BMG 2021 Grammarian Issue 3

6 STAUGHTON VALE PROGRAM Maddingley students showed great resilience in 2021, adapting to the changeable learning environment of the Staughton Vale program. Participating in a range of farm, online, backyardandschool experiences, studentsexpanded their knowledge of the natural environment, the importance of healthy ecosystems and living sustainably. They developed problem solving, interpretation, investigation, observation, monitoring and collaborative skills. Some of the unique experiences included: • being citizen scientists, collecting data on bird life in their own backyards to develop a deeper understanding of the biodiversity, habitats and species that occupy the area around them. This flowed into scientific drawing and using objects from nature to create an artful representation of an animal (art in nature). • working collaboratively in small groups to design and present an interpretive sign for a location on the Staughton Vale property that connected people to place, for example, highlighting the importance of pollination in the orchards to produce fruit. • visiting Serendip Sanctuary to learn about the diversity of plants and animals in grassland and wetland habitats of the Western Plains, engage with indigenous animals, learn how living things adapt to survive in their natural environment and how we can protect them. • discovering the culture of Wadawurrung people, the traditional owners of the You Yangs area, through an interactive Zoom presentation by Ranger Ebonee, and project work. • participating in a Masterchef challenge and learning to identify different herbs and vegetables growing in the Staughton Vale garden and harvesting produce to create a delicious topped baked potato. • participating in a team Escape Room Challenge ‘Escaping from Climate Disaster’, learning about human induced climate change and what we can do to prevent irreversible damage.