Age Groups: 7-13
Grant Name: 2019 Woolworths Junior Landcare Grants
School: Sunrise Christian School (SA)
Grant Sponsor: Woolworths
“Through the bush tucker garden we created at Sunrise Christian School, we hope that our students have become more aware of how Indigenous people worked and lived on the land. The project, funded by a Woolworths Junior Landcare Grant has helped build respect in our students for the land and Indigenous traditions. We also hope that the bush tucker garden will help our students and teachers to connect back to the land now and not just as something that was done ‘back then’,” said Jayne Howell (Grade 5 Teacher) and Dianne Schmitz (Garden Specialist).
Students at this South Australian school investigated how native plants are more suited to the Australian environment. They then designed how they wanted the garden to look by incorporating Indigenous symbols to convey meaning of the school community and meeting together. They particularly enjoyed learning about some of the native bush tucker plants available including rosella and lilly pilly.
A nature play area was created that showcases a variety of native plants. As native plants are drought tolerant, the school reduced the amount of water needed to sustain the flora in this area. The soil quality was improved in the area before planting by breaking up the clay and distributing gypsum and compost.
Educational Outcomes :
Students investigated the sustainability of native plants and the features that make them better suited to our environment. The students have also enjoyed learning how Indigenous peoples cultivated the land before colonisation and have found the nutritional benefits of consuming bush tucker foods interesting.
As they helped design the garden, it was exciting for them to see their designs go from being on paper, to purchasing plants, to then seeing the plants placed in the garden.
The students will continue to learn about native plants by using the bush tucker in their kitchen lessons. The bush tucker garden is now a valuable resource for enhancing the learning experience when incorporating Indigenous histories and perspectives into our lessons.
“One of the things that we’ve found most positive is the students are genuinely intrigued in native plants, their history, features and uses,” say one of the teachers.