Macarthur SEED Network

Are you passionate about sustainability and the environment in your school? Join the Macarthur Sustainability and Environmental EDucators (SEED) Network. 

The Macarthur SEED Network is a joint initiative between Camden, Campbelltown and Wollondilly Councils together with Camden Park and Wooglemai Environmental Education Centres (EEC). The network is a forum for sustainability educators of the Macarthur region to connect, share knowledge, resources, opportunities and inspire others. 

The network is open to educators from all government and non-government primary and secondary schools, in the Camden, Campbelltown and Wollondilly local government areas. 

The Macarthur SEED Network provides:

  • Peer-to-peer learning among sustainability educators in the Macarthur region;
  • Ongoing network meetings to connect, share skills and learning resources (see details below for next meeting);
  • A link between Council and schools; and
  • Email updates connecting schools to environmental programs and local activities.

Next Network Meeting

Date:

Term 3 - Thursday 11 August 2022 | 4:00-5:00 pm

Term 4 - Thursday 3 November 2022 | 4:00-5:00 pm

Location: Online - MS Teams
Price: FREE
Register: https://bit.ly/3z2Qbtf 

We invite primary and high school educators of the Macarthur region to join us for the Term 3 and Term 4 Macarthur SEED Network meetings.

Dates don’t work? Subscribe to the Macarthur SEED Network to be updated on future meetings.

 

School Resources

Biodiversity

  • The Aussie Backyard Bird Count aims to engage school communities in the natural world whilst getting to know the birds in your local schoolyard. This simple, fun, all-ages activity can be done anywhere and allows students to become citizen scientists, gain scientific skills and learn about topics such a life cycles and adaptions. You can get your school involved or take up a lesson plan directed towards young children or students in Stage 3.
  • The Camden Native Garden Guide will guide you through how to improve existing biodiversity in your school garden, or to design a native garden from scratch. Improving native vegetation is important for the health of our environment and provides habitat for our native plants and animals, including threatened species. Your schools native garden can act as a biodiversity corridor or ‘stepping stone’ to allow wildlife to move between patches of existing bushland.
  • The Connect with Nature video series was made in partnership with Penrith City Council to explore the unique plants and animals of Western Sydney that are found in the endangered Cumberland Plain Woodland and Nepean River corridor. It teaches students about the unique surrounding environment and explores ways in which they can get more involved with nature. The videos cover backyard/nature safaris and habitat gardens, and the supplementary activities include building bird baths, lizard logs, frog hotels and herb gardens.
  • FrogID is an app that aims to establish a nation-wide database of frogs around Australia. The citizen science monitoring helps researchers and the Australian Museum with understanding frog distributions and how their ecosystems are responding to a changing planet. There are also many classroom resources on offer including how to make a frog pond, activity sheets and education kits. You can also create a Class Group and try and get your school to the top of the leader board!
  • Schools Tree Day is a great opportunity to inspire and educate future generations on the many benefits of trees and connection with nature while playing an active role in their community. There are a variety of activities on offer including bush tucker gardens, habitat for native wildlife, nature play and an annual school competition. Schools Tree Day also has a Schools how-to guide that has activities, event ideas and lesson plans.
  • Streamwatch is a citizen science water monitoring program that enables community and school groups to monitor the quality and health of local waterways. The data collected through this Greater Sydney Landcare Network program is added to the NSW Government’s Sharing and Enabling Environmental Data (SEED) portal and adds to the dataset that is over 30 years old.
  • Waterway Walks, by Camden Council, are self-guided walks around the waterways:
    • Kolombo Creek, Oran Park;
    • Narellan Creek, Harrington Park; and
    • Narellan Creek, Mount Annan.

The guides and signs provide a variety of information about the natural and constructed features that help keep our creeks clean and healthy. All paths are wheelchair, pram and stroller friendly with points of interest captured in easy to find signage along the way. You can also download the Waterway Walk Bingo cards to make the walks even more engaging for your students.

  • The Wheen Bee Foundation are bee specialists in science, education and bee awareness and offer a science based program to address core school curriculum. They also provide activities on bees and pollinators including building a native bee hotel, growing gardens for bees or sustainability. The aim of this program is to provide safe havens for bees and other pollinators and contribute to national pollinator pathways. 

Climate Change

  • ClimateClever enables schools to reduce their carbon footprint, save money on bills and fits right into the curriculum. There is also the option to offset emissions and make your school carbon neutral!
  • Earth Hour provides a variety of different initiatives for your school including the Earth Hour Schools Competition, the Earth Hour Film Festival, lesson plans and resources, and a professional development course for teachers.
  • Earth Watch Australia has developed an app called ClimateWatch to help citizen science data be accessible to climate change scientists. The app helps every day Australians record rainfall, temperature and impacts to flora and fauna to monitor the changes that are occurring to flowering times, breeding cycles and other plant and animal cycles across the continent. Earth Watch Australia also has a large range of resources for teachers and students including student scholarships and professional development for teachers.
  • Switched on Schools provide workshops, training and leadership programs for high schools across Australia. These programs use a peer-to-peer approach to help students learn more about climate change, understand sustainability and build skills in change-making. The Australian Youth Climate Coalition (AYCC) is Australia’s largest youth-run organisation and aims to educate, inspire, empower and mobilise young people to create change within their schools and communities. They also offer educational workshops and live speakers that can come into schools.
  • This Changes Everything is a book and a film that is supported by a free study guide and lesson plans. The content is targeted towards students in grade 9-12 and looks critically at the idea of how our economic system’s push for continual growth impacts the environment and quality of life for all people.

Gardening

  • Camden Council also offers free composting and wormfarming workshops to local schools of the Camden LGA through the Macarthur Centre for Sustainable Living (MCSL). MCSL deliver the workshop in your school and once you have completed the workshop your school will receive a free wormfarm or compost bin so you can reduce even more waste.
  • Edible Garden Trail is a website that provides tips, tricks and links to get your school’s garden going. They provide all the information and resources needed to get started, including a list of factors to consider such as budget and funding, timeline, maintenance, parent involvement, curriculum and lesson planning, and school holidays.
  • Cooling the Schools is a Greening Australia initiative that works with schools to add thousands of plants to community spaces and schools across Greater Sydney. As students learn about and connect with nature, they also cool their local neighbourhoods by increasing canopy cover and creating habitat for plants and animals. The school planting day comes with a curriculum-linked lesson that is delivered by Greening Australia education and field staff.
  • Take Me Outside NSW aims to get kids across NSW playing and learning outdoors, connecting with nature and gaining knowledge about their environment through hands-on projects. These projects can be on school grounds, a local park, bushland reserve, creek or river and provides connections to local supporters, resources, inspiration, competitions and more. By registering your project, you can receive free support all year long. 

Resource Efficiency

  • Camden Council offers Save Power Kits at Camden or Narellan Library to borrow for free. These kits can show you and your students what appliances are using the most electricity and inspire ideas on how to save energy and reduce your impact on the environment.
  • Electric Kids is an Endeavour Energy program designed to raise awareness of hazards associated with electricity and help teachers meet the Science and Technology and PDHPE syllabus outcomes for years K-6. By registering for Electricity Safety Week, you can receive a free resource and prize pack.
  • Reverse Garbage is a creative reuse centre started by educators who specialise in sustainability education and reuse. They offer incursions and excursions for all year groups through their qualified and highly experienced, passionate educators. They also offer a range of materials for classroom activities and professional development for educators.
  • Solar Schools makes it easy and exciting to teach students about energy efficiency. You can use your own school’s energy data to bring this program to life! The curriculum-aligned lessons and learning experiences are offered for primary and secondary school students, where the live data helps lead to actionable insights.
  • Sydney Water has an abundance of resources for primary, secondary and tertiary schools. They provide videos, animations, lesson plans and much more on water-related topics such as drinking water, wastewater and recycling, and water management. Sydney Water also offers technical tours and syllabus-linked school excursions.

Social, Cultural and Heritage

  • The Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) offers curriculum resources for teachers to use in classrooms, develops material to link their resources and collection to the curriculum and creates a platform to ensure credible existing resources are shared. AIATSIS has an educational series and book that explores the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories, peoples and cultures. First Fighters, a new curriculum resource recognises the impact of Indigenous warriors and soldiers.

  • Found a Fossil is a website that supports people to learn more about the fossils or artefacts they may come across. The Macquarie University researchers aim to understand what Australians think about fossils and artefacts, set guidelines for heritage finds and who to contact, and create conversations about Australian heritage, appreciation and protection of heritage material.

Sustainability in Schools

  • Cool Australia creates evidence-based, curriculum-aligned education resources that help teachers and parents weave real-world issues through the theory students need to know. Education specialists design and develop lesson plans and online courses to relevant year levels, learning areas, general capabilities and cross-curriculum priorities. They offer a wide range of resources for educators, students, parents and professional development.
  • Eco-Schools is a world-wide organisation which encourages young people to engage in their environment by allowing them the opportunity to actively protect it. The program is an ideal way for schools to make a meaningful impact on the school and local community whilst positively impacting young people, their families, school staff and local authorities. By joining the program, you can access a range of tools and resources, including less plans, online tools and content, and apply for internationally recognised accreditation.
  • Genus is a new way for young people to save the planet. The platform blends online fun with real-world missions and empowers the next generation to build a brighter, more sustainable future. For 2022, Genus is free to all schools.

Waste

  • Camden Council provides waste services, education programs and resources to help schools become waste minimised. Council also offers and supports a diversity of waste education services and resources for its local schools including waste incursions to schools, composting and wormfarming workshop, recycling bind for Return & Earn, waste resources and school waste audit.
  • Cleanaway offers comprehensive waste education school programs that complement national and state syllabuses. They work with teachers, educational institutions and local councils to deliver interactive and engaging sustainability education sessions to students of all ages and schools. These include interactive activities, videos, polls, Q&A’s and quizzes through their Waste Warriors Webinar.
  • EnviroMentors is Keep Australia Beautiful’s incursion-based environmental education program. They provide education services to improve community awareness and engagement on local sustainability issues and initiatives, with workshops tailored to students in preschool through to year 6.
  • Planet Ark runs The Schools Recycle Right Challenge and offers a variety of activities, lesson plans and event ideas all based around recycling for Australian Schools. The resources provided can help you plan for your school’s National Recycling Week activities.
  • Return and Earn has partnered with the Australian Association for Environmental Education NSW to deliver free teaching resources for Early Learning through to Stage 5. These curriculum-linked resources provide practical ways for teachers to engage students on sustainability and recycling and support their school’s participation in the Return and Earn container deposit scheme.