Paddock to Plate and Sustainability

Everything that we need for our survival and wellbeing relates directly to our natural environment. Sustainability is educating people about the environment, how systems operate and what we need from the natural world to ensure our survival. Sustainability and the Natural Environment is an important aspect of our learning program. We encourage the children to learn about sustainability by providing them with everyday experiences and exploration within their learning environment. Terrey Hills ELC has a Commitment to Sustainability which includes:
    • Terrey Hills ELC will engage children in discussions about sustainable practices.
    • Encourage children to participate in a recycling program (recycling bins for cardboard, plastic and paper) or involve them in developing new strategies for recycling materials (using donated materials for art n crafts or donating materials to council clean ups etc.)
    • For older children, environmental issues such as drought or daily weather reports including updates on air quality and pollution levels should be discussed during morning group time or and a chart to record these findings should be made as visuals within the room.
    • Our School Readiness program implements choosing “Energy Savers” – responsible for noticing lights, fans and other appliances left on when not in use. Likewise, choosing ‘Water Savers” – responsible for noticing taps left on and other wasted water.
    • Our Educators are dedicated Animal Welfare Officers and Sustainability Officers to ensure that our service is maintaining studies on the topic.
    • Terrey Hills ELC has developed an environmental calendar for families and the wider community to participate in.
    • The service features a worm farm and composting bin to reduce food waste within the service. Encourage children to place food scraps into separate containers for use in a worm farm/composting bin.
    • Educators will role model energy and water conservation practices (turning off lights and a/c when room not in use, emptying water play containers into gardens etc.) and explain its benefits.
At Terrey Hills ELC, we believe that we have the responsibility to make sustainable education a part of everyday practices, rather than a topic or theme to consider for a short time. It is embedded with our learning program and curriculum. Sustainability education enables educators and children to promote a sense of responsibility, show respect for the natural environment, be active participants and bring about enquiry and social change.

Learn more about our programs, please call us on 02 9450 1116 or Book a centre tour.

Also see our Centre Wellness & Nutrition

Children in gardening activity - Terrey Hills Early Learning Centre
Child in gardening activity - Terrey Hills ELC

Educators and children work together to learn about the environment and promote sustainable use of resources and to develop and implement sustainable practices (Element 3.3.1 – NQS).

The Physical Environment has been designed with sustainability in mind:

    • Natural ventilation and natural light are featured throughout each learning environment and playground. Limited use of air conditioning is promoted.
    • All learning environments extend to natural outdoor environments.
    • Soft play areas, with natural bunkers such as teepees and pergolas, create the use for shade in exposed areas.
    • Native fauna, relative to the surrounding area of Terrey Hills are used to marry the service into the natural landscape and treescape of the region.
    • Use of mulch, rockery beds and gravel within our garden areas
    • We encourage play within the natural gardens to stimulate children’s minds and allow them to connect to their natural environment.


Within our centre philosophy, we embed a Paddock to Plate Approach, where children can learn the life cycle of food. Developing healthy eating habits begins with understanding where your food comes from and how it grows.

Every day, our children are encouraged to be actively involved in the planting, caring, watering and harvesting of our garden produce. We actively compost our scraps of food from mealtimes, and use these to feed the rabbts, chickens and guinea pigs, as well as place into our compost bin to learn about feeding our vegetables and fruits within the service.

Over mealtimes, we talk about what we are eating and make sure they understand the produce they have grown to life as part of our Paddock to Plate philosophy.


We have implemented a Bush to Bowl program within our service, that allows our indigenous culture to be embedded into our daily program and practice.

Bush to Bowl gives back to country and culture and teaches children about the fundamentals of our country.

“The most effective kind of education is that a child should play amongst lovely things.”