At Pascoe Vale Primary School, we aim to empower our students, teachers and school community to appreciate our planet and to learn how to sustain it for our futures. Through whole school events, meaningful experiences, teaching and learning, we have continued to reconsider the way we take care of our environment. With small changes, we have seen powerful improvements.
We are actively involved in the ResourceSmart Schools program, run by Sustainability Victoria. Through this, our school works closely with CERES to learn, grow and engage students in sustainability. With their support we have achieved four stars, and are working towards the fifth which is ‘Leadership’. This initiative encourages us to rethink the way we use and interact with the four models of Biodiversity, Energy, Water and Waste.
Since being a ResourceSmart School, we have saved:
Our student leaders are extremely passionate and willing to help improve our school to become more sustainable. They assist with whole school events, the Nude Food competition, composting, REDcycling and recycling. Student leaders teach others through classroom visits, newsletter items and school assemblies.
HOW WE ARE SUSTAINABLE:
We encourage Nude Food (zero waste lunches) every day and have school house competitions every fortnight. During lunch and recess play times, there are no rubbish bins, as food is not allowed outside to reduce littering. Instead, students have time inside their classrooms to eat their brain food, snacks and lunch.
A group of students often help with weeding, watering and growing vegetables in the Children’s Garden. Class monitors and student leaders assist with our composting program to help decompose our fruit and vegetable scraps, so they don’t go to landfill as waste. Over the last two years, we have been collecting REDcyclying (soft plastics) to reduce our waste, by taking them to a local supermarket.
Pascoe Vale Primary School has many solar panels to reduce our use of power. There are multiple water tanks within the school grounds to collect rain water. In all rooms of the school, there are signs and displays to remind students and staff to save energy when using televisions, fans, heaters, air conditioners and lighting. Teachers are mindful of having classroom heaters and air conditioners set to an appropriate temperature and opening their blinds to use natural lighting, instead of artificial. Students are encouraged to ‘dress for the weather’ to make sure they are cool in summer and warm in the winter months of the year.
Each year, students engage with an inquiry unit that allows them to explore an aspect of sustainability in our world. We consistently endeavour to connect with the way Traditional Owners of the Land (Wurundjeri people of the Kulin nation) live and how they are able to maintain the Earth’s natural resources by living sustainably. Teachers utilise rich media and print texts in reading, writing and inquiry to teach students about our Earth’s resources and how to take care of our planet. In this way, our school community can develop ideas and learn to live more sustainably.
We acknowledge the work and effort of staff, parents and students as we all work together to help protect our planet and school.
http://www.pvps.vic.edu.au/index.php/school/news (Sustainability updates, information and tips)