South Australian school's EcoClassroom embodies 'learning by doing'
Catering to students from Prep to Year 12, Tatachilla Lutheran College maintains its own 2.4 hectare EcoClassroom. Modelled on pre-European flora and fauna and including seven different ecosystems, it forms the context and basis for many curriculum subjects across all year levels.
Science students classify and audit native flora and fauna. Geography students utilise a weather station for soil monitoring and atmospheric change. Society and environment students study human impact. Photography students document insects and plants. Indigenous studies students have built an Indigenous interpretive trail through the EcoClassroom and middle years students conduct bush food tours alongside the area's Kaurna traditional owners.
The college also has a 4.5 megalitre water retention pond which is used by Year 9 mathematics students to estimate rainwater and stormwater collection and to calculate the catchment for the pond. Embedding sustainability across the curriculum using this hands on approach in a natural environment improves learning outcomes and promotes a caring and responsible attitude towards environmental stewardship.