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Seabrook Primary School is getting ready to jump its way into a frog bog!
Seabrook Primary School is about to jump its way into its first ever frog bog this year! With the support and help of our Principal, Susan Lee, the school gardener, Shelly Arnold and the environmental student leadership group, a plan to design the frog bog is not far away. The environmental leadership group are endeavouring to run an animal and plant audit to help identify what types of native animals or reptiles live around the proximity of the school. This information will help decide which types of plants will be required for the ‘bog’ area.
In addition to this great biodiversity project, Seabrook Primary School is proud of their reduction in water use from 3.15 KL/year per student in 2014 to 1.89 KL/year per student in 2016. That’s a saving of 1,260 L per student per year! This has been achieved through consistent monitoring using SWEP and attending to any leaks that have occurred around the school grounds.
Truganina South Primary School, The Story So Far…
1. What are the characteristics of your school community?
Truganina South Primary School (TSPS) is a P-6 school located on the corner of Parkvista Drive and Federation Boulevard, Truganina. Built under the new Public-Private Partnership development, TSPS is an excellent state of the art learning facility that brings together the best in contemporary educational design and promotes active student-centred learning through the creation of flexible, functional spaces. All teachers work in learning communities to create flexible teaching options in classrooms and to better cater to the individual needs of all students. The school upholds high expectations and provides an exciting and inclusive experience for students and families.
At TSPS the child is at the centre and purpose of all that we do. Our teachers and support staff work hard to provide a teaching pedagogy reflective of 21st Century designs including ICT rich environments and Personalised Learning for all students. This innovative, rich and rigorous curriculum is delivered in a positive, stimulating and challenging learning environment where every child experiences success and develops a love of life-long learning. Our students are encouraged to explore their world through inquiry learning to become thinking, informed, resilient and self-directed learners who are able to be the best they can be and contribute actively to their community.
The school has a focus on environmental sustainability and students participate in an innovative intensive environmental education program. Our school is recognised as a leading example of ecological sustainability. Our “Frog Bog” provides an interesting stimulus for linking the teaching of environmental sustainability with a practical application.
The School’s Student Leadership system at TSPS provides students from all year levels with leadership training and skill developments, and there are many opportunities to experience positions of responsibility. Our students relish the opportunity to make decisions, take on responsibilities and have input into the direction of the school.
2. Who are the key players in ResourceSmart?
TSPS has an established Sustainability Working Party, which meets every three weeks for one hour. It is made up of 7 teachers. We have a student Green Team and students that work continuously on environmental issues such as waste and Biodiversity to improve the culture of our school. Our staff are very committed to ResourceSmart and continuing our journey to becoming the first PPP ResourceSmart school!
3. How long have you been involved in ResourceSmart?
Our journey began with ResourceSmart in June 2015. Since then we have worked non-stop to change actions and perceptions around environmental awareness and have built a very positive culture amongst the staff and student community. We are still reaching out to the parent and wider community.
4. What are the most significant changes that have occurred in your school?
- WASTE!!! We have implemented new recycling stations, started to collect and recycle soft plastics – through REDCycle. In our first term, we saved 2400lt of soft plastics from landfill! This has meant that we are now able to drop our weekly pickup of landfill from two pickups to one pickup!!
- Energy – our staff and students now ‘Dress for the Weather’! Less air conditioning and heaters are being turned on, saving both money and our environment.
- Water – students are more aware of how they use the water in our school. They don’t leave taps running, use the half flush button in the toilets and are all educated in the water cycle.
- We have fostered a Positive Culture of Environmental Sustainability!!
5. What are the success factors for your school that have contributed to the changes? What has enabled this to happen in your school?
The biggest success factor has been getting a ‘Team’ of staff on board. For the first 1.5 years, our science teacher ran the program by herself, which is a pretty big job! Now with 7 teachers on board, we have the opportunity to reach out to more students, embed sustainability in everything we do here at TSPS. Our teachers are keen to do more, change more, improve practices daily and to teach our students to be global environmental citizens right from Prep.
This team has been enabled by the support of our Principal Class team, who saw sustainability as an important factor in our school. Our Science teacher has 1 session a week allocated to sustainability and our working group meets every 3 weeks for 1 hour, as well as each individual continually working on small projects, such as the dress for the weather campaign.
6. What are the barriers? What would help overcome those barriers?
Our biggest barrier is time and money, like most schools!! We are a Public Private Partnership School, so this also places a lot of restrictions on us. We cannot just decide to build things like chook houses or retrofit our school, as DTZ own our building. This has positives as well! We are constantly working to improve the working habits of DTZ, such as watering only at night and using the tank water, not spraying the weeds with herbicides which could wipe out our blue tongue lizard population.
Written by Heather Buzza, Truganina South Primary School