Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne
School Partnership Programs generate opportunities for long term, ongoing learning experiences for schools. Participating students and teachers are able to understand more fully the work of the Royal Botanic Gardens; by developing ongoing relationships with staff and volunteers, using real tools, experiencing real world environmental challenges and finding real solutions.
Applications now open for 2013
Experiences provide effective opportunities for group work, allow time to make seasonal observations, and to observe change over time through becoming aware of the impacts of living and non-living elements.
This approach is significant in planning for a full range of student learning styles and intelligence types (e.g. Howard Gardner's Multiple Intelligence Theory).
Students visit the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne each week and maintain a garden plot in the Ian Potter Foundation Children's Garden.
Visit the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne, the Ian Potter Foundation Children's Garden to see the results of the students' hard work. Watch this space for future opportunities to partner with us to create a sustainable future.
If you are unable to participate in a partnership program you may be interested in attending a Sustainable Gardening education program at a cost of $9.30 per student for a 1hr 45 min program.
For more details refer to Education programs or call (03) 9252 2358 for bookings.
This program provides the opportunity for secondary school students to engage with young children in a garden context. Acting as learning mentors they connect with younger children and make contributions as community members. This program is available in Terms 2 and 4.
- Increase understanding of the environment for secondary students by engaging younger children in environmental education experiences.
- Provide secondary students with real work experience.
- Provide a range of programs for young children visiting the Ian Potter Foundation Children's Garden.
- Positive cross-age and cross-ability interactions.
- Increased understanding of the work that takes place in the students' community.
- Students feel they are making a contribution to their community.
- Increase student participation in decision-making, regarding programs in the Gardens.
Examples of student activities include:
- Students will work closely with teachers, volunteers and horticultural staff.
- Hands on horticultural tasks in the Children's Garden.
- Assisting teacher led groups and supporting special needs groups.
- Students can engage with members of the public, through structured activities they devise.
‘The experience at the IPFCG [Ian Potter Foundation Children's Garden] is a rich and challenging one that has broadened our students' horizons in many respects. There is no doubt that all have taken a real step forward by developing their personal skills in the contexts provided by your programs. For year 9 students it is essential to have community involvement on a practical level. There is no way that we could find an equivalent experience for our students'.
Heather Leviston, Year 9 Co-ordinator, Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School
The program runs throughout the year on Mondays and Tuesdays. Schools visit once a week or once a fortnight for up to 6 months. Sessions are conducted by Ian Potter Foundation Children's Garden volunteers. Schools manage kitchen garden plots in the Ian Potter Foundation Children's Garden.
- Provide students with increased decision-making opportunities.
- Increase understanding of the connections between plants and food.
- Increase understanding of a sustainable and organic kitchen garden.
- Promote appreciation and understanding of the work of the Royal Botanic Gardens by forming working relationships with volunteers and staff.
- Build capacity for students and teachers to develop their own school garden for teaching and learning.
Examples of student activities include:
- Students select what they will grow in the kitchen garden.
- Students will harvest their produce from the kitchen garden to be prepared and shared at school.
- Students prepare the soil, propagate plants, compost, plant, tend and harvest the garden.
‘Vermont South Special School [VSS] is a State run school attended by children with mild intellectual disabilities.
Our partnership with the Children's Garden program is a very valuable part of our schools' program providing a rich experience for the students and exchange of ideas and support for the teachers.
Benefits for our students include:
- Learning through hands on experiences
- Building of confidence, provide and self-esteem
- Development of life-long skills both recreational and vocational
- Social skills in dealing with members of the community
- Opportunity to experience a rich garden environment
For teachers the partnership has:
- Provided valuable enrichment and support for VELS Domains.
Given the opportunity to develop our own Kitchen Garden and have become a Wastewise School with everyone involved in composting and recycling.'
Jan Brown, Science Teacher, VSSS
Applying for a School Partnership
Applications now open for 2013
There is no charge for participation in school partnership programs.
Visits are made of two hour sessions on a weekly or fortnightly basis during the term in which your partnership program is running. This is a guide and programs can be catered to individual school needs.
To apply to participate in these programs, please submit an application addressing the following criteria.
For enquires please email education services or telephone Chris Joy on (03) 9252 2454.
Requested information for school submission:
- Goals for the partnership. These may include desired learning outcomes and experiences.
- What do you think your role would be to ensure the success of this partnership program? This may include a statement about communication methods, reliability, commitment and interest of your staff.
- How do you plan to travel to the RBG? How often and how regularly can you visit? What dates/terms, starting and finishing times do you prefer?
- Describe your group in terms of needs, abilities, interests, age range and participant numbers.
- Demonstrated support of the program from Principal, Teachers, School Officers and Parents.
Previous Partnerships- Learning Stories
Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne and Cranbourne documents at least one of the partnerships operating each semester. The structure we use for documenting this partnership is in a Learning Story format arrived at through collaboration within the Strategic Partnerships Program.
These Learning Stories have been written up with the assistance of the participating school teachers and students and they inform the structure of each of the partnerships. The structure of the reports helps us ensure that tangible and measurable outcomes flow from the collaborative work that is each of the partnerships we enter into.
This collection of Learning Stories represents some of the partnerships we have entered into and will hopefully provide some idea of the scope that we are prepared to address. It is not a complete collection of partnerships that have operated and it does not define the scope we are prepared to embrace. Hopefully schools considering partnerships will be inspired by these stories and those featured will feel proud of their achievements.
- St Therese’s Catholic Primary School (MS Word - 792 kb)
- The University of Melbourne Early Learning Centre and the Royal Botanic Gardens (MS Word - 5.18 mb)
- Moomba Park Primary School (MS Word - 821 kb)
- What can you do with Bamboo? - A shared case study (MS Word - 36 kb)
- The Rare and Threatened Species Education Program - 2008-2010 (MS Word - 830 kb)
- Royal Botanic Gardens & Maroondah Secondary College Case Study (MS Word - 52 kb)
- Planting Stage 2 of the Australian Garden (MS Word - 88 kb)
Last updated 17 Jan 2013