Throughout the year, the students and staff at St Joseph’s Primary School in Black Rock have been working to renew our Energy Module. This has involved reviewing and implementing a range of actions at a school, curriculum and community level.
Part of this process included undertaking an Energy Audit of our school. On November 27, Jess from CERES came out to work with our Year 6 Environment Leaders to complete this along with some student-led action planning. Our leaders used lux meters to test the lighting in the school as well as thermometers to test the temperatures in each classroom. They also checked the energy rating of appliances and the windows and doors. While completing the audit, the students were asked to take note of any areas for improvement which they shared at the end and used to improve our Energy Action Plan. All students noticed that we need to improve our signage around the school as some of our original reminders to switch off the lights were missing and need to be in a better location. They also thought it would be a good idea to have reminders to turn off the heating and cooling and pull down the blinds during Summer to remind teachers and students alike to conserve energy. This will be an exciting, creative project for our Environmental Leaders and students in the coming weeks. The students also reiterated the want for renewable energy sources, such as solar, which is a long-term goal of our school.
Our audit and action planning fit in perfect to the topic of saving energy which has been a key part of the Grade 5/6 Environmental Science curriculum this semester. Throughout our unit of study, students researched and investigated different renewable energy sources around the world
and were pleased to discover that the world is very aware of combating climate change!
While we constantly aim to reduce energy consumption at St Joseph’s (through initiatives including our weekly ‘Earth Hour’ campaigns, Ride/Walk to school and engaging with Zoos Victoria in the Lights Off for Bogong Moths campaign), we know there is always more to be done. We look forward to investigating further ways to reduce our energy and sharing this with the school and sustainability community.