Sustainability at Banyule PS
Banyule Primary School is committed to providing a caring, nurturing environment where children are aware and responsible for contributing to a sustainable future for our planet.
Learning about Sustainability is a Cross Curriculum Priority in the Victorian Curriculum. Sustainability education is embedded into all areas of the curriculum from Foundation to Year 6.
SUSTAINABILITY ACTION TEAMS
Every student and staff member in our school is part of a Sustainability Action Team (Waste, Water, Biodiversity or Energy). These teams meet regularly each term to set & implement goals and participate in hands on activities within their area of Sustainability. Each of our school houses correlates with a Sustainability Action Team. These teams change every year meaning that throughout their time at Banyule Primary School, students will have been part of each Sustainability Action Team. We elect Student Action Team Leaders each year, as well as 10 Teacher Leaders and an overall Sustainability Coordinator, Mrs Courtney Hicks.
For more information about what our Sustainability Action Teams are up to please check out our four pin boards in the breezeway outside of the student toilets.
Each year the whole school focuses on a particular aspect of Sustainability for a term of Integrated Studies. Sub-topics include: Biodiversity, Water, Energy and Waste. Students explore these concepts through hands on activities and then apply what they have learned to sustainable practices within the school and wider community.
We were announced as the Resource Smart School of the Year at the 2016 Resource Smart Awards. We were lucky enough to be given a $10,000 grant from Momentum Energy to install Solar Panels.
ResourceSmart AuSSI Vic provides a holistic approach to sustainability. It integrates educational, environmental, social and economic outcomes so that schools do not see each area in isolation but as components of the bigger picture of Sustainability. There are five modules in the program: Core, Waste, Water, Energy and Biodiversity.
In 2011 we commenced our journey to become a ResourceSmart AuSSIVic Sustainable School by completing the core module, which is about strategic & action planning across school operations, learning & teaching and community engagement. From that we have devised an environmental education policy, action plans, student action groups and set the foundation for Banyule Primary’s sustainable future. Since then we have worked hard at gaining a four-star sustainable school rating. We aim to continue our journey by working through the fifth and final module. For more information regarding ResourceSmart AuSSIVic please visit:
SUSTAINABILITY IN PRACTISE AT BANYULE PRIMARY
Our Sustainability Garden was updated in 2017 and relates to the four areas of Sustainability. It contains 20 vegetable gardens filled with heirloom variety fruits, vegetables & herbs, a native fauna bank, a greenhouse to grow seeds, an irrigation system, 18 tires filled with herbs, worm farms (we collect their waste to fertilise our gardens), compost tumblers, a 100% recycled material chicken coop, 6 rescue chickens that we saved from a battery farm, bike racks, a green house, irrigation system, outdoor classroom/work area and an orchard. The garden was developed as a collaborative effort of all four Sustainability Action Teams and is maintained by all members of our school community.
In 2014, the Waste Action Team was a finalist for the Resource Smart School’s Awards Waste School of the Year. The Waste Action Team have implemented a four bin system in every classroom where we sort our organic waste, comingled recycling, paper/cardboard and landfill to ensure our waste is managed correctly. Students feed our organic scraps to the chooks, worm farms and compost daily. We promote ‘nude food’, where we encourage everyone to pack a rubbish free lunch box. Student Waste Leaders address our whole school community about Waste Wise ideas regularly.
Our Biodiversity Action Team planted and maintain our vegetable gardens and native plant embankments in our school. They developed a worm farm with over 500 worms and are responsible for collecting the worm waste to use on our gardens. The Biodiversity Team’s fresh produce is often sold at our pop-up Produce Stall where the funds raised help pay for feed for the chickens. Students in the Biodiversity Team conduct regular Biodiversity Audits to identify and protect our native flora and fauna.
Our Water Action Team placed plastic buckets under our drinking taps to recycle the water. Students collect this water and use it to water our gardens and quench our chicken’s thirst. We have water tanks installed to ensure we are saving as much water as possible. We participate in National Water Week activities each year and encourage all of our students to bring water bottles to school to keep hydrated. The Water Action Team meet regularly to develop goals and implement new water wise activities at our school.
Our Energy Action Team meet regularly to develop and achieve goals related to conserving Energy. We have class Energy Monitors, who are responsible for turning off the lights, heaters, computers etc. when they are not being used. We have louvers installed in our BER building to naturally cool down the classrooms instead of using ceiling fans. Our Energy Action Team is encouraging regular Walk and Ride to school days to promote clean methods of transport. The bike racks near our Sustainability Garden are for anyone to use so that we can get as many students as possible walking, scooting and riding to school.
SUSTAINABILITY CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Each year, we develop a Sustainability Calendar of Events which includes a wide range of activities such as;
· Sustainability Action Team Meetings
· Sustainability Celebration Days (World Environment Day, National Recycling Week, National Water Week etc)
· Hours without Power
· Photocopy free days
· Working bees focused on Sustainability
· Walk and Ride to School Days
· Rubbish Free Lunch Days
· Various recycling projects
· Various planting days
· Whole School Sustainability Incursions
· Working with members of the community on Sustainability projects
· Clean up days
For more information about what our Sustainability Action Teams are up to please check out our Instagram page @bpsgardeningclub