School operations

Environmental Sustainability in Schools

Teaching and learning

This domain of environmental sustainability action focuses on actions that may be undertaken by school leadership.

Refer to Case studies and Resources for additional guidance and resources.

Schools may choose to undertake one or more of the following activities:

  • Support the implementation of the Sustainability Cross Curriculum Priority (SCCP)External Link into classroom teaching from F – 10. Ensure that classroom programs are clearly and comprehensively aligned to the SCCP and ensure that coverage is visible in documents that describe classroom programs by year level or learning area/capability, and by unit/lessons. The SCCP provides students the opportunity to learn about environmental sustainability including climate change adaptation and mitigation. Rather than take the place of other learning content, the SCCP is designed to connect to other core learning areas. For example, teachers can make connections to sustainability across literacy by selecting texts about the environment or climate change. Further advice on implementing the SCCPExternal Link is available from the Victorian Curriculum Assessment Authority (VCCA). The VCAA provides a summary of learning about sustainability by curriculum area and a summary of learning about sustainability against curriculum areas and specific content descriptions, organised by level.
  • Foster a connection to place. Connecting teaching and learning to local places and local people can strengthen responses to environmental sustainability issues. This could include varying the location of some teaching activities, including excursions (for example, to local government, along a nearby creek bank) or incursions (for example, Traditional Owners visiting the school).
  • Incorporate environmental and climate justice within the SCCP, including in the value and integration of Koorie perspectives. This includes the recognition that Aboriginal people are climate leaders. Climatic changes impact Caring for Country responsibilities and health and wellbeing. Ideas for incorporating this focus in teaching and learning can be found at Environment Education VictoriaExternal Link .
  • Address evidence of feelings of anxiety and grief in students about climate change and give students opportunities to engage in action to combat these feelings. Your Climate SuperpowersExternal Link , HeadspaceExternal Link and the Australian Psychological SocietyExternal Link has information for young people, parents and other adults about eco-anxiety.
  • Provide teaching and learning opportunities that allow students to explore and develop understandings based on real world contexts that are relevant and tangible. This approach also supports students’ feelings of connectedness and empowerment. Students experience less eco-anxiety when they can make a difference and affect change to improve environmental sustainability in their local environment. A wide range of teaching resources are available in the Resources tab. The Victorian Curriculum F–10 CapabilitiesExternal Link provide opportunities to explore these dimensions.
  • Include vocational education and training (VET) options linked to renewable energy and a clean economy in your senior secondary program. VET enables students to gain practical skills and develop industry-specific knowledge to take climate action in their future careers. For more information refer to VET pathways in schools. To understand the purpose of VET delivered to school students (VDSS), the ways schools may offer VET to school students and how VDSS funding is allocated, refer to Vocational Education and Training Delivered to School Students.
Includes environmental sustainability actions that may be undertaken by school leadership

Reviewed 19 September 2023

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