Sustainable schools

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our Sustainable Schools excursions, incursions, leadership programs and annual conference have been discontinued.

While our face-to-face programs are not running, we remain committed to supporting local educators and students continue their sustainability journey through a range of online resources.

Free online professional development for teachers

We have partnered with Cool Australia and the Port Phillip EcoCentre to support teachers to access free sustainability-focused PD opportunities. To access your free module, email our Environment team.

Join the Teachers Environment Network (TEN) to access five free professional learning workshops each year as well as a bank of environmental education resources.

Future Learn is offering online courses to develop professional skills and connect with experts in a range of different fields.

The Resilient Educator has shared 10 free online PD courses and webinars for teachers across a range of areas, including media literacy and STEAM.

Nature Play in early learning

Stonnington’s Nature Play Handbook is here!

Nature play is an important element to supporting a full and healthy childhood. It helps to improve all aspects of child development – physical, cognitive, social and emotional - and can grow resilience, self-confidence, initiative, creativity and more.

Nature Play Handbook(PDF, 3MB)

You can also download the State of Nature Play, Outdoor Learning and Bush Kinder in Victoria report.

Follow the Kids in Nature Network Facebook page for information on nature play activities you can do in your ELC, or at home.

Subscribe to our newsletter for information about our upcoming educator PD on the developmental benefits of Nature Play in early years. 

School resources

Join other Stonnington schools on their sustainability journey by becoming a ResourceSmart School and explore free resources for primary and secondary students in the CERES Sustainability Hub.

Compost Revolution offers discounted compost bins, bokashi bins and worm farm to Stonnington residents and schools – encourage your school community to get involved to raise money to develop your school’s garden!

Check out this great collection of clips from Toorak Primary School for kids to get into Sustainability@Home through exploring seed planting, baking and salad-making (primary).

Classroom resources

Cool Australia has a wealth of free, curriculum-linked sustainability lesson and unit plan resources for all subject areas and year levels, including a Student Toolbox digital library available to kids at home to watch videos and documentaries, and view images, articles, stories and news on a range of topics.

The step-by-step backyard geology guide Discover The Fun Of Backyard Geology sets you up to explore and learn from rocks and soils in your own backyard with some simple tools and experiment ideas. 

Check out Zoos Victoria's online offering of webinars, challenges and teacher events - with virtual excursions and other activities coming soon!

TROPICSU has a huge collection of digital climate change teaching tools and lesson resources designed by teachers for teachers across a range of subjects/ages.

Get your students to read, watch and play the at-home National Geographic Society/National Geographic Kids education resources.

The Fact Detectives podcast from Kinderling is a great biodiversity listening and learning resource great for early learning and primary students.

The Roots and Shoots Resource Box is a new free K-6 resource bank focused on caring for our wildlife and natural environment from the Jane Goodall Institute of Australia (JGIA).

Encounter Ed UK has a range of free lesson and unit plans on sustainability topics, including climate, energy and ocean pollution (mid-primary and secondary).

Melbourne Water have a great range of curriculum-aligned, interactive games, treatment plant tours and lesson resources (primary and secondary).


Check out the Institute of Positive Education’s online wellbeing resources available for primary (5-12 years old) and secondary (13-18 years old).

The Kindness Pandemic is showcasing positive moments happening in Australian communities.

Virtual field trips

Stonnington’s Life of the Yarra Audio Tour is the perfect virtual field trip for students to explore local biodiversity along sections of the Yarra River.

Visit the Newy with Kids website to explore Australian virtual tours - from galleries to zoos to national parks.

Take a virtual stroll around the Melbourne Museum and check out their YouTube channel

The Ocean Agency has activities to explore the underwater world with Google Earth.

Visit The Guardian online for virtual tours with David Attenborough including the Great Barrier Reef.

Local sustainability field trip destinations

Find out about some of our amazing local green spaces and explore sustainability, biodiversity, land use change, history and art around Stonnington.

Explore the Glen Iris Wetlands, the Malvern Urban Forest and Herring Island, or take your students on a historical tour along the Yarra River through the Life of the Yarra audio tour. 

Email us to find out about the right space for your students.

Sustainable Schools Alfresco Pen-pal Program

This new program connects Stonnington school students with older, isolated residents living nearby to help them enjoy the beauty of our local natural environment from their home.

Becoming a pen pal is a great opportunity for students to authentically develop their writing and communication skills while learning from home.

Email us to register your interest and receive a letter-writing template, postal instructions and envelopes for your class.

Students can then write and send letters, photos or drawings of their home/school garden or local park.

Our Aged Services team will connect students with older Stonnington residents through the Alfresco network who will write a letter in return.

Please let us know if your students would like to write to a pen pal in another language. We will endeavour to pair them with someone who speaks the same language.

News and current affairs

Sign up to ABC Education weekly newsletters for teaching resources updates, news and competitions. Behind The News (BTN) also had videos and worksheets.

Planet Ark shares positive environmental news stories and actions each week.

Get free access to ‘TIME for Kids’ digital library to support primary school students to navigate and understand the news.

Sign up to TED-ed to access a huge range of interactive, video-based lessons daily.

To learn more please email our Environmental Education Officer or call 8290 1333.