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Environmental education

‘If we want children to flourish, we need to give them time to connect with nature and love the Earth, before we ask them to save it.’  David Sobel

Abbotsleigh Centre for Environmental Education

The Abbotsleigh Centre for Environmental Education (ACEE) precinct consists of more than half a hectare of land and is treated as an outdoor classroom. The ACEE is used by every subject and year group across the School. Its rich teaching and learning spaces include: 

  • An animal area for the Ag Club’s chickens
  • A paddock for planting crops, ploughed with organic material so we can grow larger amounts of produce
  • A food forest of perennial fruit, nuts and herbs
  • A wetland area, which is the area of greatest biodiversity in the school grounds
  • A weather station
  • A kitchen garden and native beehive
  • The entrance garden with a fire circle, providing a source of inspiration and fellowship
  • The Blue Gum nature area with a fully functioning, wood-fired pizza oven
  • The Blue Gum Cottage education centre, staffed by a full time teacher
  • The Secret Garden – a quiet area for contemplation
  • A remnant Sydney Blue Gum High Forest section that is being regenerated with indigenous species
  • The ‘Boarders Rock’ garden, with stone totem poles constructed of rocks from the boarders’ properties. This area celebrates the boarders’ rural heritage

The area is used by teachers from all departments and students from Transition to Year 12 to:

  • Explore, observe and study different environments
  • Allow hands on experience in growing plants, looking after living things and developing practical living skills
  • Promote sustainable lifestyle principles and environmental stewardship within the school community
  • Set up research projects in Science, Geography and Design and Technology
  • Be a source of encouragement and focus for environmental student groups within the School
  • Develop an appreciation of the interconnectedness of all living things with the Earth and the impact of human actions on this system
  • Serve as an outdoor classroom for all subjects




Abbotsleigh strives to make all our buildings and activities sustainable. We believe in using the Earth’s resources as wisely as possible and continually monitor our operations. To this end we:

  • significantly reduce the amount of rubbish we generate by composting, recycling and repurposing
  • annually audit our cleaning products to find the most environmentally friendly alternatives
  • consider packaging and material recycling in our choice of purchases
  • use low VOC paint, sensor lights, push taps and efficient hand driers around all our campuses 
  • use a printing company that has a proven track record of sustainable practice
  • provide bubblers, not bottled water
  • encourage and promote the use of public transport for students and staff
  • have a dedicated staff member to raise and maintain environmental awareness among staff and students