5 Star School

Brunswick Nth West Primary school has been involved in many activities while participating in the SSI and has achieved 5 star accreditation. Hannah Reid of Brunswick Nth West says that there have been many benefits of receiving a 5 star rating. They have achieved a broader public awareness of the commitment they share for environmental sustainability. Through their various interactions with the local and wider community, Brunswick North West is now able to use this recognition of their efforts to give others an understanding of what their school community values.

In addition to this, they now have a clear and assessable standard to which they can aim to maintain continually throughout the future. As the population of their community evolves, students, parents and teachers can continue to work together to keep the success of Brunswick North West’s environmental sustainability program at such a level.
At Brunswick North West, all the staff are committed to protecting the environment. This is represented through the schools learning plans and surroundings. Students and teachers share a journey of learning about their effect on the planet and explore ‘greener’ alternatives. Students are encouraged to take action in the school community, local community and beyond.
The nature of Brunswick North West’s values and Charter sets the environment at a high priority. Through a detailed and up-to-date policy, teachers are kept aware of what is considered to be essential teaching, while feeling supported in their teaching.
In addition to this, there is a student-based environment club in operation, where all students are welcome to participate in various environmentally based activities such as awareness campaigns, fundraising, administration of school-wide projects, calculating the school’s footprint on the earth and more.
Recently, Brunswick North West commenced an extensive water and energy awareness project. With assistance and support (in the financial, physical and political sense) from the school population (of students, staff and parents) and local community, they were able to build a mosaic waterway feature that travels through the school grounds. Rain water is collected in two large capacity water tanks and pumped through to the waterway by wind energy generated from a windmill. The water is then re-entered into pipes and transferred to the expanding vegetable patch as garden water.
This was a massive project that took many weeks to complete. However, the effort was well worth the reward. The school now have a stunning mosaic feature that blends into the local environment. It uses and reuses natural resources in a sustainable and beneficial way. In addition to this, the waterway will continue to act as a reminder to everyone, of the positive ways we can utilise these resources well beyond the act of building it.
In addition to the schools standard and ongoing activities of animal husbandry, vegetable and orchard horticulture, worm bins and food composting, reduction and recycling of paper waste and energy conservation, they are currently concentrating on two sustainability projects that aim to foster an awareness of the impact our everyday actions have upon our environment. Through the denial of all electricity, during ‘Switch Off’ Days, students and teachers can focus on how much they depend on this finite resource and consider alternatives to using electricity where possible. Then, through the close monitoring of rubbish production during ‘Rubbish Free Lunch’ Days, students remain conscious of the level of waste they create and are provided with opportunities to consider more environmentally sound choices.Some of the excellent initiatives that the school has put in place during their time as a sustainable school are

• Rubbish Free Lunch Days.
• ‘Switch Off’ days where all electricity use is denied and students and teachers can focus on how much they depend on this finite resource and can consider alternatives.
• They have made significant energy reductions through their various initiatives.
• Worm bins and food composting implemented.
• Vegetable and orchid horticulture.
• Rain water is collected in 2 large capacity water tanks and pumped through to pipes using a pump powered by a wind mill.
• The school charter and values have set the environment as a high priority.
• Student based environment club.
• In the future they hope to construct a new playground with strong environmental themes based on wind, water, sun and energy.
When asked about the future of Brunswick North West Primary Teacher Hannah Reid said “At Brunswick North West, we aim to create an awareness of the environment through the use of natural resources within the immediate surroundings of the school grounds. Within our grounds, you will already find a large chicken enclosure, vegetable gardens, compost bins, the previously mentioned mosaic waterway with accompanying windmill and water tanks, Indonesian huts and gardens as well as many native plants and trees.
In the very near future, we will be continuing the development of our grounds in a variety of ways. Two major focuses at the moment are an environment trail and environmentally sustainable structures.
The Environment Trail aims to put a focus on the natural environment we have in our surroundings; it will be a series of approximately 10 ‘hot spots’ throughout the school grounds. Each of these ‘hot spots’ will have a plaque, presenting information and posing questions about the environment at that spot. This trail will operate at a number of different levels; student based – in their own time, student based – in class time and teacher based, with additional support material provided.
Another project we have planned is based in technology, through a recent grant we have acquired. Here, we plan to incorporate technology and our strong environmental focus to build environmentally sustainable structures; i.e. hail-bail or mud-brick seating and shelters.
In addition to this, we also hope to construct a new playground with a strong environmental theme based on “Wind, water, sun & energy”. We also hope to expand the biodiversity of the school grounds through urban forest renewal, desert gardens and wetlands and create a meeting place (a Koori inspiration) available for all the students to utilise.
By Brunswick North West Primary School|2017-11-06T17:14:33+10:00April 25th, 2013|0 Comments