What is the aim of the Balmain Foreshore Project?
The aim of the Balmain Foreshore Project is an initiative to provide a more specialised program involving more challenge and differentiation to extend and engage students in our Enrichment class. It involves the development of a cross-curriculum unit of work, incorporating critical thinking and focusing on research and hands-on application of research to rehabilitate a section of Balmain foreshore on school grounds. The project has been design in collaboration with the Head Teacher HSIE.
How does the project use Professional Learning Networks?
The project will be facilitated by professional learning of a group of teachers through creating a professional learning network with staff in a number of organisations to draw on expertise and access research to support the development of learning activities, and build teacher capacity. Advice was sought from a range of experts in the initial phase including Jenny Newell, the climate curator from the Australian Museum, Tim Flannery from the Climate Council, and Dr Jenni Mallela from the Australian National University. In addition to making direct professional connections, staff have used social media to learn about related programs and initiatives such as Operation Posidonia, Operation Crayweed and Operation Straw.
How will the project shape teaching and learning?
The project will result in the creation of a specific teaching and learning program for the Stage 5 Enrichment class which focuses on the core subjects of Geography and Science, but draws on expertise developed in various subjects. The project will engage students in practical, hands on learning, create a community connection by involving students in the monitoring and rehabilitation of a local environment, meaningfully engage students with wider political/community discussions and issues, and provide a solutions focus - not focusing only on problems, but how students can bring about positive change and be active citizens.
How will the project address real world issues?
The Balmain Foreshore Project provides opportunities for students to engage in multi-week projects which address environmental issues in our community. The plan of the project is for students in Year 9 and 10 in Geography topics such as Biomes and Environmental Change and Management to engage in a single monitoring and rehabilitation project. Each year group and each year will have the opportunity to choose a focus from issues such as marine pollution, sustainable moorings, seawall panels, IBC aquaponics, seagrass planting, seahorse hotels or cray weed planting.
You may also like to read some related posts:
Balmain Foreshore Project - Trial Activities
Gardening Below the Surface - Operation Posidonia
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Deputy Principal at a Sydney high school. Coordinating author of the Geoactive text book series.