All gardens provide habitat or food for some species of animal or other, but some gardens can provide for much greater numbers and diversity of species. For example, a well kept lawn like a sporting oval will probably be considered a very nice nesting place for Masked Lapwings, Ibis are quite likely to be seen combing the lawns for interesting tidbits, and at the right time of year Magpie Geese find them very appealing camping places. However, not many other species of animal can utilise these spaces. Small birds and lizards find them unsafe, exposed spaces where a large bird could easily catch them, and there is no food available for our flower, fruit or leaf eating birds and mammals.
Introducing plants - local natives are always best as they are adapted to your conditions - to your school grounds is the best way to increase animal diversity, and of course if you include plenty of plant species, plant diversity will increase.
Things to think about
When creating gardens you are literally creating habitats. Some key things to think about are the needs of animals (food, shelter, water and mates) and how your planting can cater to those. Selecting a few species you have on your grounds or that are in your area that you would like to encourage to the school, and creating "animal bios" can be a really great way of getting students thinking about all the different things an animal needs. Picking animals with different requirements is a good way to make sure you are covering the needs of almost an entire ecosystem. Attached is a draft bio which should help youto understand