For the past 3 years Cranbourne West Primary School has been embarking on a sustainable schools journey. We have completed the core, biodiversity, waste and water modules with much success and enjoyment. This year we looked to tackle the Energy Module. We have achieved so much this year through hard work from teachers, students and parents and I’m very proud of our school’s effort and commitment to being a sustainable school.

We started of the year with our school leaders and Planet Savers conducting a school wide energy audit. This process took the majority of the day and involved the school leaders learning how to use various equipment like a lux meter and what to look for in each area of the school. These results were tallied and Planet Savers produced a report for our school, highlighting changes to be made, costs associated and the time to make the money back. This was a very detailed report and gave the sustainability team a lot to plan, prioritise and focus on. What followed was an action plan that had immediate goals to long term goals. You can read this action plan as I’ve attached it as a separate document. Many of the immediate goals have already been achieved.

Once the action plan was agreed upon we set things in motion. The first was to adopt a school wide switch off campaign that was student driven. Staff were provided with professional development about energy, our schools use of energy and how we can put into place practises that would reduce our energy use. We decided that the most effective way for the switch off campaign to work would be for the students to have total control. The school acquired 10 high visibility vests with Energy Captains plaster over it. 2 students from each area, totalling 10 were chosen to be energy captains and were announced at school assembly. The captains changed each term. This has been highly successful on a number of levels, firstly the students take great pride in being in charge of making sure everything is turned off when not in use, the school benefits from less electricity being used and lastly the students really look forward to seeing who is going to be the new energy captains for the term.

Other energy reduction practises that we implemented was for all refrigerators to be turned off over the school holidays, we as a staff agreed to a set temperature in our classrooms for Winter and Summer and to switch off metal halide gym lighting during the day. We also had our maintenance man remove one tube and starter from any double tube fluorescent lighting fixture. He removed close to 50 tubes, which we have stored and will use when replacements are needed. As a side note our school has 36 solar panels that have been in operation since 2009.

In term 3 our school’s topic was Energy. All students from prep to grade 6 immersed into the topic of energy with very pleasing outcomes and results. Students really responded to the energy unit with many areas conducting an energy expo and invited parents and grandparents in to see their projects and creations. Grade 1’s and 2’s planned, designed and created futuristic modes of transport using clean energy like solar and wind, older students conducted many and varied experiments like making solar ovens and seeing if they were able to cook an egg. Feedback from teachers was very encouraging and supportive of the module. Student engagement was high, real life experiences and being able to relate to everyday, it was a diverse topic, junior students related well, great visual displays and most important it was authentic learning. We even had Future Spark come out for an incursion and grades 4, 5 and 6 students rode for popcorn. All in all it was a fantastic term of work that was enjoyed by all.

I have been so inspired by the work, effort and goals that our school has achieved this year and will continue to achieve in the future. The energy module has been interesting, worthwhile and enjoyable to complete and we look forward to continue with educating and making further energy reductions at Cranbourne West Primary School.

By cranbournewestps|2017-11-06T18:06:26+10:00November 5th, 2013|0 Comments