When I started at our school 6 years ago we had just 19 children and we were ready for change. With extensive consultation with the then very small school community, the importance of creating a sustainable environment with supporting educational programs was identified as a priority area. The ResourceSmart Schools program was highlighted as a potential resource to support our goals and by working with the school coordinator for the program we were able to set some clear actions that were then incorporated in our 2014-2017 School Strategic Plan. I believe our sustainable practice has had a positive impact on enrolments with 78 students now at our school.
Our school community was not lacking in enthusiasm however the journey was far more challenging than first anticipated. We started with the easy goals of compost and paper and once our first star was reached we were provide with funding boast from Resource smart than enabled us to make some major changes to a very energy inefficient building. Once again our small working party were guided by the skill from the ResouceSmart Schools team. We are very proud to have achieved 5 star accreditation today and are very prepared to continue our commitment to the sustainable goals we have set for the future.
Principal Chewton Primary School
This year Scott Purdon will be leading the schools sustainability program. He is pictured here learning the ropes with Michelle as his guide
Our Solar Project: Thank you to all for your wonderful support to provide solar panels for our school. Our funding goal has been reached and we hope that our panels will be installed early 2015. This has been a team effort with a strong community focus. The benefits of this project will be felt for many years to come.
The day our panels were installed.
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In 2013, Chewton Primary School signed up to a program called ‘ResourceSmart‘. In 2011, the Victorian Government committed $8.305 million over four years to build on the existing ResourceSmart AuSSI Vic Framework. ResourceSmart is a framework that is embedded into a school’s culture, which promotes and supports Sustainability. Chewton Primary School is working towards achieving ‘5 STAR Sustainability Certification’. We will achieve this by completing 5 modules ,Core, Water, Energy, Waste, Biodiversity and Leadership.
Last year we were successful in gaining a $10,000 grant to assist us with our venture. We have made a positive start to this journey with Module 1 close to completion.
Our 3-6 students are in student action teams and have leadership roles in the school to help reduce our carbon footprint and implement behaviour change. We call these groups our ‘Green Teams.’ We are close to completing an energy audit for our school which will form the basis to making some high impact changes to our electricity usage with the upgrading of lighting and reducing drafts throughout the school buildings.
In Term 1, 2014, we have a whole school focus on sustainability with a particular emphasis on water management. During this term, we will work towards completing the Water Module. We encourage parent participation and input into this program.
At Chewton Primary School, a continued exploration and improvement of environmentally sustainable practices is embedded in our school curriculum and reflected in the 2014 School Strategic Plan. We believe that fostering a positive attitude and appreciation of sustainable environmental practice is vital to the development of our students and complements our school motto - Nurturing the whole child in every child.
Chewton PS recognises the need to become environmentally literate and sustainable in our teaching and operation practice, and will develop protocols of sound environmental practice by:
· Achieving targets set for resource reduction – in workplace and classroom.
· Timetable student programs incorporating modules aligned with AusVELS.
· Develop community involvement and continue active community partnerships to achieve our goals.
· Student action teams providing leadership and ownership of decision making, and mentoring other students.
· Protecting and enhancing the biodiversity of our grounds during maintenance, new works and everyday use.
At Chewton PS we will enable visitors to see our vision and commitment to creating a sustainable and responsible future illustrated in our physical school environment and our teaching, learning and operational practices, and to show how education and commitment to these practices are aligned to create a dynamic and nurturing learning environment.
Each year we participate in Schools Clean Up Australia Day. This is some of the rubbish we found outside the school grounds. March 2015
All of our new plantings are mulched with a team of parent and student helpers. Feb 2015
Recycle Your Batteries Here
Our school has volunteered to be a drop off point for used bateries. Children are recognized as being high consumers of batteries and we have to assume many of these are going to landfill.
The bin is on the wall just inside Sally’s office.This project is being initiated by the Mt Alexander Sustainablity Group.
How many buckets of water do you use in a shower? The prep- 2 class tested some shower heads to find out which ones used the least water.
Rob from Coliban Water worked with the children build a water. We had to move, sewage, clean water and recycled water.
Meet our 'Green Teams' for 2014. They have the jobs of waste management, water conservation and energy savings.
One of the first jobs of the year was to conduct a water audit. Tim and Otis worked with Rob and quickly discovered many leaks and inefficient water devises.The bubble taps were squirting water in a the wrong places. Rob will work with water team next week as they make some repairs.
Our Schools Water Management Team have been very busy these past few weeks making sure that we have no leaky taps and that everyone is making sure we don't waste water.
They have been helpful in adding their ideas to our new school Water Management Policy
Our worm farm
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