Congratulations to our 2017 Scarecrow Monitors!
Wattle Park Primary School is committed to developing a Sustainable School. We have worked with CERES (http://sustainability.ceres.org.au/) in developing a 4 year action plan.Why choose a SCARECROW as the logo for Kitchen Garden, Healthy Eating and Sustainability programs? What does SCARECROW symbolize?
In the Wizard of OZ the Scarecrow wants to be clever – if he only had a brain… He learns in the end that he always had the power to think, to choose, to lead, so do we. As a school community we have embarked on an exciting adventure, teaching and learning about sustainability.
So there you have it - Scared? No!
We have created out Scarecrow logo and our students have developed an acrostic which is as follows:
Wattle Park Primary School’s Sustainability Story
Our school’s program began with interest from one teacher and a group of two or three parents who set up a very small vegetable garden. The teacher left the school and the garden ended. This was at the end of 2006.
Through the interest of these parents we decided to develop our focus. We undertook the following steps:
· We facilitated a guest speaker who ran a staff forum on sustainability. This prompted great discussion, the result being the staff’s interest in pursuing the initiative.
· We ran parent forums, communicated and consulted through our Team Leaders and leadership teams. We liaised with the students through the Student Representative Council.
· We organised school visits, linked with our neighbouring retirement village, spoke at assemblies and wrote regularly in our school newsletter.
· We selected three staff members to liaise with our newly formed Sustainability group. A logo and acronym Scarecrow, were created. We met with the Parents and Friends Group, the School Council, the parents and the wider school community. Links to the Buildings and Grounds Committee were formed. Momentum built.
· We accessed financial support through the City of Whitehorse to fund Glenn Davidson (originally from CERES) who assisted our school in completing our four-year action plan towards becoming a sustainable school. As well as attending our Team Leaders meeting, Glenn regularly presented at staff professional development sessions and also attended Team Meetings and Team Planning Day sessions. Added to this we organised a Parent Forum with Cara Horner, also from CERES.
· We facilitated a Student Scarecrow committee. Scarecrow badges were presented. We took a group of 6 students to an Environmental Forum held at Syndal South PS with the then Shadow Federal Member for the Environment. Students attended the City of Whitehorse launch of their Sustainability Plan.
Through our Innovations and Excellence network one teacher was selected to write units of work on Sustainability using a VELS integrated template. Teams across the school have planned and implemented curriculum to support our four-year action plan. There have also been excursions to CERES by students in Level 3 and 4. Of great satisfaction has been the involvement of the students. They have developed initiatives to reduce our water usage and waste output.
· We applied and were successful in receiving funding through the ‘Go for your Life’ Fresh Fruit Friday program –a grant of $4,300 was received. We are now into the third year of the program.
· We accessed funding through the Community Water Grants Water Savings Project. This has resulted in our toilets having duel flush operations as well as pressure valves placed on all taps.
· We built a vegetable garden with support from Mitre 10 and Holmesglen TAFE.
· We had a very successful involvement in the Bluescope Steel ‘Tank a Day’ initiative with our school the recipient of a tank. The subsequent involvement of our school on Channel Nine’s The Today Show took place.
· A ‘chickens’ project which includes a number of interested students and parents who feed and free range 10 chickens operate. Eggs are sold to cover their cost while making a small profit.
· Parents attended training through the Port Phillip EcoCentre in St. Kilda.
· We were interviewed for BBC4 radio in regard to our Sustainability Program.
· We established consensus among all stakeholders so that our school’s shared vision and goals could be created.
· Each day is a Rubbish Free Lunch Day.
· We have been successful in both the National Solar Schools Program and the Victorian Solar in Schools initiative. Click here to find out how much energy we have saved with our solar panels.
Some of the other initiatives in place include:
Arbor Week Grants from the Natural Conversation League and a compost tumbler from Whitehorse Council. Partnership with Friends of Back Creek Environmental group, Camberwell, planting 2000 tube stock to assist in revegetating a local waterway as part of Arbor Week.
Introduction in July 2008 of the school newsletter being only available on the Wattle Park Primary School website, reducing the amount of paper used by 80 reams per year and the use of photocopier in terms of ink and power consumption.Increasing the number of students who have ‘Nude Food’ lunch boxes.
Reduction in the number of bins available in the playground by 50% to encourage students not to take their rubbish outside.Poster prompters and scarecrow stickers on light switches to remind students to turn off lights and heaters when not required.Collection of grey water from drinking taps.
Use of recycled newspapers to create new garden beds.Invited by the CFA in 2008 to present to district leaders at the regional headquarters in East Burwood about the strategies utilized by WPPS to minimize waste. This evolved from our connection with the Rubbish Free Lunch Challenge.
Increasing the Visy recycling collections.Compost using vegetable scraps.
The results have been:
- A commitment across our school to sustainable programs,
- An understanding of each person’s responsibility,
- Strong curriculum links,
- External partnerships,
- Leadership opportunities for students resulting in greater connectedness to school,
- Winner of the Most Sustainable School and the overall City of Whitehorse Sustainability Award winner at the 2009 presentations, and
- An ongoing commitment through our School Strategic Plan.