Programs - Serendip Program

  Environmental Learning Centre 

Lara Primary School recognises the need to educate future generations to understand that the choices they make impact the world in which they live.

We are indeed fortunate to have a classroom at Serendip Sanctuary, a Parks Victoria sanctuary located within close proximity of our school.  

This program, the ‘Serendip program’ is unique to our school and offers all students a very special experience by allowing them to extend their sphere of experience beyond that of the normal classroom and school grounds.  

The Serendip program is designed to bring about student connectedness to the environment and therefore responsibility for its future. 

All students from Prep – 6 attend Serendip for a minimum of one week per year. 

The program is nature based, emphasising students making decisions about their own learning and their own behaviours. 

At Serendip, students interact with Parks Victoria rangers and local community environmentalists in a hands-on learning environment.  Students then use Information & Communication Technologies (I.CT.) as the vehicle to convey their understandings about the natural environment.  Numerous multimedia products produced by Lara Primary School students at Serendip Sanctuary have been recognised at local, state and national levels.  

At Serendip students study a myriad of topics including wetland and grassland flora and fauna.  Multi-media products made at Serendip relate to local, national and world environmental issues - the opportunities offered within this program are endless.

When at Serendip Sanctuary, students use technologies to contribute to a range of citizen science initiatives. 

The program is authentic real-world learning at its best.  Technology tools are used to support environmental learning and extend the students sphere of experience and influence beyond that of a normal classroom.  An excellent example of this is the Serendip Sanctuary App, whose content was produced by the students of Lara Primary School and includes factual text on many Serendip species, photos, animations and film.  The app is free which means the Serendip Sanctuary visiting public may expand their knowledge of Australian species thanks to our program and our students. 

Having substantial iPads and netbooks means that when students learn at Serendip they operate in a 1:1 environment with each having access to their own device.  Other equipment includes an interactive whiteboard, video/still cameras, digital microscopes and microphones that student use to make movies, presentations, animations and more.

Key components of the Serendip program include: caring for others, trying your best, taking responsibility for the environment, being responsible for your own actions and behaving proactively.  In essence, the Serendip program strives for this generation to grow into ethical and informed citizens who genuinely care for flora and fauna and whose behaviours are positive and enduring.  

Serendip Review  

Lara Primary School undertook an extensive review of the Environmental Multimedia program that operates from Serendip Sanctuary in Lara.
A specifically designed questionnaire was presented to a range of recipients using the online survey instrument Survey Monkey.  The recipients included randomly selected students, staff, Parks Victoria personnel, parents and environmentalists (including conservation organisations).
The final review overwhelmingly points to the program meeting its needs and being highly valued within our school community.  Furthermore, it has been recognised by many as a program of excellence that is unique and very special to Lara Primary School.