College trail a blooming success

children in gardenCornish College’s Indigenous Plant Trail has been recognised in the 2016 Victoria Schools Garden Awards.

It is in the running for a state award in the Most Engaging Student Garden for Teaching category. The winners will be announced at the end of the month.

The trail was created two years ago as part of the school’s Make a Difference Week, to educate students and others about indigenous people and their culture.

It consists of 16 plants and weaves around the school’s 25ha property at Bangholme, about 30km south-east of Melbourne.

With an emphasis on sustainability, the trail uses existing plants rather than new ones and no pathways were built to create it.

Early Learning Centre, prep and year one students have regular programs which explore and investigate the environment such as Dhumba-dha biik, a weekly year one program where students form strong connections to their land.

A variety of other educational opportunities have also been found for the trail across the grades.

Year 6 students have used it to create original pieces of poetry while year 7 students undertook an aboriginal plant hunt activity, where they were given a plant’s specific indigenous use and the students had to locate and identify the correct plant.

Year 11 biology students used the plant trail as an immersion point for a major assessment task based around the types of plants which could be useful if humans needed to colonise a new planet.

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