Despite being hemmed in on three sides by major roads, Clayton North P.S. is a haven on the inside. Visitors are always delighted by the contrast when they step through our gates. The noise of the traffic fades into the distance and is replaced by the song of the birds living in our native gardens and the clucking of the chooks in their coop.
Clayton North P.S. is in walking distance of Monash University and many of our students are the children of international students of the university. Our school is rich in cultural diversity and this is reflected in many ways throughout the school including the bright murals adorning our water tanks and our multicultural kitchen garden.
Over the years, the school has gradually developed many sustainable practices. We are a nude food school and our organic waste is fed to our chooks, or put in the compost bins or worm farms. We use the overflow from our bubblers to water the garden and collect rainwater in our water tanks. We sort rubbish, monitor our energy using SETS and have installed solar panels.
It has taken the efforts of many people for Clayton North P.S. to get to where it is today, from the students, especially those children in the Green Team who look after the chooks and publish environmental information in the School Newsletter, to the passionate teachers and parents and our wider community to achieve this. Clayton North P.S. is lucky to have so many businesses like Ikea, Bunning, Masters, Toyota and community groups like Greenlink Box Hill and Greenlink Sandbelt supporting us along the way.
At Clayton North P.S. we have a lot to celebrate and we do this formally on occasions like Multicultural Day, Walk to School Day, National Tree Day, Japanese Day, Environment Week and Book Week. But we also celebrate our sustainability practises on special occasions like our Open Day and the Clayton Festival. We always do this by offering visitors a seedling to take home and plant in their garden and at our Open Day this year we had our first Pedal Powered Disco.
In 2012 we realised that we had a lot to be proud of but also that there was a lot more that we could achieve. We recognised that it was time to embed our sustainability practises in our curriculum and to consider areas in which we could further decrease our impact on the earth. With the help of Deanne Wijey we started work on our AuSSi Vic Core module and have since developed an Action Plan, drafted a Sustainability Policy and our Healthy Futures Group which is made up of staff, parents and government, businesses and like-minded people in the wider community.
As many of our students return to their own countries when their parents have finished studying, we feel that Clayton North P.S. is in a unique position to send environmental ambassadors with their knowledge and messages back to many parts of the world.