbury in 2040 and ran a whole-school exhibition called ‘Exhibition for Futures 2040: Local phase’.

Standout ideas included repurposing plastic bag waste, designing a habitat garden for endangered bird species, and edible cookie coffee cups – with plans for a trial at a local café.

3. We delivered school events to build curiosity

Kids on a boardwalk looking into a grassy creek with torches at night.

For participating schools, we delivered tours, workshops and school holiday events – for more than 10,400 participants – to get students connected with nature on their home turf and help them connect with likeminded students from other schools.

Young person's hand holding a small red crab, white piece of stringy seaweed, glossy brown coloured spiral-shaped seashell, shiny blue seashell, what looks like a grey corkscrew-shaped seashell and white piece of coral.

Along with being part of Nature Festival, Science Alive and plenty more community events, one special event we worked on was in collaboration with the City of Salisbury to launch a 6-week video game development course called ‘Game Jam’ for young people aged 8 to 14.

Eight students participated by making video games based on one of 3 scenarios: clean up the Little Para River, grow your own food, or create habitat for butterflies and birds.

Video game screen in 8-bit style with scenario to clean up Little Para River readable on the screen

Get your school involved today!

Does this sound interesting to you or your child? Let your school know they can register for the 2024 Sustainable Schools program by using the quick and easy registration form.

You can find out more on our Sustainable Schools webpage.

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