Oxley Park Public School using their kitchen garden to help students take control of their nutritional needs

This week, as part of our series shining a spotlight on our amazing school partners, we celebrate Oxley Park Public School who participated in the inaugural Penrith Lakes Environmental Education Centre  Kitchen Gardens program and hosted its celebration event.

The program aims to develop student educational and life skills. Eleven schools are participating and students spend one hour a week in the garden and one hour a week in the kitchen. Branimir Lazendic is principal of The Penrith Lakes Environmental Education Centre.

“I’m always looking out for inquiry-based, real-world projects for kids to do and with Kitchen Gardens the students are involved with growing their own produce, harvesting it, preparing it and sharing it. Kitchen Gardens allows students to work collaboratively as part of a group, to think critically and creatively, to contribute effectively to society and to look after their own well-being. Without well-being you can’t have learning in the first place.” Branimir Lazendic principal of The Penrith Lakes Environmental Education Centre.

Cassandra Lindsay is a teacher at Oxley Public School and has developed the fully functional garden, which provides a range of fresh organic produce to students and local families.

Teacher Cassandra Lindsay talks about the Kitchen Garden Program at Oxely Public School

Cassandra also runs the Garden Club five days per week at lunchtime where all students who are interested can learn the skills of growing and caring of fruits and vegetables.

“My passion for school gardens began long before I actually became a teacher.  As a child I would spend time with my grandparents helping them tend to their backyard vegetable garden and in high school I took agriculture as an elective and spent all of my lunchtimes in the ag plot.  When I started teaching at Oxley Park Public School it was evident many of our students had not had the opportunity to grow food, or even had any understanding of the process it takes to actually have vegetables on the dinner table. Enabling students to produce food in an organic low cost manner is empowering as a teacher.  Every day I can give a child an opportunity to experience growing of food, gives every child another chance to a healthier future.”

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Wow, with that passion we can’t wait to see what Oxley Park Public School will bring to their Kreative Koalas project, especially with Cassandra at the helm. She has already instigated environmental changes in the school with initiatives such as nude food days, improving paper recycling and recycling plastic bottles, and believes Kreative Koalas will further fuel the school and community’s war on waste.

“Our vision is to create a plastic free canteen and school environment. I want to empower our students to have a voice to make a change, be the voice of their community and spread awareness amongst the school community.  This project is also an opportunity for our students to make real changes and share their story through a mix of artwork and digital media.”

Oxley Park Public School will definitely be a school to keep an eye on in this year’s Kreative Koalas.

Mega shoutout to our Kreative Koalas supporting partners Hunter Local Land Services and Holcim Australia – we couldn’t do it without you

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shining the spotlight on – Raymond Terrace Public School

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Kreative Koalas – Design a Bright Future launch at Tocal College in the Hunter

At Picture You in Agriculture we are big fans of the Charles Darwin quote

“In the long history of humankind those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.”

We believe the key to success is collaboration, building communities of practice of organisations and people who share our vision, where we can engage with others, learn from others, share others success and amplify their voices. Collaboration TXT

In 2019 we will be Shining the Spotlight on our collaborating partners in education.

Leading the charge is Raymond Terrace Public School

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After joining the Picture You in Agriculture family in 2018 through their participation in The Archibull Prize, Raymond Terrace Public School is back.

In 2019 they will be part of the Kreative Koalas experience as they delve into culture and koalas around Port Stephens.

Teacher Bernadette van de Wijgaart will be leading 30 students from the Aboriginal Girls Group (Stages 2 and 3) in the program and is looking forward to once again diving deep into project-based learning.

“As a creative teacher with a visual arts background, I seek opportunities to involve our students in projects which I know will allow them to grow academically but also provide them with skill sets which will assist them in future years and employment. Working collaboratively and investigating issues before developing creative platforms to deliver outcomes is hugely important for our students. The Kreative Koalas project offers the ideal project-based learning platform for our students to develop these strengths.”  Bernadette says.

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Students from Raymond Terrace Public School at Hunter Launch of Kreative Koalas

Raymond Terrace Public School has 400 students, many who identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and the school has developed cultural groups and programs to meet the needs of these students and their families.

“Port Stephens is the traditional home of the Worimi People. We have strong connections with local elders and the external learning facility known as Murrook Cultural Centre and we were seeking to develop a creative project whose direction/development can be specifically governed by our Aboriginal Girls Group, under the guidance of ‘Aunty Frankie’ and our Aboriginal team.” Bernadette says.

The Kreative Koala project fulfils the needs of this group by allowing them to respond to the sustainable management of the Worimi lands (particularly the expansive coastal stretch of Buribi Beach – Port Stephens, which is under the ownership/management of the Worimi People). Our Aboriginal students are developing their understanding of the relationship, history and custodianship they inherit of their lands and the responsibility to protect and manage the environment.”

As well as connecting to their cultural background students are looking forward to investigating the decline of the koala population in what was once known as the New South Wales koala capital.

 

“Through this program our students will increase their knowledge of the effects that urban changes have had on the natural environment and investigate sustainable outcomes, and they will also make a statement piece to communicate the situation they are inheriting.” Bernadette says.

Raymond Terrace Public School understands the benefits of participating in high-calibre programs such as The Archibull Prize and Kreative Koalas – external partnerships, life-long learnings, skill sets for the future – and as Bernadette says:

“Knowing that it is supported by Lynne Strong and her team…we simply MUST be a part of this initiative!”

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Mega shoutout to our Kreative Koalas supporting partners Hunter Local Land Services and Holcim Australia – we couldn’t do it without you