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Dear colleague,

October offers us a multitude of reasons to think about the environment, and to consider the world and our place in it. For example, did you know that September is Save the Koala month? Below you’ll find some inspiration to create discussion or activities with your students about one of Australia’s national icons.

The calendar for September and October is pretty full, with the UN International Day of Peace, World Rivers Day, Community Safety Month, and the Global Cardboard Challenge all taking place over the coming weeks. See our calendar of events at the bottom of this newsletter for specifics.

Or, if you want to look further afield, World Space Week is only “one small step” away. We’ve compiled some suggested resources to explore space in your classrooms, below.

October is Save the Koala Month

Koalas are arguably one of Australia’s most recognisable animals. Yet despite their appeal to Australians and tourists alike, and efforts to protect native populations, they remain a threatened species under national environmental law.

Opportunities to explore issues such as environmental protection abound in the Australian Curriculum. The Humanities and Social Sciences curriculum points students to investigate the impact of human and natural events on landscapes and populations. Science and Geography offer opportunities to explore the biology of koalas and other vulnerable species as well as considering the importance of environments to animals and people. Environmental campaigns and the media provides rich material for issue-based studies in English and civics and citizenship education looking at how effective lobbying and fund raising are in supporting environmental and fauna causes.


World Space Week: October 4–10

Tap into the wonder and curiosity children have about our solar system and the vast expanses of the universe. Find out about the ways in which scientists have made discoveries and continue to uncover new ideas. For younger children compare what life would be like as an astronaut, in Year 5 students study the solar system, and for older students the concept of light years is always a mind bender!


Suggested Resources

Suggested Resources

Early Years

A day aboard the space shuttle
This NASA video clip compares how students carry out common, everyday activities on Earth with how astronauts aboard the space shuttle manage the same activities in a very different environment. The clip requires a Quicktime plug in and is 4:12 mins long.

Middle Years

Solar system and space exploration
Use this ebook to visit the planets in our solar system. Explore space, check out the size of Mercury and Neptune, seek out life on other planets and walk on the moon!

NASA Astronaut in Space above the Earth

Upper Years

Light takes time to travel through space
Light travels in waves and carries information as it moves from one object to another. In this clip, people are used to represent the Sun, planets and light rays in order to show that light takes time to travel through space bringing information from those objects to us on Earth.

Learning Path - September 2016

Learning Path

What's New in Scootle?
Discover resources to support the implementation of the Digital Technologies curriculum, units of work on sustainable farming practices, a cotton education kit, and a collection from The Conversation on dairy, legumes and pulses.

Koala Song

Watch This

Koala Song
Some people mistakenly call a koala a bear, but it’s not. This fun song from the late 80’s by Don Spencer looks at how a koala might feel about being called a bear. Includes a suggested lesson plan for use in the classroom.

Koala control: points of view

Learning Object

Koala control: points of view
Explore the different opinions about controlling populations of koalas. Interview different people and use sample text to summarise each point of view. Look at the ways language is used to convince an audience or reinforce a position.


Become a more confident teacher of Indigenous studies and students

Improve your teaching by joining a live 60-minute webinar. Learn: how to build confidence and competence in teaching Australian Indigenous studies to all Australian students; how to become more effective teachers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students; what it means to meet Professional Standards 1.4 and 2.4; and how to avoid common mistakes made by teachers and schools.

Respect Relationships Reconciliation logo and Australian Council of Deans of Education logo

Wednesday, Sept 28, 2pm AEST


Upcoming Events

ESA Facebook Events

Conferences ESA is attending

Mark these dates in your calendar

  • September: Save the Koala Month
  • 21 September: UN International Day of Peace
  • 25 Sept-1 Oct: Banned Book Week
  • 25 September: World Rivers Day
  • October: Community Safety Month
  • 1 October: Global Cardboard Challenge

2016 Global Cardboard Challenge

2016 Global Cardboard Challenge Logo

Inspired by Caine's Arcade, the Global Cardboard Challenge is hosted by the Imagination Foundation, and is now in its fifth year. The goal is to celebrate "child creativity and the role communities can play in fostering it". During September, students use cardboard, recycled materials, and their imagination to build whatever they like. On October 1, get your local community together to play with and explore the cardboard creations.


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