‘SUSTAINABILITY’! Is it just this year’s ‘buzz’ word, or is it our only hope for the future of mankind on this planet? Local newspapers report on their environmental projects and sustainability plans, government legislation is being passed to build more energy efficient houses, current affairs programs warn of the problems we are facing as we consume our natural resources at a faster rate than ever before, and television advertisements urge us to buy ‘enviro friendly’ products. It seems that the community is embracing this concept, so what are schools doing about it?

Teachers and schools have long been involved in projects about caring for the environment. Tintern maintains awareness of the environment among the students in many ways, such as tree planting and water watch programs and, of course, farm lessons. Our challenge is to teach students about sustainable living in a society that is dominated by consumerism. Fortunately, our task will be made easier, as Tintern has been selected to be a part of the Government’s Sustainable Schools Pilot Program in Victoria, whereby we have agreed to complete a ten step plan to work towards sustainability at Tintern. Schools are in a position to influence the attitudes and behaviour of our students through school programs and practices!
The Sustainable Schools Pilot Program provides strategies for achieving this throughout the whole school. Students, teaching and administrative staff are supporting a range of initiatives that have already been implemented with the wonderful support of our farm manager, Mr Wall, and Tintern’s Property manager, Mr Moor, and his staff. Here are some of these:
• the Tintern farm has introduced sustainable agricultural practices
• a horticulture paddock for fruit and vegetable gardening has been created
• wildlife corridors full of indigenous trees, shrubs and grasses have been planted
• waste recycling stations have been established throughout the school
• paper and cardboard recycling has been established throughout the school
• an audit of the costs of maintaining the school was done (waste, water, energy)
• an integrated unit at Year 8 is in place within our Science, Geography and English curriculum about the importance of everyone working towards sustainability
• an elective at Years 9 and 10 based on sustainability practices is running
So what do we learn about, and do, in our Sustainable Futures classes? We learn about:
• the problems facing the world and what we can do to to help solve them
• what it means to live in a more sustainable way (composting, water and energy conservation, using alternative energy sources, planting vegetables, planting trees and wildlife corridors)
• how we can save our planet’s biodiversity (plants and animals) We have only just begun and there is a visible change in our school. Furthermore, we have been nominated by the Council for a Civic Pride Award! Our planet’s future is looking safer already!
By Tintern - Tintern Girls Grammar|2017-11-06T17:56:16+10:00May 2nd, 2013|0 Comments