By Jacqueline Kelly, Year 3 Teacher, Junior School
Recently, Trinity Grammar School students from Year 3 in the Junior School embarked on an excursion to the Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney. The visit was aimed at supporting learning as part of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme (PYP) unit of Inquiry, “How the world works.” Students and teachers were very excited to take part in the hands-on experience combining horticulture and art.
The view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House provided a breathtaking backdrop for the boys to draw and sketch various plants and flowers from the Royal Botanic Garden. With the art teacher’s artistic eye looking over the boys’ shoulders, they were instructed on how to piece together a canvas of sketches of plants in the gardens and the city skyline to create cohesion between the two elements.
As we walked through the garden we found many plants to see and sketch, from Australian natives to the remarkable Australian fig trees. The boys were able to recouperate in the cool fernery after wandering the garden – they marvelled at the 200 species on display. A popular section was the succulent garden where boys chose a variety of cacti to sketch.
After lunch, the boys participated in a series of activities led by the Learning Centre at the Royal Botanic Garden. These highly interactive lessons are designed to educate the boys about sustainable gardening and how they can practice it, from sowing seeds to composting and keeping a worm farm. The boys participated in gardening activities such as preparing, planting and mulching a garden bed.
The boys also learned about conservation and how it can reduce the need for water in gardens, by using recycled matter and sustainable practices. They participated in games to look at creative options for items that can be reused.
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