Kingston Heath Primary School is working towards a sustainable future and environment for our whole school community. Some projects that we have been involved include:
- ResourceSmart AuSSi VIC Core Module
- Kingston Council’s “Education for our Futures” Program
- Water Learn it! Live It! (Silver Accredited)
- Sustainable Living Festival – Education Day
- Schools Clean Up Australia Day
- National Ride2School Day
- World Water Day Celebrations and Poster Competition
- Tree Planting Day in our local park, 50 Acres
- Official opening of the Botanic Gardens in Kingston
- Earth Hour
- Melbourne Water Youth Conference
- Junior Landcare’s Plastic into Plants Challenge
ResourceSmart AuSSi VIC Core Module
Our school joined the ResourceSmart AuSSi VIC program this year. ResourceSmart AuSSi VIC is a holistic approach to sustainability that integrates educational, environmental, social and economic outcomes. The Core Module is about strategic and action planning across school operations, learning & teaching and community engagement. There are also four Resource Modules – Biodiversity, Energy, Waste and Water.
KHPS is a silver accredited Water Learn it! Live It! School and has completed the Schools Water Efficiently Program. We have three water tanks, buckets under our taps and dual flush toilets. In partnership with South East Water, KHPS provided a free shower head exchange program to exchange old showerheads for new low-flow water efficient showerheads last year during our World Water Day celebration week.
Our school is looking at various initiatives to reduce our waste, recycle and reuse materials. We have completed a waste assessment and each class has an organic waste bin that we use for collecting our food waste to feed our worm farms and compost bins. We encourage all students and staff to bring their food in reusable containers. During our recent Rubbish Free Day we reduced our waste by over 50%. Every Tuesday is Rubbish Free Day and students receive house points for having a Rubbish Free lunchbox.
Currently we recycle paper, commingled items, batteries, toner cartridges, plastic bags, CDs, DVDs, mobile phones and corks.
The installation of photovoltaic solar cells on the school’s roof is contributing to the reduction in demand for energy derived from fossil fuels. Student ‘Energy Buster’ monitors ensure that lights and the Interactive Whiteboards are turned off around the school when not in use and computers at the end of the day at the power point.
KHPS participated in the opening of Kingston Heath Reserve Botanic Gardens (April 2009) which features many new indigenous plantings including large strands of Banksia, Eucalyptus and Native Frangipani trees. Students were provided with native melaleuca seedlings which were planted around the school and in the local community.
We began our vegetable gardens last year with tomato, zucchini, eggplant, strawberries, carrots, lettuce, bak choy, silverbeet, cabbage, basil, parsley and spring onion. They produced some delicious vegetables and we’re looking forward to more this year.
We are planning to plant a Native Bird Garden (Level 4), Indigenous Garden (Level 3), Butterfly Garden (Level 2), and a Sensory Garden (Level 1). We have been successful in receiving a Coles/Yates Garden Grant for the Native Bird Garden Project.
Our school has a student action team (SAT) called the Green Team. It consists of student representatives from each class, two teachers and several parent representatives who are also part of the Parent Green Team (PGT). We have two Year 5 leaders and the two previous leaders from last year, now in Year 6, assist the Year 5 leaders.
The Green Team meet fortnightly to discuss ways of making our school more sustainable and participate in hands-on sustainability activities.
Some programs that have been initiated by the Green Team so far:
- Weekly ‘Enviro SuperHero Award’ for someone who has been doing something outstanding for the environment.
- Rubbish Free Tuesdays were implemented by the Green Team as a response to the evaluation of the rubbish collected on Schools Clean Up Australia Day and the School Waste Audit.
- Small planting projects in our main courtyard that included some succulents, geraniums and yukkas.
The PGT have been:
- adding quality top soil to our garden beds
- mulching the school grounds
- general weeding and garden beautification
- having mini working bees on Wednesday or Friday from 2:30-3:30pm alternating fortnightly.
The PGT will be involved with the level projects. Any community members interested in joining the PGT can contact Sandie Baumgartner.