Core Module Case Study

Name of school: Alkira Secondary College

Name of ResourceSmart AuSSI Vic module: Core Written by: Stephanie Searls

Date: July 2013

Alkira Secondary College is situated on Nurture Avenue, Cranbourne North, in the new Eve Estate residential development. The school follows a “private-public partnership”, one of only a few in the state. The secondary college has sustainable modern designs and architecture in mind, including smaller learning centres within the school and incorporates open learning areas and is divided into learning communities. The term Alkira means ‘big sky’ and it is situated on a 10 hectare property and has approximately 60% of this area as natural landscapes and also boasts a wetlands area. It opened in 2009 and is currently operating up to a Year 11 level with 2014 being the first year to be at capacity with all year levels running with an estimated 1100 students and approximately 90 staff.

The school’s principal Ian McKenzie has embedded a school ethos that has sustainability in mind and since day one has bred sustainable views and values into the curriculum and student body. The Alkira Planeteers (our student sustainability group) was formed early 2012 and works with the SRC to facilitate environmental initiatives within the school and monitor our progress.

Alkira Secondary started its official ResourceSmart AuSSI Vic by working on the Core Module in September 2012. Our school was funded by Sustainability Victoria and facilitated by Kirsty Costa from CERES to guide and help us on our journey.

In 2012, Miss Stephanie Searls was nominated for Teacher of the Year in the ResourceSmart school awards. The prize money for entering was used to undergo our first project, the school kitchen garden, and also register for the School Environment Tracking System (SETS) to help measure our resource use. The momentum has begun with the incorporation of practical sustainable ideas into the curriculum:

  • VCAL students maintain the kitchen garden and help with signage around the school.
  • Woodwork classes source local produce for their designs.
  • Mathematics classes analyse the data from SETS to track our progress.
  • Annual participation in Planet Ark’s National Tree Day.
  • Annual participation in Cool Australia’s ‘Environmental Week’, using Cool School resources across the curriculum.

We also explore global sustainability issues in our curriculum:

  • In Mandarin we look at China and its pollution
  • The tiger temples in Bangkok
  • The orang-utan conservation, logging and palm oil industry in Sumatra
  • The elephant conservation program in Thailand.

Miss Searls has visited, worked in and collected information in all of these countries and given our raised donations to these causes so we have made global connections as well.

Alkira Secondary college teachers all work together with full support of the leadership team and School Council to achieve sustainable milestones. Teachers are interested in various areas of environment, community and sustainable practices leading various initiatives around the school. It was relatively easy to implement and introduce sustainable projects into the school as they were already naturally occurring in the classroom and were set up as soon as the school opened.

Alkira Secondary is creating an environment within the college that is informed of our ecological footprint. We work together to maintain and improve our knowledge on how to make a difference, promoting projects and activities to help us do this. Students undertake projects that can be mimicked at home and incorporated into their everyday lives so they can inspire their family and friends to follow their lead. Weekly updates and tips are incorporated each week in our online newsletter. Information on our website also connects with the broader community to celebrate our success and provided inspiration to other schools and local business.

In Term 3 2013, Alkira Secondary College completed the ResourceSmart AuSSI Vic Core and Water Modules. We will next be embarking on reducing our electricity and gas as well as promoting sustainable transport through the Energy Module. Activities in our sustainability program are shared amongst the staff and students. We are proud of our achievements so far, which enable us to continue working together to achieve all of our environmental goals.

It is onwards and upwards for Alkira Secondary College to achieving a greener future.

By Alkira Secondary College|2017-11-06T18:03:33+10:00August 27th, 2013|0 Comments