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New best practice geography educational resources have been launched to build student understanding of flooding in the Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley.

Western Sydney University’s Centre for Educational Research developed the package to support  teaching and learning in the ‘Water in the World’ curriculum for Stage 4 (Year 7 and 8). The resource, ‘Flooding in the Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley’, is a free and available on the ‘For Schools’ section on the NSW SES website. It includes a full term’s worth of lesson plans and extensive supporting materials for teachers such as Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI) mapping, videos and a photo gallery.

The education package is part of a broader program to engage young people and to empower them to be part of an aware, prepared and responsive community. It is designed to help teachers, students and schools understand the flood risk, develop strategies in preparation for hazards, and to build resilience. The package includes fieldwork, inquiry based learning, problem-based learning, geographical skills, case studies and current data. It also includes cross curriculum content for Science, Maths, History and English. While it focuses on the Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley as a case study, the resource is available to be adapted and used by schools across NSW and beyond.

The development of this resource is an initiative of the Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley Flood Risk Management Strategy, through a partnership between Infrastructure NSW, Western Sydney University and the NSW State Emergency Service and in collaboration with a wide range of government agencies, local councils and educational organisations. It has been developed in consultation with principals and teachers, and piloted by local floodplain schools. The project team also worked closely with flood and weather experts to develop teaching materials which provoke learning through student participation.

An extension of this resource is now being developed for primary school students, and is expected to be completed in 2020. School resources are available here.

For more information, click here.