RSPCA AWARE cultivates a love of animals in students - Education Matters Magazine
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RSPCA AWARE cultivates a love of animals in students


RSPCA’s free online education program; AWARE (animals: welfare, awareness, responsibility and education) can provide real world context, animal welfare learning to deliver curricula-aligned educational outcomes. RSPCA AWARE Education aims to create generational change in young people’s attitudes towards animal welfare, by using animals as a thematic focus for learning across essential areas such as Maths, Science, English, The Arts and more. Created by teachers, for teachers, nearly 4000 Australian Educators have already registered to use AWARE resources.

RSPCA knows that a vast majority of children and young adults have a genuine affection and curiosity for animals. However, less than optimal modelling in the home environment, lack of suitable available learning material, exposure to outdated animal welfare concepts, even not having a pet in their own home environment, can all lead to a deficit in knowledge of modern animal welfare concepts. Approximately 69% of Australian households have a pet, and when we add in farm animals and wildlife, there’s a very large population of animals in our communities and environment.

RSPCA AWARE Education aims to provide easy to integrate resources for Educators of students in years Foundation through to Year 8 – crucial years in forming attitudes for future animal carers. There are two online portals (one for Teachers and one for Students), that provide loads of ready-to-use resources and activities.

A dedicated Teacher’s Portal is designed for primary and middle school teachers looking for engaging and easily implemented learning content. The Portal contains Units of Learning for students from Foundation to Year 8. It includes additional resources such as PowerPoint presentations, videos, and research papers to support learning in Maths, Science, English, The Arts, Social Sciences and Design & Technologies.

The RSPCA AWARE Kids Portal is a great way for Educators to link further animal themed learning activity for their classes. Students can complete independent research projects and learn care strategies for many different species.

RSPCA AWARE Education provides resources for educators of Years F-8 – crucial years in forming the attitudes of future animal carers.


Based on feedback from Educators registered on the Teachers Portal, the library of fifteen RSPCA AWARE Education Units of Learning is receiving a new addition. Launching in April 2023, a new Learning Unit ‘Conscious Consumers’, follows a social enquiry model to help students think critically about an issue that is relevant to everyone.

Designed for students in Years 3- 8, this unit acknowledges that we are all consumers of food and need to make informed decisions about what we eat and where it comes from, including animal food products.

‘Conscious Consumers’ encourages students to think beyond the ‘5 Freedoms of Animal Welfare’ for companion animals and consider the range of factors that contribute to buying decisions that affect farm animals and wildlife. Students will think critically about other peoples’ perspectives including culturally diverse communities and develop an understanding of how human activity can affect animals and their welfare.

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