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1. General information

 
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1.1 Aims of Environmental Education
1.2 Centre's Aims
1.3 Why should schools wish to visit this centre?
1.4 What is the role of the Centre Staff?
1.5 What are the roles and responsibilities of visiting teachers?
1.6 What is the role and responsibility of escorting adults and parents?
1.7 The need for informed consent of parents
1.8 What can the Centre provide?
 

1.1 Aims of environmental education

 
Effective environmental education programs in schools provide all students with the opportunity to acquire:
 
(a) an awareness of, and a concern for the total health of the planet and its people.
 
(b) The knowledge, skills, attitudes and values needed to protect and improve the environment (natural, social and personal).
 
(c) New patterns of behaviour, including both personal lifestyle choices and informed social action that reflect this care (This aim is both a consequence of the previous two and their ultimate purpose).
(P-12 Environmental Education Curriculum Guide, Dept of Ed. 1993)
 
(d) To provide educational experiences:
 
  • that are FUN (and hopefully memorable)
  • that helps you with the work you are doing in your classroom
  • that allows you to enjoy the natural environment - we believe that if you ENJOY the environment then hopefully you will look after the environment
  • that encourages you to understand yourself (your strengths and weaknesses) and help build your self-confidence and self esteem
  • that encourages you to think for yourself and become independent
  • that helps you develop skills that will allow you to camp safely and without harming the environment
  • that helps you know and understand how the natural environment works
 
Most importantly
 
  • that allows you to learn to act in a way, in your everyday life, that will help look after the environment.
 

1.2 Centre's aims

 
(a) To be a base to conduct Environmental activities either at the Centre itself, adjacent areas, or study areas within North Queensland.
 
(b) To provide a wide range of resources-physical and personnel to be used by schools in implementing Environmental Education programs.
 
(c) To provide adequate accommodation and facilities should an overnight camp be necessary.
 
(d) To provide an in-service role for teachers to develop strategies, procedures, and expertise in planning and implementing a field trip.
 
(e) To develop programs which will enable students to achieve the aims of Environmental Education and which complements and supports curriculum materials in the key learning areas.
 
(f) To provide personnel and resources to assist geographically distant schools to implement Environmental Education policies and programs.

1.3 Why should schools wish to visit this centre?  

Teachers should address this question before booking the Centre. Ideally the reason for visiting an Environmental Education Centre should be an integral part of the school Curriculum as practical "hands-on" work for a particular unit of study.
 
It is suggested that teachers do not think of the Centre as "JUST A TRIP" to escape the classroom.
 
Consider which of the following aims best describes your reasons for going to the Centre.
 
(a) To encourage pupils to examine the beliefs, attitudes and values they hold and evaluate the consequences of their behaviour towards the environment.
 
(b) To communicate to pupils, other teachers, administrators and the general public the nature of Environmental Education.
 
(c) To originate, stimulate and/or compliment the development of a school based environmental education program.
 
(d) To provide an information base for knowledge and attitudes about the environmental issues for the pupils, other teachers and parents.
 
(e) To assist groups and individuals to gain a variety of experiences with various types of habitats.
 
(f) To develop in the students and teachers the skills necessary for identifying, studying and attempting to solve environmental problems in their local environment.
 
(g) To encourage the development of a sound environmental ethic.
 
(h) To assist in achieving the outcomes outlined in the Science and HPE syllabi and other key learning areas.
 
If your reasons for using the Centre are not covered by one or more of the above statements, please contact one of the staff members to discuss aims as this may not be the right venue for your excursion.

1.4 What is the role of centre staff?

 
(a)To assist teachers to:
 
    •    organise field experiences and activities;
 
    •    design and implement programmes on specific projects;
 
    •    develop the centre as a resource facility;
 
    •    help teachers organise their own field trip;
 
    •    advise on aspects of environmental education;
 
    •    manage field study areas with a view to safety and pressure of usage;
 
    •    provide in-service to teachers;
 
    •    assist teachers with the development of specific resources.
 
(b)To assist students to develop:
 
    •    environmental awareness by using all their senses to explore the environment and expressing personal feelings through creative activities;
 
    •    understanding of component parts of an ecosystem and how they interact;
 
    •    skills for investigating environmental problems and preparing solutions;
 
    •    some physical skills involved in outdoor recreational pursuits to enhance appreciation of the environment
 
Centre staff will be responsible for the organisation and co-ordination of the day time program in liaison with teachers. The evening activities are the responsibility of the visiting teachers however assistance and advice is available by prior arrangement.

1.5 What are the roles and responsibilities of visiting teachers?

 
Before an excursion:
 
Use our "Quick Fix"​ to help you plan your trip.
 
During Excursion:
 
(a) You should also be aware that whilst the teaching staff of the centre will lead most of the activities, accompanying teachers should take an active role in participating in the activities and managing the group. You may also be required to lead various activities. Some preparation for this may be necessary. You will be completely responsible for your group in the late afternoon, evening and early morning.
 
(b) Be responsible for discipline, organise menus and meals.
 
(c) Administer and record any medication listed on "Administration of Medication" forms and supplied together with the required instructions. In addition, the First Aid Register should be completed if and when necessary.
 
(d) Remember that if you need to go into one of the tents, that you make sure there is more than one student with you.
 
(e) Before leaving the Centre, leave a copy of Administration of Medication and any Accident/Incident report forms with the Principal of the Centre.
 
 
After excursion:
 
(a) Bring class Unit of Work to its conclusion (this centre would appreciate copies of completed Units of Work).
 
(b) Provide some feedback to parents, School Administration and Environmental Education Centre staff.
 
(c) Complete the online Teacher's evaluation form.

1.6 What is the role and responsibilities​ of escorting adults and parents?

 
When planning activities and excursions, teachers should bear in mind the role of the non-teaching adults.
 
(a) Parents can contribute an invaluable role in the success of the camp.
 
(b) Their assistance in helping supervise students during meal preparation, cooking and cleaning, showers, group work and their general conduct cannot be overlooked.
 
(c) However, it should be understood by parents and teachers that asking non-teaching adults to supervise activities, where their legal responsibilities could be questioned at a later date, (eg: swimming) must be avoided.
 
(d) It is also suggested that when organising camps teachers should think very carefully of the number of parents accompanying the school trip.
 
(e) To avoid the problem of "which parent will we take teachers / P&C / staff /school administration should decide upon a policy of selection, of which parents have been informed prior to volunteers being called for.
 
(f) The role of parents should be defined so as not to minimise the learning experience of students, ie: parents are not to inhibit students by performing tasks which are an integral part of the activity (e.g: putting up tents for students or tidying up after them) - refer appendix "Parents Role at Centre".
 
(g) It is important to point out to parents the need to avoid entering students tents.

1.7 The need for informed consent of parents

 
It is responsibility of the classroom teacher to adequately inform parents. We recommend that you use the information from this site to convey to parents information such as:
 
(a) The presence of Environmental Education Centre teacher as well as you during day activities.
 
(b) The First Aid qualifications of Environmental Education Centre teachers (current First Aid Certificates).
 
(c) The presence of a vehicle at all times in case of emergency.
 
(d) The breakdown of costs (transport, catering, Centre charge, cost of activities).
 
(e) The location of Centre and telephone number.
 
(f) When advising parents of the details of your proposed camp, it is essential that they be given full details of the activities to be undertaken by the pupils on the camp. With this specific information, parents are able to make a decision and hopefully give 'informed' consent for their children to attend the camp and participate in the program of activities.
 
All activities undertaken at Environmental Education Centres in Queensland conform to the Education Queensland Health and Safety Policy and Procedures.
 
This centre has documented the information requested (to give informed consent) for each activity offered here at this centre. See here.

1.8 What can the centre provide?

 
The Centre has been developed to cater for a range of programs ranging from half day trips to 5 day residential camps. See Section 3: Programs and Activities and Section 4: Facilities, Information and Guidelines