From Classroom to Garden: A Journey into Sustainable Learning

In a world often consumed by technology and digital solutions, students in the Primary School have taken a step towards sustainable living by applying the principles of design thinking to create a vibrant school vegetable garden. Through a collaborative effort, students in Year 5 harnessed their imagination and enthusiasm to transform a neglected garden into a productive patch.

The Seeds of Inspiration: Design Thinking in Action

Design thinking is a problem-solving approach that prioritises empathy, collaboration, and creative ideation. Aspiring to make a tangible difference within their school environment, the enthusiastic group set out to design and implement a vegetable garden that would not only beautify the campus but also promote sustainable practices and encourage healthy eating habits.


Before embarking on this design journey, students recognized the importance of gathering insights from their peers and teachers. They designed comprehensive surveys to gauge interest and gather feedback regarding the potential vegetable garden. The surveys posed questions about the willingness of students and teachers to utilise and contribute to the garden, as well as their preferences for types of vegetables to be cultivated.

The response to the surveys was overwhelmingly positive, reflecting the community’s eagerness to embrace the initiative. Students and teachers alike expressed their enthusiasm for the project, recognising the educational and environmental benefits it could bring to the school. The survey results encouraged students and showed the importance of empathising with stakeholders in the design process.


Students brainstormed creative ideas for the garden’s layout, aesthetics, and functionalities. Archways, plants, ground coverings, teaching areas and social spaces were all explored. Design concepts aimed to ensure the garden would be both visually appealing and practical for teachers and students. Some ideas were to be implemented immediately, while others were aspirational and will take further consultation.


To turn their ideas into reality, students created prototype designs in pairs and groups. This step allowed them to visualise their concepts and present ideas to peers and teachers. Some of the bigger structural design ideas have been presented to Mr Craig Angel and the Maintenance Team for their input. This will see further refinements and improvements to the space to better suit the communities’ needs in the future. 


After a final joint design was created, the testing stage is now an ongoing process that throws students back into earlier stages of design thinking. As plants thrive, go to seed and get picked, constant readjustments need to be made.

Year 5 students have exemplified the transformative potential of design thinking in their journey to create a school vegetable garden. Through surveys, empathy, ideation, prototyping, testing, and collaborative implementation, they have harnessed their creative energies to bring about a positive change within their school community. This remarkable project serves as a reminder that when young minds come together with passion and purpose, they can sow the seeds of innovation and cultivate a brighter, more sustainable tomorrow.