Our School Journey
From 2006 onward, Environment & Sustainability has become a priority within the WNPS School Strategic plan. Each year the Watsonia North Primary School Annual Implementation plan has included key improvement strategies for Environment & Sustainability practices.
Our overall school sustainability goals include the following:
- Reducing total energy use
- Reducing total waste
- Reducing total water use
- Protecting, enhancing, restoring the native biodiversity around us
- Reducing the volume of harmful emissions released (eg, greenhouse gas)
During this time we have seen the school make some significant environmental achievements. These include:
- Commenced journey in becoming a Sustainable School – Waste Wise Program
- Establishment of a Student Action Team
- Extensive professional develop for all staff with CERES
- Conducted SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) of the school’s current Environment and Sustainability Program (see attachment)
- Completion of the Water Live it Learn it Program, Wastewise Certification
- Involvement and participation in Schools Water Efficiency Program (SWEP)
- Completion of AuSSI Vic Core Modules and Current Completion of Waste, Energy and Water Modules
Complementing these achievements are curriculum programs and activities aimed at developing student knowledge and understandings relating to sustainability:
- Our Environment & Sustainability Project team vision statement:
To develop student and staff knowledge about the environment and its resources and promote attitudes and practices that support environmental sustainability.
- Development of units of works and student inquiries with a focus on environment and sustainability measures and practices from Prep to Year 6.
- Provision of excursions/incursions for students to support work in classroom (eg, visits by Waste Wise Van, visits to Re-Think Centre attendance at the Edendale Kids Teaching Kids Conference).
- Provision of staff professional development sessions.
Our school is now a part of the national framework for sustainability in schools the Australian Sustainable Schools Initiative AuSSI Vic.
Our school has successfully completed the Waste, Energy and Water AuSSI Vic Modules.
Key achievements in this area include:
- Energy reduction in workplace/daily operations such as promoting Walk to School Days, Baseline Data for Energy Use completed on SETS (School Environmental Tracking System).
- Professional Development for staff on energy conservation within the school. The school Participates in Resource Smart and Solar Projects.
- Maintenance regimes implemented, Energy monitoring systems in place and figures on SETS, Green Purchasing Policy developed and used. Computer sleep times established. Shut down energy regimes established.
- Use of solar collection systems.
- De-lamping and re-lamping (to energy efficient globes) programs implemented. Installation of 4,5,or 6 star appliances where appropriate, Security lighting clean and timing set to operate effectively. Correct use of ceiling fans.
- Classroom Action Plans and Environmental Units are included in the curriculum. Learning and Teaching in the classroom are linked to practical hands on activities.
- Student ‘Green Team’ is operating and take responsibility for classroom activities and program in energy and other issues.
- Energy policies, targets and action plans approved by School Council. Regular communication of energy activities and programs provided to the whole school through assemblies, annual school reports and newsletters.
School Environment Leadership established through students is instituted in the school through the WNPS Green Team initiative. This is an active operating student group. These students are involved in planning and managing energy activities and programs.
Second Life is a program that the school has been involved with for the past few years. Second Life is a way for us to clear out our wardrobes of unwanted clothes, shoes and accessories and help charities and the environment at the same time. A company called ‘Southern Cross Recycling’ comes to our school to collect all our unwanted clothes and shoes and takes them to their factory. All the items are sorted and sent to various charities to sell in their shops, and also overseas to help needy people.