This unit aims to foster the student's interest, knowledge and commitment to caring for the natural world. The unit is undertaken over a week during Term 3; in the first two days students learn about their chosen environment and are then immersed in that environment over a three-day stay. The focus of the week is Water sustainability and this focus continues into Term 4 Geography.
The coast is a battlefront, a line where land, sea and air meet. Australia’s coastline measures more than 30,000 km; so extensive that much is untouched by human foot. Parts of it are lapped by the warm seas of tropical regions and other parts receive winds and sea-swells from the Antarctic. Students learn why the coastline is so important to the land and its people, and look at ways to help protect and preserve it. Students are based at Anglesea.
Forests are the most ancient and the most diverse of our world’s environments. Forests have taken millions of years to evolve and when they are cut down, they cannot be replaced. Yet areas of rainforest the size of a football field are being destroyed every minute. Students explore questions such as why are forests called our planet’s air conditioners? Where are Victoria’s forests and what lives in them? Students are based at Marysville.
Students travel to Philip Island to experience its diverse environment. They are involved in numerous activities, including beach combing, exploring rock pools, visiting the Penguin Parade, the Nobbies and surf beaches. In addition to the major tourist attraction of the Penguin Parade, there is an abundance of wildlife on the island and students have the opportunity to create some field sketches of significant areas.
What is the impact of the mountain environment on people and vice versa? Can we enjoy recreational and educational activities that are commonly associated with the mountain environment, while also thinking about the environment and issues of salinity, water usage, overgrazing, endangered species, logging, fires and tourism? These are just some of the questions and ideas that students consider. This camp is located at Merrijig, just 15 km from the foot of Mount Buller.
Oceans cover 70% of the Earth’s surface. Students learn about how humans depend on the ocean and why we need to care for this precious environment. They explore the coastal areas of South Gippsland where the constant battering of the ocean has created impressive rock pools and cliffs. Students look at the impact of tourism and explore how artists and writers have been inspired by the ocean. They also look at the various local energy sources – wind, coal and solar, as well as exploring the controversial desalination plant. Students are based at Grantville.
Students explore the Mornington Peninsula and experience its diverse landscape. The trip begins at Arthurs Seat with time to admire the view and create a field sketch. Students discover the exciting history of the area, explore the tunnels and stand in the forts that once protected Australia. Students visit the Quarantine station, established in 1852 after a shipwreck and climb the lighthouse at Cape Schanck. Students look at what has been the impact of human use on the area, fauna and flora. Students are based at Merricks.
Students explore the Murray River, experience a paddle steamer cruise and look at the historic Echuca wharf. They study water management issues and visit a weir and discuss the lock navigation system. Students carry out salinity water tests and help address the environmental issue of salinity by participating in tree planting. The is also an opportunity to look at sustainability through a visit to a winery and a wildlife park. Students stay at Camp Curumbene, just south of Echuca.
Students cruise the Barmah Lakes and meet the Park Ranger who explains the importance of wetlands. They also experience the majestic Murray River on a paddle steamer cruise and look at the historic Echuca wharf. Students carry out salinity water tests and help address the environmental issue of salinity by participating in tree planting. The is also an opportunity to look at sustainability through a visit to a winery and a wildlife park. Students stay at Camp Curumbene, just south of Echuca.
Assessment for the Environment Unit is combined with Year 7 Geography. Activities include research, visual art projects in response to the environment, creative writing, map making and scientific observation and experiments. Students maintain a detailed record of their work and are encouraged to reflect upon their learning and their place in the world when they return to school.