A Sustainable Approach for Young Learners at Australian International School Malaysia

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The Australian International School Malaysia has welcomed all their students back on campus – thanks to a large sprawling green campus we have been able to return fully to face to face learning. Our students are bursting with energy after a lengthy lockdown and as a school, we have looked at the impact of that lockdown on our students  – their inability to run around and mix with friends and the lack of opportunities to be outdoors and amongst nature.

AISM Junior School has initiated two new programs designed to  – cultivate awareness of the great outdoors, nature and our role in caring for the world and to encourage movement, wellbeing and social skills.


The first program, dubbed “Our Garden Project” is already off the ground and running as the students develop and build their very own garden space, learn about ecology, sustainability and understand the value of the world we live in and how important it is to take care of our natural world. Named by the students as the “Living Headquarters – Living HQ”.

The initial idea was generated from our Student Think Tank and has grown and developed from there. A working team was created to show curriculum links – which was easy with the Australian Curriculum as connections could be made to every Key Learning Area, particularly our Units of Inquiry and Mindfulness. 


After an initial pilot program in our Early Learning Centre, our 3 and 4 year olds became the experts of propagating and planting, sharing this knowledge with our Year 2 learners (with the help of Mr E – our resident growing expert). As we returned to campus, our learners arrived with plants from home, many of which they grew themselves. They then became the advocates of these plants, watering them and ensuring they have what they need to flourish – just like our learners at AISM. We are HUGE advocates for living plants inside our learning spaces. They bring colour, texture and curiosity to a room, improve the air quality and are a great tool for Mindfulness.

Our Garden Project at AISM is providing a wonderful learning platform for the members of our community to share in pleasurable food experiences and develop their understanding of environmental sustainability through growing their own produce.

In the garden, the children work together in small groups, learning practical skills, growing fresh vegetables, fruit and herbs whilst delighting in the simple joy of digging the soil, planting the soil, nurturing seedlings, compositing and harvesting fresh produce.

For some of our learners, this garden has provided them with their first experience of holding a wriggly worm or getting their hands dirty!

Our vision moving forward is to become a sustainable school and those lessons will start sprouting from the Garden Project. Our big goal is for the AISM community to understand and address the impacts of the climate crisis, empowering them with the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes needed to act as agents of change. This little garden is a big step in the right direction!


Our second initiative is to introduce a games program that encourages social skills and emotional learning using guided play and activities. The program “Play is The Way” is based around five basic principles – Behaviour, Self Control, Empathy, Resilience and Persistence. Through a 20 minute guided play daily program where students interact in cross class groupings the students learn to think, reason and analyse so that they can make good choices and wise decisions.


Our ‘Play is the Way’ program is an Australian program that is designed to promote self awareness, self management, social awareness, relationship skills and responsible decision making from our 3 year olds through to our 12 year olds. Our student leaders will work closely with the teachers to facilitate this program across all grades. We are in the planning stages creating momentum for a launch of the program in the new year.

Australian International School Malaysia is invested in empowering our students to be globally conscious and change agents of the future – educating for the here and now and the future.

To know more about how AISM creates future-ready individuals, through varied activities and unique learning methodology, join their upcoming Open Week from November 22 – 27. A whole horde of exciting activities planned for Junior school as well as Middle and Senior school aspirants. AISM is offering 100% application rebate and up to 100% admissions fee waiver. Visit AISM website or contact the admissions team to find out more and register. 

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