Education for Sustainability

Education for Sustainability is about (pre)schools working with the community to develop the knowledge, skills, values and behaviours to lead sustainable lifestyles.

We have links to information and resources to help your school or early learning site use an Education for Sustainability approach. We also have case studies of what other (pre)schools have achieved to inspire you!


An Education for Sustainability approach

NRM Education utilises the South Australian Sustainable Schools Initiative (AuSSI- SA) model, rubrics and core indicators to implement Education for Sustainability with schools and preschools.

The model illustrates five interwoven elements that make up an Education for Sustainability approach.

  1. Culture – Our site develops a culture of sustainability with the wider community.
  2. Understanding – Our site nurtures the understanding, skills and values required to move with our community towards sustainability.
  3. Learning – Our site’s learning processes, pedagogies and the Australian Curriculum help us to achieve more sustainable lifestyles with our communities.
  4. Community – Our site achieves sustainability with its communities.
  5. Managing – Our site’s leadership, governance and management processes foster education for sustainability.


  • authentic learning in real world contexts aligned with the Australian Curriculum and Belonging, Being and Becoming – The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia
  • sparking child curiosity and increased student engagement
  • improved learning outcomes (including literacy and numeracy)
  • families, teachers, students and children creating more sustainable communities together
  • saving money, reducing ecological footprint, and increasing wellbeing.

To learn more and share with others:


Create a vision

A vision is a positive statement about the future which harnesses the effort and drive of the (pre)school community towards a single end goal – it guides actions and plans for improvement.

Develop a Site Environment Management Plan

A Site Environment Management Plan (SEMP) is a (pre)school-friendly tool for planning, implementing, tracking, reviewing and communicating your Education for Sustainability commitment.

SEMP examples:

Review and reflect with core indicator tools

Core indicators are a great help when reflecting on where your site is at with various Education for Sustainability, and to help identify future goals.

Embed sustainability into the curriculum

The Education for Sustainability approach is underpinned by principles, practices and learning intentions outlined in the learning areas of the Australian Curriculum. There are many opportunities for students to learn about sustainability in real world and authentic contexts.


Case studies

Be inspired by how other early learning sites and schools are working towards Education for Sustainability. There is also a search function to filter by Education for Sustainability aspects.

Related links