Friday, March 21, 2014

Launch of Proposal!

Proposal to CEDP System Leadership Team

The 2014 implementation of the national curriculum through the NSW Board of Studies syllabi (English, History, Mathematics and Science  - Yrs 7 and 9; English K- 6) sees three cross curriculum priorities providing the potential for enhancing the breadth and depth of students’ learning in ways that have not systematically occurred in recent times.  One of these priorities, Sustainability, offers teachers and students exciting opportunities to
“…develop the knowledge, skills, values and world views necessary for them to act in ways that contribute to more sustainable patterns of living...The Sustainability priority is futures-oriented, focusing on protecting environments and creating a more ecologically and socially just world through informed action.”1
A real strength of the national curriculum naming this priority is that teachers and students can engage in learning about sustainability formally through the curriculum in all KLA areas instead of it being left to chance in one or two KLAs or through extra curricular activities.

Authentically responding to this priority also provides teachers and students with opportunities to discuss, reflect and act on the messages Pope Francis has conveyed to us about our stewardship of environmental and human ecology. In a speech broadcast earlier this year Pope Francis reminded us
“…When we talk about the environment, about creation, my thoughts turn to …  the Book of Genesis, which states that God placed man and woman on earth to cultivate and care for it (cf. 2:15).  And the question comes to my mind: What does cultivating and caring for the earth mean?  Are we truly cultivating and caring for creation?  Or are we exploiting & neglecting it? And he concluded the broadcast with, “So I would like us all to make a serious commitment to respect and protect creation, to be attentive to every person, to counter the culture of waste and disposable, to promote a culture of solidarity and of encounter.”2

We request the diocesan System Leadership Team endorses an annual initiative whereby schools are encouraged and supported to respond to a sustainability issue. It would be an issue experienced by the school or the local community, by participation in the following project:

                          How can our school or local community demonstrate greater stewardship of
                                                         ………………………?   (name the resource*) 
*Resources – Water, Energy, Food, Recyclable Rubbish, Natural Environment, Transport etc.)

If approved the Executive Director would issue an invitation to our diocesan Early Learning Centres, Primary and Secondary schools to develop a project that responds to a sustainability issue is of concern to their school or local community.

The project would include:
·     Compiling a situational analysis and  developing and implementing some solutions or series of actions that demonstrate greater stewardship of their nominated sustainability issue.
Schools would be encouraged to use the PBL or CBL project processes and submit a project report documenting what they have done, the results of implementing one or several of their solutions and how the actions are sustainable as well as showing its links to one or more KLA curriculum areas.

Each year, at a pre-determined date, a panel of teachers and system personnel together with a few community members would evaluate the submitted project reports and make recommendations to the Executive Director and Head of System Learning about which schools should be acknowledged with the
·         3 x Executive Director Sustainability and Stewardship Awards for Early Learning Centres, Primary schools and Secondary schools.  ($1000 each and other schools in each category receiving Highly Commended Awards.

Each school that has submitted a report would have it published on a site within OSCAR (or another suitable forum) with the winning schools report published in UPDATE.  The Sustainability PLC would make recommendations about which projects could be submitted to the national /international community forums that showcase school /community sustainability initiatives.

Members of the diocesan Sustainability PLC would use their meetings to identify and provide resource lists and advice where possible to teachers and students willing to be involved.

The 16th gathering of the Parramatta Learning Community for Sustainability saw the above proposal launched and the race is now on for educators to prepare a sustainable project, suited to their school's environment in an attempt to win an award of $1000 or a High Recommendation ...  
'From Little Things Big Things Grow'

Saturday, March 1, 2014

The Garden is alive with Language!

"Now it's on"

The garden at St Bernadette's Primary Lalor Park, provides plenty of opportunities for Kindergarten students to learn Prepositions and when the letter of the day is 'L' it is also a good time to think about vegetables which start with the letter 'L'?

"Now it's off"

"Is that Lettuce behind me?"