Swarovski Waterschool Australia: The Nature School in Port Macquarie
2023 Participating School – The Nature School in Port Macquarie, NSW
After successfully establishing The Nature School Primary, in 2023 The Nature School launched its innovative educational model for Secondary students, which prioritises experiential learning through nature and promotes sustainability. The School's curriculum is integrated and designed conceptually, with each term focusing on a particular topic. The first term focused on fresh water, connecting the Swarovski Waterschool Australia program with the NSW Syllabus, under the guidance of experienced Year 7 teachers, Kellie Hall and Lloyd Godson. To deepen their understanding, students engaged in a variety of Field Studies activities, including sensory mapping at local water sites, comparing the role of water in different communities, and interacting with Council experts at working sites in the urban water cycle. They also delved (literally!) into the importance of mangrove environments, capturing footage and creating documentaries to highlight their significance for local species and global biodiversity.
Furthermore, students conducted waterbug surveys in a nearby rainforest to assess the health of a freshwater habitat, developing hypotheses based on their initial guided waterway and habitat assessment. They collected waterbug samples, represented data, and drew conclusions to deepen their understanding of the water cycle. In addition to field-based work, students also explored the distribution and scarcity of water, discovered the water footprint of everyday items, and learned about water purification methods, harvesting techniques, and digital technologies for water conservation.
The Nature School's approach to education fosters students' holistic development and prepares them to become environmentally conscious citizens. By connecting with nature on Field Studies days and applying their knowledge and skills to real-world challenges, students gain a deep appreciation for the world around them and a sense of responsibility towards its sustainable future.
The school Principal and student representatives from The Nature School attended the Swarovski Waterschool Australia Flagship Event as an audience group in October 2022. This year, 2 teachers and 20 students from Year 7 will participate in the full Swarovski Waterschool program for 2023.