St Joseph’s School Story
In 2014 St Joseph’s became a Resourcesmart School. ResourceSmart is a Victorian Government program that helps schools benefit from embedding sustainability in everything they do. At St Joseph’s we strive to inspire our whole school community to connect with the environment and to make a positive contribution to sustainability at school, home and beyond. Our aim is to reduce our ecological footprint through adopting sustainable habits in our everyday practices. This can be achieved by continuing to integrate sustainability into all areas of the curriculum and instilling a sense of ownership and pride in improving the environment. We are working towards leading our St Joseph’s community by demonstrating exemplary practices in waste management, water and energy usage, and are continuing to develop the school grounds to promote biodiversity.
Over the past twelve months we have been working towards completing the Core module and finally last month we were awarded our first star by Sustainability Victoria! Currently we are working the next module, Energy. In 2015 a group of Year 5/6 students from the Sustainability Leadership team were involved in an Energy audit supported by Planet Savers. The team reported their findings to staff and parents.
So far we have:
- reduced the use of energy consumption within the school
- replaced fluorescent lights with LED lamps
- used our resources and equipment as efficiently as possible
- included students in the process of developing and maintaining an Energy Efficient school
- students responsible for reducing energy use in their classrooms e.g. monitors
- reduced the amount of greenhouse gas emissions
- installed timing devices on heating/cooling and motion sensors on some inside and outside lighting
- In August 2016 all school staff will participate in professional development on Energy run by Resourcesmart. We have established an action plan and are in the process of continuing our journey.
So its 2018 and we are embarking on our third and fourth star! We achieved our second star “Energy” with teachers, students and our school community learning more about becoming an energy efficient school. We have developed a team of “Power Rangers” who monitor and audit power usage, consumption and gave feedback to students and teachers. on a weekly basis. They also are able to provide instant suggestions to improve energy usage through the day. So now we are developing a whole school project on water. All students have completed an audit around St Joseph’s school grounds. The data we have collected and also the data we have received from SWEP has enabled the students to design and build a water catcher. The students will present this water catcher at The Big Green Conference in September, they are really excited to share their learning and the action they have taken to save water.
We have also had a focus on waste, prior to joining Resourcesmart St Josephs had already began their journey to reduce waste at our school. We had audited waste uasge and then decided to place bins to separate waste in each classroom. We also encouraged nude food, no rubbish on the playgorunds by eating inside the classrooms, professional developement for students and teachers and our sustainable community garden. This was sussessful for a while but provided us with some challenges. With support from our 5/6 Leadership team we are trying to get on top of these challenges.
So now we have undertaken some actions to overcome these challenges. We have separated soft plastics from our landfill, with th intention of completely having no soft plastics at St Joseph’s. We also use our compost in the garden and our Junior levels with the assitance of Kingston council we are incorporating worm farms into our garden. Each class has waste monitors and we are going NUDE FOOD in term four. We will launch this in term three with our school community.