A-Z Policy Directory

Environmental Education and Action Policy

Policy

DOCUMENT DETAILS

Document Owner Office of the Director
Approval Date 21 March 2018
Release Date 23 May 2018
Compliance Date 01 February 2019
Review Date 01 December 2021
Updated NA

INTRODUCTION AND CONTEXT

INTRODUCTION

Education Policy in Catholic Education, Diocese of Wollongong (CEDoW) is developed to support the implementation of consistent and comprehensive practices to guide quality Catholic learning and teaching in Diocesan schools.

Education Policy is developed within the context of documents and frameworks. These include:

CONTEXT

Catholic Schools have a missionary and ecclesial mandate that impels them to listen to the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.  We are called to respond to the environmental crisis of the 21st Century by proactively engaging with Pope Francis’ challenge from Laudato Si' for an ecological conversion.  This requires a strategic, planned approach whereby sustainable practices and ecological values are promoted and supported across the system of schools.

This involves schools embedding ecological values into school programs and practices that promote an ecological and sustainable culture that encourages everyone to live out his/her ecological vocation and engage in what Pope Francis describes as the ‘core business’ of caring for our common home.

This Policy has been developed to ensure that schools meet their compliance requirements with the New South Wales Education Standards Authority (NESA) and the Australian Education Act 2013.


1.0   WHOLE SCHOOL PLANNING

sCHOOLS MUST:
1.1 nominate a Wollongong Environment Network (WEN) Contact to support environmental education and action in the school
1.2 ensure that the Wollongong Environment Network (WEN) Contact participates in Diocesan Environmental Education professional learning experiences
1.3 provide opportunities to share professional learning in order to develop the ecological awareness and engagement of all staff
1.4 develop a School Environment Management Plan (SEMP) that is informed by the six areas of the ASSISI Framework: Whole School Planning; Religious Dimension; Learning and Teaching; Ethical Resource Use; Caring for Country; and Community Relationships
1.5 ensure the School Environment Management Plan (SEMP) includes actions that are informed by the Diocesan Environmental Assessment Tool
1.6 develop and implement school-based procedures for environmental practices for waste management and stewardship of resources and grounds
1.7

discern and plan for opportunities to celebrate and engage in Environmental Action Days of Significance

       

2.0   RELIGIOUS DIMENSION

sCHOOLS MUST:
2.1 ensure that the Wollongong Environment Network (WEN) Contact collaborates with the Religious Education Coordinator in relation to environmental celebrations and activities
2.2

ensure that environmental activities are linked to the prayer and liturgical life of the school

2.3 ensure that the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation (1 September) is celebrated through liturgy
2.4

provide opportunities for staff to engage in appropriate formation and professional learning in Catholic Social Teaching principles, eco-spirituality, eco-ethics and the eco-theology of Laudato Si’

       

3.0   LEARNING AND TEACHING 

sCHOOLS MUST:
3.1 provide regular opportunities for students to engage in ecological learning experiences in outdoor settings within the school grounds or other local contexts
       
TEACHERS MUST:
3.2 ensure that learning and teaching programs address the Learning Across the Curriculum aspect of Sustainability of the NESA syllabuses
3.3 ensure that the learning and teaching program incorporates at least one unit of work that explicitly addresses ecological themes in: 
  3.3.1 each Year in K-6
  3.3.2 each course in Years 7-10 
3.4 ensure that ecological activities and practices are authentically linked to syllabus outcomes
       

4.0   ETHICAL RESOURCE USE

sCHOOLS MUST:
4.1 review the ethical use of resources utilising the Diocesan Environmental Assessment Tool  to inform the School Environmental Management Plan (SEMP)
4.2 engage in recycling and endeavour to use recycled products
4.3 utilise the Diocesan Quality Learning Environments Position Paper when establishing or improving any aspects of the school site
       

5.0   CARING FOR COUNTRY 

sCHOOLS MUST:
5.1 utilise the Diocesan Quality Learning Environments Position Paper for the establishment, improvement or maintenance of buildings, grounds and outdoor learning spaces that acknowledge the local biodiversity of the school site 
5.2 ensure that there is a physical acknowledgement of the local Aboriginal land on which the school is situated in recognition of the traditional ownership of the Aboriginal people and their connection to country
5.3 utilise the Diocesan Aboriginal Communities Consultation and Protocols Guide in working with and respecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories, cultures, students and families to inform the design and/or cultivation of grounds 
       

6.0   COMMUNITY RELATIONSHIPS

sCHOOLS MUST:
6.1 foster relationships with the local Aboriginal community that utilise their traditional knowledge and connection to country to support environmental education and initiatives
6.2 engage in local environmental service and advocacy projects and ensure alignment with Catholic Social Teaching 
6.3 provide opportunities to collaborate with parish, parents and community in environmental initiatives and actions
       

Procedure

There are no Diocesan Procedures for this Policy.

Implementation

ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION AND ACTION POLICY IMPLEMENTATION PLAN

POLICY RELEASE 

  • The Environmental Education and Action Policy will be released to Principals at the Principals’/CEO Meeting 23 May 2018
  • Policy implementation workshop will be held on 30 May 2018 as part of a professional learning day for WEN Contacts
    • Personnel will consist of the Wollongong Environmental Network (WEN) Contact and key CEO staff (including members of the Strategic Planning and Policy Team and the SPO: Education Policy)
    • Additional Environmental Education and Action Policy Implementation support will be provided throughout 2018 on an individual school basis as requested
    • Ongoing Policy Communication will be the responsibility of the school Principal or delegate and where appropriate in collaboration with the Education Officer: Special Projects (Beth Riolo)

POLICY IMPLEMENTATION

  • Schools will be expected to be working towards the full implementation of the Environmental Education and Action Policy specified in the Policy during 2018 and 2019
  • Full implementation of all Expectations for Schools and Teachers that are outlined in the Environmental Education and Action Policy will be expected by 1 February 2020
  • Any school that determines they will not be able to implement all Expectations by the 1 February 2020 must contact the SPO: Education Policy
  • Schools’ compliance to the Policy expectations will occur through the Diocesan Compliance processes
  • Additional Compliance processes may be utilised if there are concerns raised about the quality of Environmental Education and Action practices at the School or Catholic Education Diocese of Wollongong (CEDoW)

POLICY MONITORING

  • Education Officer: Special Projects (Beth Riolo) is responsible for providing advice to the SPO: Education Policy of any changes that impact on the Policy expectations.  These requirements include those determined by CEDoW or any changes to Australian or State government legislation that impacts on the Expectations of the Policy.
  • A formal evaluation process of the Environmental Education and Action Policy be conducted in December 2021

POLICY PUBLICATION

  • The Environmental Education and Action Policy will be published on the CEDoW website under Education Policy.  The SPO: Education Policy will be responsible for ensuring the Policy’s version currency and accuracy
  • Schools should contact the SPO: Education Policy for any clarifications regarding Policy
  • Schools should contact the Education Officer: Special Projects (Beth Riolo) for support in the implementation of any aspects of the Policy

LEGISLATION

Australian Education Act 2013
https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/C2015C00112

Education Act (1990), New South Wales
https://www.legislation.nsw.gov.au/~/view/act/1990/8/historical2010-07-01/history

Work Health and Safety Act 2011 No 10
https://www.legislation.nsw.gov.au/#/view/act/2011/10

Laudato Si’ Encyclical Letter http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/encyclicals/documents/papa-francesco_20150524_enciclica-laudato-si.html

RELATED LINKS

NESA Registration Systems and Member Non-government Schools (NSW) Manual

https://educationstandards.nsw.edu.au/wps/portal/nesa/regulation/school-registration/registration-system-and-member-non-government-schools-manual

NESA Australian Professional Standards for Teachers
https://educationstandards.nsw.edu.au/wps/portal/nesa/teacher-accreditation

Australian Professional Standard for Principals
https://www.aitsl.edu.au/tools-resources/resource/australian-professional-standard-for-principa

Diocesan Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Policy
https://www.dow.catholic.edu.au/about-us/policies/aboriginal-and-torres-strait-islander-education-policy/

Diocesan Assessment and Reporting Policy
https://www.dow.catholic.edu.au/about-us/policies/assessment-and-reporting-policy/

Facilities Maintenance for Systemic Schools in the Diocese of Wollongong Operational Policy and Procedures November 2017
http://infopoint.dow.catholic.edu.au/AdmSrv/SPO/Resources/Schools%20Maintenance%20Policy-%20November%202017%20CEDoW.pdf

Safety Wellbeing and Professional Services (SWAPS) Infopoint Site
http://infopoint.dow.catholic.edu.au/HumRes/Safety,WellbeingandProfessionalServices/default.aspx

Quality Learning Environments Position Paper (in development)

Sustainable Schools NSW
https://www.sustainableschoolsnsw.org.au/

SUPPORT MATERIAL

POLICY SELF-ASSESSMENT

The Environmental Education and Action Policy Self Assessment is provided to support schools in their implementation of all Policy expectations.
Environmental Education and Action Policy Self Assesment

POLICY RESOURCES

A range of resources to support the implementation of this Policy is available to schools and teachers via the following webpage.
Wollongong Environment Network