To celebrate World Environment Day on Monday, 5 June, over 60 students in Year 1 at Matthew Flinders Anglican College’s Primary School on the Sunshine Coast are delighted to be playing a role in caring for the environment.
Last week, the students planted native grass and flowering plants in the Outdoor Classroom to help prevent erosion in the creek bed and feed wildlife, such as birds and native bees.
Students planted under the expert guidance of Mr Trevor Morrison, Community Engagement and Education Officer at ECOllaborations, a Sunshine Coast company who deliver environmental sustainability projects and educate students and community groups about how to be socially responsible and show respect for the environment.
The planting day was the culmination of the students’ I-care academic learning unit studied throughout Term 2.
I-care and i-Impact are bespoke curriculum programs at Flinders Primary School which empower students to use design thinking to empathise, ideate and prototype innovative solutions to cultural, social and environmental issues.
The Year 1 students were challenged to investigate the Outdoor Classroom and surrounding environment, including the creek that runs through the area, to consider the effect of flooding over the past two years.
Flinders’ Year 1 Teacher Mrs Sally Avakian said, “Students discovered the creek bank needed protecting from erosion and agreed they wanted to care for this area.
“They learned that native grasses and plants with strong root systems would help combat this problem,” she said.
“Trevor from ECOllaborations visited to guide the students through the planting project and explore the impacts of soil regeneration to support the natural environment.
“As custodians of the Outdoor Classroom learning area, the Year 1s are looking forward to caring for this space and seeing the impact of these native plants.”
Trevor said, “The students at Flinders are wonderful young custodians of the environment and share an enthusiasm for protecting their local creek.
“I was very impressed with the range of existing knowledge about plants and root systems and they put this into action with such a positive spirit,” he said.
“The students were eager to show me that they could safely take out a plant and put it into the soil without damaging the roots.
“Hopefully, they will get to see their young plants grow into mature trees during their schooling at Flinders, symbolising their own learning journey as they get older too.”
What the students say:
Some of our Year 1 students shared their learnings from the planting day:
"I feel I'm helping our Earth and getting us more oxygen for the future. We are protecting our creek from floods when the water gets in the soil and washes away." - Sreemanth
"I felt happy doing the planting because it will help stop the creek from flooding and the roots will stop erosion" - Grace
"Trevor taught us how to gently pull the plants out of the pots because we didn't want the roots to break. They are important." - Rachel
Learning in the Flinders Primary School
Flinders’ I-care and i-Impact programs encourage a spirit of entrepreneurialism and social justice so that students can make a positive impact in the world.
Through these projects, students build their character and are involved in experiential learning.
This approach supports Flinders' commitment as a Round Square school.
Round Square schools are an international network of 230 like-minded schools who commit to learning through six IDEALS – International Understanding, Democracy, Environmental Stewardship, Adventure, Leadership and Service.
To learn more about learning in the Flinders Primary School, go to https://www.mfac.edu.au/learning/primary-school/
To learn more about World Environment Day, visit https://www.worldenvironmentday.global/