In 2011, Gippsland Grammar (St. Anne’s Campus) commenced work on the ResourceSmart AuSSI Vic Core Module, with the assistance of a CERES facilitator and sponsored by Sustainability Victoria. The Core module enabled us to celebrate existing sustainable good practice, but importantly, it empowered us to look towards developing new sustainable projects and initiatives, that would allow us to continue to lessen our impact on the environment.
Gippsland Grammar (St. Anne’s Campus)has a number of projects which aim to promote sustainable living practices within our school community, such as “Rubbish Free Lunches”, the Prep-Year 6 “Green Team”, paper recycling, composting, worm farms, aherb and vegetable garden program and “Junior Masterchef”.
Gippsland Grammar (St. Anne’s Campus) has a number of integrated units, across different year levels, which incorporate sustainable themes. Our aim is to introduce new integrated units or modify existing units, to increase the number of sustainable topics covered across the school.
Gippsland Grammar (St. Anne’s Campus) has been attempting to reduce the amount of waste produced by encouraging students and staff to bring rubbish free lunches to school. Our weekly “Rubbish Free Lunch” award has encouraged the school community to consider the amount of rubbish produced and has committed more students and their families into bringing“Rubbish Free lunches” to school. Students are encouraged to take responsibility for their waste. Each classroom has a recycling bin and a compost bucket and most have a ‘reuse paper’ tub. We recycle paper and Year 6 recycling monitors are part of our Leadership Team.Food scraps are recycled and used in our worm farms.Visualisers have been purchased for some classrooms and have helped to significantly reduce the amount of photocopying. School newsletters are distributed via the school portal and virtual classrooms are helping to reduce some of the paper sent home to parents. Year 5 and 6 students are encouraged to digitally store their work. Reusable lunch order pouches were introduced in 2011 and they have helped reduce some of the rubbish produced on Tuck days. The Tuck Shop Manager has investigated ‘Keep Cups’ and other packaging options which can be recycled.When replacing garden tables and seating, we have aimed to maintain healthy and aesthetically pleasing playground environments by reusing timber.We will continue to encourage students, staff and the wider community to reduce the amount of waste produced at our school. This will be promoted largely through our “Rubbish Free lunch” program and by encouraging ‘smart printing’.
We encourage students and staff to switch off lights, ceiling fans, air-conditioners and heaters when classrooms are not being used. Students are encouraged to dress for weather conditions, i.e. put on a jumper rather than immediately turning on a heater. During cold weather, classroom doors are closed in an effort to keep the heat inside. Similarly in Summer, most classrooms which are North facing have blinds to help keep the rooms cool. Classes are encouraged to ensure computers and interactive whiteboards are switched off when not in use. We will be reviewing the amount of energy consumed by our school and aiming to introduce practices and initiatives that enable us to reduce our energy usage and carbon footprint in 2012 .
With the development of our Year 5/6 precinct, we formed a ‘Garden Committee’. The intention of this committee was to create water-wise native gardens to help attract local birds to the school grounds, which also helps with pest control. We have used plants that are conducive to our environment. Compost from our worm farms is used to fertilise the vegetable gardens. We also have a number of old-growth trees within our school grounds, which provide much-needed shade and habitats. Recently installed garden furniture was built by our school carpenters from environmentally friendly recycled timber.
Our school community is encouraged not to waste water and plants which have been recently added to our gardens are water wise.
We aim to include the whole school community in our sustainability programs. Parents, students and staff can become involved and help achieve our sustainable goals through our “Rubbish Free Lunches”, our student-led “Green Team”, the Teachers’ Sustainability Committee, the campus Portal Sustainability link and Discussion Board. The“Green Team” drivemany of our sustainable ideas and projects around the school.At the conclusion of our weekly school assembly, members of our school community have the opportunity to purchase produce harvested from the herb and vegetable garden that our Year 5 students oversee. The students also bottle and sell worm wine produced from our worm farms. Funds raised from the weekly stall are reinvested into the vegetable garden project. Members of the school community donate items such as vegetable seedlings and horse manure for use in the garden. In connecting with the broader community, Year 6 students participate in ‘Clean up Australia’ Day along the Sale Canal and the Wellington Shire tree planting program.