Massive Community Action

As children learn best through modelling, Gisborne Montessori School is promoting ‘respect for the environment’ through the design and construction of our permanent school on 10 acres in New Gisborne. Construction started in July 2004 and the new school opened on 1st February 2005.

Massive community Action
The students, school families, the local community and the wider community were all involved in this project. The funding of the construction was initially through parent loans and there has been no government funding to support the construction of the school. Construction of the buildings was achieved through parents, local and wider community members volunteering their time and skills to build the school. Professionals were hired to cover missing skill sets (concreting, electrical, plumbing).

 Integrated curriculum allows the students to learn to respect for the environment through units related to the construction of the school on water conservation, energy conservation, waste management and social impacts. Future involvement of the students includes:
• A program is being prepared to further involve the students in the next stages of this project
• Students studying the proposed site plan and research the issues that are being addressed to develop a sound understanding of the community impact of the proposed school
• Students using the current non energy efficient school as a comparative study to evaluate the success of the new school
• Students being given opportunities to examine and compare products and participate in the evaluation and choice making process ie. Which thermal properties of glass do we want to enhance?
• Student involvement continuing with participation in tree plantings and permaculture development (with the guidance of a volunteer horticulturist from the wider community).School Families:
• Volunteered at the building site – 7 days a week, 12 – 22 hours a day
• School Notice Board – weekly updates on sustainability with photos of construction progress
• Web Site development (stage 1): www.montessori-gisborne.comhighlighting new school: a sound foundation for future work in this area • Tree planting day assistance
• Parent Committee – included an active Sustainability Sub-committee
• Greenhouse Challenge – a number of families committed to the CERES Greenhouse Challenge
• School construction Video – a video is being developed of the construction of the new school
• First Rate Energy Rating Qualification – one parent is now qualified in energy rating
• Permaculture Design Course – two parents attended a PDC and will work with the teachers and students to implement an active outdoor learning environment.

Local Community:
• Mass mailout to the local area was undertaken in June 2004 to advise the community of our activities
• Volunteers from the local community members worked on the building site to gain experience in materials usage
• Local suppliers and tradespeople were sought for building materials
• Parents acting as guest speakers for local service clubs
• Fundraising through the parent run Organic Bacon and Egg stall at the Gisborne Market each month provides additional opportunities for community education
• Local press supported the school’s activities with articles about the school’s development
• Macedon Ranges Shire Council Sustainability Director is supportive of the school’s activities.
Wider community:
• Owner Builder Magazine articles
• Montessori Association of Victoria (MORE) publications articles
• Volunteers for construction came as far away as Sydney
• Educational opportunities via family and friends have extended to Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne CBD.
Our Aims
It is intended that the Gisborne Montessori School will:
• Be a working demonstration of how small communities can contribute to the larger community
• Provide an after school hours learning facility for individuals / community groups.
The ultimate aim is for our students to develop a passion for preserving the environment: to understand why, know what can be done, how to do it and have certainty around their ability to make a difference.
By Gisborne Montessori School| 2017-11-06T17:57:55+00:00 May 12th, 2013|Uncategorised|0 Comments