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Planning


At the end of this section, you should have everything you need to start your project. 

Your plan will describe how you will do your project, what resources you need, who will help, the tasks being done, if training is required, when the tasks will be done and how students will remain safe. 

The plan will need to be reviewed. Partners and the school leadership group will make comments and the plan will be modified accordingly. 

As part of the planning, celebration at the end is important. Many projects will need to continue after the completion of the initial work. This will need to be included. 

The planning process will probably be divided up into small groups. There will need to be a strict timeline for completing planning tasks. There may need to be regular meetings to keep.

Project brief


The project team might find it helpful to draw up a project brief. The next pages can help them decide what needs to be in the brief. 

A brief will be helpful as it will spell out what needs to be done. Once the brief is done there will be fewer questions asked during the planning process. Small groups can get onto their planning tasks. 

Describe the project


Describe the project in as much detail as you can. Include the goals and summary that has already been done. Summarise discussions with the project partners. Use the most important information obtained during the research. If you are working with a community, describe them.

Explain what your project will do to improve the coastal environment, local community, local economy etc. 

Will the project be a one-off event or a continuing process? 

Planning, drawing designing


Every plan will be different. A plan for your project should include:

  • Where things are at now.
  • What you wish to change.
  • With your project, how you will go about making the change.
  • Organisation and coordination.
  • Step by step instructions.
  • Obtaining permission.
  • Equipment, materials and budget timelines.
  • OH&S.

Sample planting project


These are just some of the items you will need to consider when producing a plan to revegetate an area. 

Where things are at now: 

  • What is the area like now?
  • Draw a detailed map of the area.

What you wish to change:

  • What kind of restoration work will be done?
  • With your project, how you will go about making the change:
  • Make a map of the area to be planted.
  • Identify the type and number of plants required. (You may need some help to find out what plants are indigenous to the location.) 
  • Identify how the area will be prepared before planting.
  • What equipment is needed?
  • What other materials are needed?
  • What will be done to maintain the site over the next few years?

Organisation and coordination:

  • Order the plants well beforehand.
  • Organise the borrowing of equipment.
  • Get the area sprayed against weeds and possibly ripped up.
  • Order mulch.
  • If the site needs a mobile toilet, a toilet must be arranged.
  • An experienced person will be available on the day to place out the plants in the location where they will be planted. 

Step by step instructions:

  • Instructions for preparing the site.
  • Instructions for mulching.
  • Instructions for the planting event.
  • Instructions for sorting and putting in plants.
  • Instructions for future maintenance.

Obtaining permission:

  • The authority or owner of the land has provided permission to do the work.
  • Student permission forms that relate to the project are designed.

Equipment, materials and budget timelines:

  • Budget completed and any finances needed have been obtained.
  • Equipment organised.
  • Plants, mulch, equipment will arrive on time.
  • People have been organised to do tasks at agreed times.

OH&S:

  • All tasks have had a risk assessment.
  • Strategies are in place to eliminate risks.
  • Only adults will use heavy and electrical equipment and operate spraying machines.
  • First aid kits, qualified first aid person and mobile phones will be there when students work in the field.

Sample communication project


These are just of the items you will need to consider when producing a communication project for your community.

Where things are at now: 

  • What is the current behaviour that needs changing?
  • What influences people's current behaviour that you wish to change?

What you wish to change:

  • How do you want people to behave in the future?

With your project, how you will go about making the change:

  •  Match your audience's interests with the behaviour changes.
  • Identify the communication products that you have the ability to produce that are relevant to your audience.
  • Choose a combination of communication products that together are likely to have the best impact.
  • What equipment and other resources are needed?
  • How will the communication products be presented?
  • How will the project team communicate with people outside the school? 

Organisation and coordination:

  • How will the different elements of your campaign work together?
  • Organise people, venues, other organisations etc.
  • Organise the borrowing of equipment.

Step by step instructions:

  • Describe how each communication product will be designed.
  • How will you get feedback and comments on each product?

Obtaining permission:

  • Will you need permission to display materials, give away pamphlets, do performances etc?
  • What permission forms are required for students to work outside the school?
  • What are the conditions required by the school when working with people in the community?

Equipment, materials and budget timelines:

  • Budget completed and any finances needed have been obtained.
  • Equipment organised.
  • People have been organised to do tasks at agreed times.

OH&S:

  • All tasks have had a risk assessment.
  • Strategies are in place to eliminate risks.
  • The plan meets the requirements of the school's policy.

Sample research project


These are just a few of the items you will need to consider when producing a plan to research a coastal area. 

Where things are at now: 

  • What is the area like now?
  • Obtain a map of the area you intend to research.

What you wish to change:

  • What kind of research work will be done?
  • Why is doing research important for the conservation of the area?

With your project how you will go about making the change?

  • How will research help with the conservation of the coastal area?
  • What will be done with the research material?
  • What methods will you use to do the research?
  • How will you make sure that your research can be repeated in future years and compared?
  • What recording method will be used?
  • How will the data be stored for many years?
  • How will the data be used to help protect the environment?
  • How will people know about the existence of the data and retrieve it now and in the future, eg. in ten years time? 
  •  (Will you include a communication package as part of the project? – See Communications above.)

Organisation and coordination:

  • If you need expert assistance, are they available when they are needed?
  • Organise the borrowing of equipment.
  • How will students access the location?

Step by step instructions:

  • Produce instructions for the methods of obtaining data.
  • Produce appropriate recording methods for recording data.
  • Provide guidelines for protecting the environment while making observations/ gathering data.

Obtaining permission:

  • If required, the authority or owner of the land has provided permission to do the work on the site.
  • If you intend to gather specimens, do you need permission and are there restrictions on taking these materials, eg. shells?

Equipment, materials and budget timelines:

  • Budget is completed and any finances needed have been obtained.
  • Equipment such as computers, cameras, data loggers, GPS are organised.
  • People have been organised to do tasks at agreed times.

OH&S:

  • All tasks have had a risk assessment:
  • Strategies are in place to eliminate risks.
  • Only adults will use major items of electrical equipment (other than computers).
  • First aid kits, qualified first aid person and mobile phones will be there when students work in the field.

Permissions


Some projects will require special permission from an organisation outside the school. It is not because it is a school. Any group or person wanting to work on an area will need to get permission from the land owner or authority that looks after the land. This includes beaches and the coastal land behind the beach. The class may need to contact the local council, a land management authority or a State wildlife service depending where their work will be conducted and if their activities could have an impact on wildlife. 

It is best to have communication in writing. If the communication is a series of emails, these emails need to be carefully filed and backed up so they are easy to retrieve. 

Equipment and materials


Equipment:

  • What equipment will you need to complete your project? 
  • Do you need more advice about the equipment you need? 
  • Will you need to borrow equipment? 
  • Will you need to book the equipment? 
  • Is there equipment that the project needs to buy? 
  • How will you make sure students have the training? 

Borrowing equipment:

  • How will the equipment be borrowed, looked after and returned? 
  • Will students need training to use the equipment? 
  • How will you make sure students have the training? 

Materials:

Some projects may need to acquire materials:  Planting projects will need plants, mulch etc. Communication projects may need art materials: 

  • What materials are needed? 
  • Who will purchase the materials?
  • What happens if the project runs short on materials? 

Organisation and coordination


How will your project be organised? 

  • Does it need someone or a group to coordinate the activities?
  • Will tasks be done by small groups? How will small groups get their work done on time? How will small groups work together? 
  • How will the work be evenly divided among students? 
  • How will the project team make sure that the tasks are completed and done according to the plan? What will stop teams from doing something very different to the agreed tasks? 
  • What will students do if there is a holdup with their tasks or they run out of work?
  • How will everyone know what is going on? Other than students, who else needs to know what is going on? 
  • Who will take quick action when a problem arises? 

Task instructions


Break down the projects into tasks. When describing the tasks include:

  • What does the task need to be achieved?
  • How the task fits into the project.
  • Enough detail in describing the instructions so that those doing the task will not need to ask questions. 
  • How much time will be needed to complete the task? 
  • Skills required doing the tasks.
  • Equipment and materials that might be needed.
  • If training is required to use tools or equipment, what kind of training is required?
  • Safety measures and instructions required so students remain safe.
  • If required, instructions about how students can communicate with people outside the school.

During the review planning process these tasks will be reviewed for feedback and modification if required.

Timeline


How much time do you have to complete your project?

After planning has finished, when will the project start?

When does the project need to be finished? 

What time slots are available during the week to do the tasks?

Use a spreadsheet application to plot the time needed to complete the tasks. 

  • Along the top row, put in the days, weeks or time slots which you have to do the project.
  • Down the first or second column write each of the tasks that need to be done to complete the project. 
  • Organise the time so all the tasks will be done within the timeline.
  • Make sure that the tasks that need to be done first are done first.
  • For each task colour in the cells when they will be done.
  • Check that the tasks are done in the order and overlap as they are required.
  • Compare the timeline spreadsheet with other planning documents and find where they don't agree. Make changes so the spreadsheet fits in with the other planning documents.
  • Make sure everyone in the project team has a copy.
  • Use the timeline spreadsheet to monitor the progress of the various tasks. 

OH&S and other welfare issues


ll student OH&S and welfare issues are the responsibility of the school. The appropriate authority in the school must check and make sure that students remain safe. 

Students will need to have copies of the tasks to make an accurate risk assessment and identify other issues. The following areas must be taken into consideration:

  1. All activities that have risks associated with them.
  2. Activities where students are working with or communicating with people outside the usual school community.
  3. Any areas of school policy that might affect how the project is conducted.
  4. Sites where students will be working need to be inspected for safety issues. 

The project team should appoint an OH&S officer to make sure everyone in the project team complies with the OH&S instructions. 

Students will need to explain each safety issue and then describe how the issue is to be resolved. 

This section must be reviewed by the teacher. The school may want the Principal or another school leader to check through OH&S material.

Once feedback has been reviewed make the necessary changes.  

For more assistance go to the Victorian Waterwatch website to download their Occupational Health and Safety booklet.www.vic.waterwatch.org.au/education-
&-merchandise/196/ (towards the bottom of the page) 

Budget and fundraising

A budget is needed to make sure there is enough money to complete the project. A budget shows what income is available and what income is obtained from different sources. It also includes expenditure and how much money will be spent on specific items, materials, services and wages. Students will need to research and get quotes to accurately cost the different items of expenditure. 

Your options for writing a budget are:

  1. If the class is not spending any money, they could choose not to produce a budget. 
  1. Produce a budget that shows how much money the project team has and how it will be spent by the project team. 
  2. Produce a budget that shows how much money the class has available and their partners have and how it will be spent by the school project team and their partners. 

A project that goes for a long time could have enough time to do fundraising activities. Fundraising activities can be treated as additional tasks and go through the same planning processes. 

Monitoring and feedback


The project's success will depend on how well you have planned and being able to recognise problems and fix them as you go. You already have a range of tools to help you monitor the progress of your project. Some ways to monitor your progress:

  • Are students able to complete the tasks? 
  • Are students using the OH&S instructions properly? Are they making any changes to the OH&S when new problems come up?
  • Are the project tasks keeping to the timeline?
  • Is the project remaining within its budget?
  • Are the necessary people being informed about the progress of the project? 

What happens at the end?


Maintenance, passing the baton:

  • Does your project require ongoing maintenance? 
  • Does the project need to be handed over to a new class each year? 
  • How will you ensure this will occur? 

Celebration 

Once your project is completed your achievements are worthy of a celebration. You might like to fully plan your celebration later. 

  • Who will you tell about your achievements? 
  • Who needs to be thanked? 
  • How will you celebrate? 
  • Who else will you invite? 

Compile your final plan


Compile your plan.

  • Make sure the project team has access to the plan.
  • Has the plan been reviewed by the necessary people? This might include the Principal, a school leadership group, the class teacher, the project team and any partners who are part of the project.
  • Have you received feedback and made the necessary changes? 

 

Reflection

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Choose four of these words or phrases that describe your feelings after completing the planning. Use the four words in sentences that explain how you feel about the plan.

Only if you want to, you can share your feelings with someone you trust.

Happy
Satisfied
Frustrated
Pleased
Excited
Bored
Angry
Optimistic
Pessimistic
Part of a team
On my own
Confused
Organised 
Nervous
Relaxed 

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