It is Glen Huntly Primary School’s mission to become a Sustainable school with green technologies, designs and behaviours. Our whole-school curriculum, initiatives and programs encourage our students and the local community to live more sustainably.
Since 2010 Glen Huntly Primary School has been developing a Sustainability Curriculum which combines the Primary Science Connections Program and the Resource Smart Aussi Vic Schools program under the guidance of CERES Education Consultant Kirsty Costa. In 2011 Glen Huntly wasselected as one of 30 to be offered a funded spot to work through the ResourceSmart AuSSI Vic Schools Program – Waste Module. In 2011 all levels throughout the school completed a unit on Sustainability.
The Level 1 unit focused on paper recycling. Our prep students learnt about the “Paper Only” bin, they learnt about reusing paper and the scrap paper box. They learnt about where paper comes from, how to use it properly and how to dispose of it in an environmentally sound way. They also learnt about how important it is to use recycled paper at the Healesville Sanctuary.
The Level 2 unit was Water “Let’s Wise Up”. Students worked on activities from the Primary Connections Water works unit. Students attended the CERES Water Keepers Program and explored water consumption in homes and water pollution in a Merri Creek walk and A River’s Tale. The students wrote stories about Merri Creek and pollution, created role-plays and performed them at the school assembly this term.
The Level 3 unit focused on Native Animals and Preserving Habitats. The students researched endangered Australian species and presented speeches, created dioramas and displayed posters about their findings. The students also did a unit on paper recycling.
The Level 4 students focused on Waste and Recycling.
In 2012 the Units will focus on:
- Recycling – (Level 1 & Level 2) with explicit teaching about the concepts of ‘rethink,’ ‘reuse,’ reduce’ and ‘recycle.’
- Energy – Level 3 will focus on Energy usage and consumption at school and at home. They will visit the CERES house.
In 2011 Glen Huntly Primary School selected its first ever Sustainability Captains. These two Grade 6 students Tim and Betty have been encouraged to attend Sustainability Meetings, enter in the school’s SETS data, participated in the schools sustainable projects which included The Rain Water Garden, Indigenous Garden and the Outdoor Garden. They attended Working Bees, spoke at assembly about Environmental issues and handed out awards. They are creating a PowerPoint about the new Rain Water garden and are mentoring Grade 5 students in entering data into SETS.
In 2012 the Sustainability Captains will additionally be involved in promoting and organising the Waste Wise Wizards Program, helping students understand which bins to put their waste into, announcing weekly “Classroom Lunchbox” awards and “Least Landfill” awards at assemblies and be actively involved in looking after the schools new chooks.
Since the very early days of 2005 and the funding received through a healthy eating project called “Seesaw” where the parents helped build our first veggie garden and take groups of students for planting and harvesting, Glen Huntly P.S has continued to strive to increase sustainable activities in and out of the classroom. Students in all grade levels have participated in gardening in the school grounds and the schools newly established Garden Club has been enormously popular. The students work collaboratively to plant vegetables in the veggie patches, native plants in the Indigenous Garden and natives in the Rain Water Garden and attend to various mulching and other lovely activities.
Rubbish Free Lunches
The school has practised waste minimisation and management. In 2010 G.H.P.S introduced Waste Wise Lunch days with the Golden Lunch Box awarded to two levels of the school for the most % of its students who had no waste in their lunches.
In 2011 the school announced a zero waste policy encouraging all students to bring rubbish free lunches to the school and temporarily rested the Lunch box awards. Through newsletter articles Glen Huntly families have been encouraged to purchase environmentally friendly lunchboxes to reduce landfill. Families have also been asked to consider using recycled packaging when handing in notices and money for activities/excursions etc.
With the zero waste policy being slowly incorporated into our schools culture and the students love of the competition, the Sustainability Committee have decided to reintroduce the “Golden Lunch Box award” in 2012.
Waste Wise Wizards (W.W.W)
Our school’s Waste Wise Wizards project, which will begin in 2012, plans to further reduce the amount of landfill waste created daily by students and teachers through the introduction of a composting system and green matter disposal system. The project will allow a student team (W.W.W) to actively participate in sustainable routines and practise effective waste minimisation and management of the schools waste stations.
Each classroom and staffroom will have colour coded and clearly labelled waste stations comprising of three bins:
1) A food scrap bin
2) A paper recycling bin and
3) A landfill bin
It will be the Waste Wise Wizards’ responsibility to collect and monitor the waste from each classroom. They will deliver food scraps to the chooks/compost bin and empty paper from the “Paper Only” bins into the schools recycling bins.
Waste Wise Wizards will be a powerful vehicle to facilitate changes to knowledge, attitudes, skills around waste efficiency and build on current green behaviours and behavioural change of the whole school community. It will aim to deeply engrain a waste culture based on the 4R’s of Rethink, Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.