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Wodonga Primary School

FROGS - Friends of the Gardens and Sheds

Wodonga Primary School is one of the biggest primary schools in our region. It is a State Primary School with around 700 students. The featured program can be viewed on

Contact is: Roger Fiedler - Ph: 0260480300 -
E:mail: wodonga.ps@edumail.vic.gov.au

WEB: http://www.wodonga-ps.vic.edu.au/community/frogs/FROGS%20brochure_July%202010.pdf

The FROG program featured here is an ongoing project. It began around 2 years ago, initially funded jointly through successful grant applications, community links with the City of Wodonga and their school council. It now requires only a small on-going budget allocation as the local community supplies a large proportion of food and bedding needs – thus keeping this quite a sustainable program for the school. What Wodonga Primary School has accomplished environmentally is both amazing and inspiring but its links to student development, welfare, community and curriculum make it an outstanding program.

On my recent visit to the school, I was welcomed in reception by “Stanley” the cockatiel. He sang the school theme song for me as he performed a little welcoming dance – obviously – the school mascot. Well that certainly set the scene for what I was about to visit.

Wodonga Primary Schools FROGS program – “Friends of the Garden and Sheds”
The entrance to the FROGS area
The pond, dug by students, with fish in one half and frogs in the other
The students helped design and build the FROG area with its vegie gardens, propagation areas, aviary, barns, pond and trees.
The free range chooks keep pests at bay, but love digging in the extensive compost heap. They also make regular classroom visits.
The wormery is thriving. The casting are used in the vegie gardens, and they devour all the compost they are given
The rabbits are just so cute, and provide many opportunities to study life cycles and develop caring and nurturing natures
How cute! Inspirational writing
The guinea pigs also make many classroom visits. Feeding regimes provide instructional reading and writing opportunities along with measuring activities.
The homing pigeons leaving the loft. They now go on school excursions and released from those destinations. This has developed studies around time and distance.
The pigeons on one of their exercise flights – circling around the school
The compost bins – include food scraps and shredded paper. Students love digging for worms in here – but they have to compete with the chooks.

Many students visit the FROGS area each day. They sit, talk, cuddle animals, dig for worms, and verbalize issues and debate values. Students apply for the jobs of looking after the various animals which includes feeding and cleaning. Rosters are used for caring for the animals over the weekends and holiday breaks. Families provide bedding (paper) and scraps for the feed or compost. Many products are recycled as part of the program, including shredded paper.

The program also has some fantastic community links including the healthy cooking program with the local secondary school. Personal and Interpersonal development are also greatly enhanced through this program.

Some of the curriculum programs students have been involved in through this project:

Planning the FROG design; building; paving; constructing nesting boxes, garden beds
Numeracy – measurement, design, space, shape, volume, perimeter
Hands- on Technology
Job applications for caring positions, following care instructions, mixing feed recipes, reading manua
following timetables.
Reading and writing – comprehension
Numeracy – esp. Fractions – for mixing feed...1/2 tin of ....etc.
Also reading and understanding tables
Animal visits to the classroom
Inspiring writing
Pigeon releases – this is done where-ever students go on excursions
Numeracy – time, distance, mapping, estimations, graphing
Life-cycles, mini-creatures, water quality
Preparation for Puberty
Planting and propagation
Animal Husbandry
Health and Safety
Composting, re-cycling, reduce, re-use, re-think
Slow Food
Garden to plate
Using the eggs from the chooks and the vegetable garden

The above provides a list of some of the ways this program has been used as part of the school’s curriculum. In reality these types of programs can be used to support a school’s entire curriculum and are only limited by your imagination.

Wodonga Primary School is very happy to discuss what they have done and how the program operates. If you are at all interested in doing something similar, it is certainly well worth a visit. Contact details: Roger Fiedler - Ph: 0260480300 - E:mail: wodonga.ps@edumail.vic.gov.au