Whole school approach

Culture, Curriculum and Campus: explore our framework for a whole school approach to sustainability


Becoming a sustainable school is a journey. Each school will follow their own path and find solutions that suit their situation.

Becoming a sustainable school is about making a community commitment to integrate sustainability principles and practises across the whole school.

For decades, research has supported a whole school approach to sustainability, as a framework to systematically address the complexity of education for sustainability and achieve long term behaviour and organisational change. There are many different frameworks and definitions for understanding a whole school approach to sustainability.

At Sustainable Schools NSW we consider a whole school approach to sustainability that involve three key elements: Culture, Curriculum and Campus.


Whole school approach to sustainability

Sustainability is a core part of school leadership, planning, decision-making and resource allocation. 

Sustainability education professional development is included for teachers, school executive and staff.  

The school community engages in mutually beneficial partnerships and networks contributing to local, national and global environmental and cultural initiatives and citizenship. 

School sustainability outcomes are celebrated and shared within the school and wider community. 

Sustainability is a cross-curriculum priority.

Learning is taken outside and builds a student’s connection to place.

Students are connected to Country and celebrate and share cultural knowledge.

Student-centred learning approaches are used to support critical thinking and action-based learning for the environment.

Operations, grounds and infrastructure are monitored to establish and meet resource efficiency and sustainability targets

Operations integrate the principals of Ecological Sustainable Development (ESD) and the Triple Bottom Line (TBL).

Grounds and infrastructure design, planning and management enhance environmental and educational outcomes.