A new program to support teachers in educating students about the journey of organic food from farm to the home, and the value of sustainable food production, is now available to Australian schools.
Launched in November 2020 by the organic industry’s peak body, Australian Organic Limited (AOL), the Australian Curriculum-aligned Australian Organic Schools Program provides comprehensive learning resources to help Prep to Year 10 students understand the importance of organic principles and practices.
AOL Education and Research Officer, Amy Stewart, who has a background in agricultural science and teaching, has drawn upon more than seven years of experience as an educator to create the ‘back to basics’ learning Program.
“As the demand for organic produce in Australia continues to rapidly grow, we want to provide students and educators with resources to learn more about organic principles and practices,” Mrs Stewart said.
“This Program offers a grassroots understanding of what happens to your food as it moves from the farm to your table.”
Mrs Stewart has been aware of agricultural production systems since childhood, having grown up on a small farm near Warwick in southern Queensland.
“We now have a far better understanding of what constitutes sustainable food production, and I believe that is organic,” she said.
“We need the next generation to be more aware of what organic represents and why we should be looking for certified organic products or produce.”
The Australian Organic Schools Program which was originally created 14 years ago has had a complete overhaul. It now boasts the most up to date organic industry information and is Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority aligned. The Program has been written to be flexibly integrated into existing curriculums with complete lesson plans, referenced and resourced activities, practicals and more.
With a STEM focus, the Program’s three units aim to highlight the value of the certified organic industry.
“The Program covers a wide variety of current discussion topics such as why choosing organic can be better for you and the environment, why soil health is important and how organic practices contribute to sustainable living in Australia,” Mrs Stewart said.
“There’s so much exciting information about organic food production to learn, which will help to assist students to become more engaged with where their food comes from and how it is produced,” Mrs Stewart said.
All resources are free to download and are fully researched and referenced with the most current industry information.
“It’s an incredibly comprehensive Program that includes scaled worksheets, experiments and assessment opportunities,” Mrs Stewart said.
“Educators can download the Program for free from the Australian Organic Schools website, which includes everything they need. I know lesson planning is time-consuming, so I made sure the Program is a one-stop shop. I want teachers to know that the Program is fully resourced and ready for them to use.”
Learn more about the Australian Organic Schools Program at organicschools.com.au