Upwey Primary School is situated in the Dandenong Ranges, approximately thirty-five kilometres to the east of Melbourne. The school was established in 1934 and has a current enrolment of just under 90 students. The “old” double storey building was officially opened in 1947. The school is set in extensive grounds with a variety of playground areas. It consists of modern and well-designed buildings and is located on a picturesque site which takes advantage of the atmosphere and beauty of the Dandenong Ranges. A vegetable garden was established 3 years ago and the produce has been used to cook delicious food in our new kitchens. A sloped area leading down to the school oval has many native gums and shrubs. The 1 acre “Sanctuary” is the highlight of Upwey Primary School’s beautiful outdoor areas. With weed control programs underway, the native flora, fauna and wildlife is making a triumphant return.

Upwey Primary School aims to become a Sustainable School by reducing our ecological footprint through adopting sustainable practices in our everyday lives, to ultimately protect the health of our planet. We will achieve this by integrating sustainability into the curriculum and as a unit of work annually in each year level. This aims to empower students and staff to develop a passion in caring for our school and the world at large. Our objective is to promote the concept that a healthy world means “a healthy and happy us”. We will lead the community by demonstrating exemplary practices in waste management, water and energy usage, and develop the school grounds to promote biodiversity.

The school’s commitment to completing the CORE module in the ResourceSmart AuSSI Vic program has allowed us to formalise and re-energise our sustainability goals. Upwey Primary School has been a part of many different initiatives in the past. During 2011, we were able to create a baseline to measure our continued improvements. Below is a list of some of the previously established initiatives:

• Classroom collection of fruit scraps for the compost
• Waste paper collection and recycling
• Commitment to only plant native or indigenous plants
• Continued use of the rain water tank to water the vegetable garden
• Purchase of reusable plates, cups and utensils to reduce waste
• Designated eating areas to reduce rubbish
• Thermometers in each classroom with set temperatures for heating and cooling
• Mulching of garden beds to reduce water loss
• Continued commitment to the Ribbons of Green tree planting program

By following the CORE module program, we have begun a number of new initiatives:

• Tracking the school’s energy, paper, water and waste production using SETS
• Update of the Sustainability Policy with increased detail and specific sustainability goals
• Increased application of grants to help support the sustainability goals
• Establishment of Rubbish Free Lunch every Wednesday with encouragement awards of “Nude Food” products
• Re-established relationship with the Yarra Ranges Council to help with weed management in the “Sanctuary” and surrounding areas
• Measurement of lighting levels in classrooms and the removal of fluoro tubes where possible
• Increased mulching of a larger amount of garden beds
• Creations of student sustainability teams to participate and lead new initiatives
• Increased curriculum focus throughout more units of work

We aim to achieve the following goals and targets over the next three years:

1. To increase the school community’s involvement in the vegetable garden.
2. To reduce waste by 25%.
3. To reduce water consumption by 20%.
4. To reduce energy consumption by 25%.
5. To reduce the amount of litter in the yard by 100%.

By Upwey Primary School|2017-11-06T17:56:30+10:00May 2nd, 2013|0 Comments