In our first year ‘on the road’ to becoming a ResourceSmart school, it is a good time to reflect on how we have fared in embedding sustainable values, behaviours and culture in our school.
A strong ‘core’ of passionate parents, staff members and students has been established. The Junior SILs have met weekly, and have conducted a range of activities including waste/nude food/bio-diversity audits, poster creation, demonstration of concepts/environmental issues to the school in assembly and the creation and sale of wax wrappers. They have even designed their own logo!
Several changes have been made to school practices, behaviours and infrastructure based on data collected by our students, such as a ‘push’ for all students to have a daily nude food lunch when our data revealed the extent of our waste problem.
A four-year environmental plan has been established for the school (SEMP), and the core module for ResourceSmart is on the verge of being completed, with the Waste module well underway.
We have held two ‘Sustainability Days’ this year, where we have had shared learning experiences across the school related to waste, had incursions/workshops from the Port Phillip Marine Foundation and a local artist and also raised money for our sustainability budget through the sale of wax wrappers and ‘Sticky Beaks’ lunchorder containers.
We also end with the exciting news that we have secured a $6000 grant to introduce a compost/rainwater-collection system in 2019 at our school! A massive thanks in particular to Peter Mercouriou and Alice Knowles for all of their hard work with the application.
As for next year, our SEMP is an important document to focus our 2019 goals. These included the building and implementation of a school-wide compost system, completion of the Waste module in ResourceSmart/beginning of the Bio-Diversity module and further embedding of values and protocols in classrooms school-wide. All of these actions should have the Junior School Improvement Leaders driving change, with their increased involvement in running meetings/assemblies also being a suggestion moving forward. The CERES sustainability hub will also be an important medium for our students to communicate our progress as we move towards making our school more sustainable.
As I plan to take leave for the 2019 academic year, I would like to thank Oliva Devitre and Amanda Nicholls for volunteering to take on ResourceSmart and School Improvement Leaders responsibilities for next year; having worked with both of them closely I know what an amazing job they will do and I can’t wait to hear about all of the exciting further improvements made at CNPS!