Sustainability at Oak Park Primary
WELCOME TO SUSTAINABILITY IN 2020
Hello to all new and returning families! Here’s a quick rundown of recent happenings in relation to our Sustainability program and upcoming events:
There are two important Sustainability-based events coming up in Term 1. These are Clean Up Australia Day on Friday 28th February and Earth Hour on Friday 27th March. Students and staff will be involved in events recognising the important messages of these days.
In Term 2 we will be hosting the regional Resource Smart Schools event. This will give us the chance to show off the many great things we do at the school in relation to Sustainability.
We will soon be installing bird, bat and possum boxes as part of our biodiversity action plan, as well as making improvements to our frog pond area. Bird baths are also being installed as part of the action plan related to our Bird In Schools work of 2019.
SUSTAINABILITY – WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT?
Sustainability is about maintaining what we have on Earth, in terms of natural resources, biodiversity (animal and plant life) and environments. In simple terms, these are the general goals of the program:
To keep awareness going throughout the school, throughout the year, we observe in take part in special events to coincide with the following events:
The graduating class plant a ‘legacy planting’ each year, that leaves a lasting reminder of their attendance. On top of this, students monitor the school in terms of energy use, rubbish free lunches and composting and provide awards each week to high achieving classes. These are announced at assembly. We also have grades looking after our chickens and watering our vegetable gardens. At lunchtimes, students are regularly able to spend time with the chickens, work in the gardens and sample produce. We also have a market stall most Fridays where we sell produce from our garden, including eggs from the chickens.
Sustainability covers many aspects of the curriculum, with strong emphasis on Science, Civics and Citizenship and Ethical Capabilities.
2019 – TERM 3
Foundation – In Term 3, Foundation students will be learning about what helps plants to grow, the creatures in our gardens that can help this process along as well as running some experiments to discover what the most important elements are in helping plants to grow. We will touch on processes such as photosynthesis and the absorption of nutrients into plants by use of water.
1/2 – The juniors will be working on what ‘organic’ gardening is all about and the creatures in our gardens that help us. We will be focussing again on planting out our garden beds and using seasonal planting guides to decide on what should be planted at this time of year.
3/4 – The middle school are taking part in ‘Birds In Schools’. We will learn to identify, monitor and watch birds in our school grounds and make plans to increase the provisions in our school for making an inviting environment for the current birds and possibly attract other local species that we don’t often see.
5/6 – The senior students will be taking part in science experiments and learning about various chemical reactions and how these can be identified. They will take part in writing lab reports and handling and using materials safely.
News: Did you know we now have turtles??? Simon is a Murray River turtle and Squirt is an eastern longneck turtle. They live in the sustainability room and the students have loved getting to know them and feeding them. They are certainly being well cared for! Feel free to come in and meet them.
A big thanks to the PFA, who have made wonderful efforts to reduce the environmental impact of our school special events. Some examples have been locally sourcing products to reduce transport costs and impacts, purchasing compostable cups for the disco and sourcing palm oil free products for the Aug-a-thon and Hot X Bun drive. Well done PFA – you are certainly helping us reduce our impact on the environment!
School Council has recently passed our School Environmental Management Plan, which outlines actions we can take as a school to improve our sustainability. Some of these are sourcing recycled or environmentally friendly resources, encouraging the use of public transport for excursions and ensuring the reduction of landfill at school events. A big way you can help is by following our Rubbish Free Lunch policy and having students bring only food without disposable wrapping to school.
We are heavily involved in Resource Smart Schools and recently submitted for our first star as recognition of our actions. Stay tuned for more news!