Monbulk Primary School Water Module Learning Story
We have begun working on the Water module; this module has been the particular focus of the student sustainability group – now that they have completed their EASL (Eastern Alliance for Sustainable Learning) course, work can begin fully in term three. Looking at this module has given us the opportunity to review our current water saving practices and look at ways that we can further reduce our mains water consumption. Late last year, our school signed up to SWEP (Schools Water Efficiency Program) which has already helped us to monitor the school’s water usage more closely and send us an alert when there are any leaks.
Our five sustainability captains will use the skills honed during the EASL course to raise awareness of water usage and consumption within our school and wider community, and use feedback to develop water saving strategies that can be implemented across the school and within students’ homes. They will use information from Yarra Valley Water and SWEP to analyse our school’s water data, and come up with ways to make improvements around the school. They will liaise with SRC members to facilitate fundraising opportunities, with monies raised to be put towards ‘gaps’ that are evident in our Water module. Staff will guide students to complete an audit if the water infrastructure in our school, and analyse the school’s water usage to ensure that we are meeting benchmarks and identify areas for improvement.
In the past couple of years, there have been a number of sporadic spikes in water usage. These have been caused by leaks, or most recently, by vandals who have tampered with our sprinkler systems. Fortunately, the last leak we had was picked up by SWEP within twenty four hours and we were able to engage a plumber to fix the problem – although there was still some wastage in water (around 100L an hour for almost 48 hours), we would not have known there was a leak that early if not for SWEP, so we saved potential water being wasted.
Earlier this year, some parents that are members of school council volunteered to help move planter boxes that were falling into disrepair, and these have now been disposed of. The plants within them have been planted within the school gardens by our maintenance contractor. The planter boxes in the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden will soon be replaced by new ones, as many of them have rotted in places.
The school has achieved certification in the Core and Energy modules, with Waste being reviewed for certification as this document was being created. Our school hopes to be certified for Water by the end of 2019.