Project summaries - 2011 Eco Schools grants
Updated December 2011
Our school caters for an Indigenous student population of about 20 percent. There are substantial ties between the school and the Indigenous community and the school prides itself in its programs that cater for the individual and collective needs of our Aboriginal students in regard to supporting them educationally and culturally. Respect and celebration of their customs and traditions are an integral part of the school philosophy. An attempt was made to create a space for all students that encompassed elements of a traditional meeting place and a native garden called Midannabu or 'One mob'. The school would like to develop this area into an outdoor learning space where students can, in particular, learn about the cultural significance of the indigenous peoples and their ties to the land when students are learning about indigenous perspectives across the curriculum.
Armidale High School has an enrolment of approximately 35 percent Indigenous students of Anaiwan or Nganyaywana Aboriginal peoples. The project is to establish a garden that is a 'special place' and a quiet place within the school grounds for our Indigenous students. The garden will fuse bush tucker and native plants with an artistic expression in the form of totem poles forming the perimeter of the garden. Each totem pole will be decorated by the graduating year and name the graduating indigenous students of each year. The garden will serve to honour past indigenous students and remind the present indigenous students of the successes of past students. The project involves students researching, sharing, establishing, planting and labelling indigenous plants native to the local area as well as developing interpretive signs about the plants and their uses. Benefits include increasing student and staff understanding of local Aboriginal history and customs and engaging present students in acknowledging the bush tucker heritage of Anaiwan peoples.
Balgownie Public School
Development of a vegetable garden on school grounds
Balgownie Public School intends to build a vegetable garden on school grounds. This will be a joint project of students, parents, teachers and the wider community. Balgownie Public School has recently finalised a five year School Environmental Management Plan. This document outlines plans to develop the school curriculum (learning content) and school grounds (physical space) to evolve the school into a more eco-friendly community and space. The development of a vegetable garden which all students will look after is a key component of this document and we are seeking funding to turn this garden into a reality.
Bedgerabong Public School
Bedgerabong healthy scrub, healthy grub project
The 'Bedgerabong healthy scrub, healthy grub' project is a response to our communities' need for the development of greater awareness and skills in permaculture principles, soil health and environmentally sustainable gardening/agriculture practices. The school community has built a kitchen garden on the grounds and wish to harness the opportunities provided by this garden to provide practical and engaging learning opportunities in relation to sustainable ecosystems and food production. We require funding for additional infrastructure to enable us to effectively engage the school community in permaculture practice - such as a composting system, seed propagation materials and a chicken coop and yard. We have developed a partnership with the Lachlan Catchment Management Authority who will work closely with us in the implementation of this project and provide educational support particularly in soil health education. Funding for this project will enable us to move forward as a whole of school community in a sustainable way.
Beecroft Primary School
Beecroft grounds renewal project
Beecroft will work with the school community to establish a number of gardens that student will be responsible for planting and maintaining. The project will give students hands on experiences in dealing with a number of environmental issues and will have students take on ownership of the school environment.
Bellevue Hill Public School
Native habitat garden and corridor
This application seeks funding to support the establishment of a native habitat garden in the grounds of Bellevue Hill Public School (BHPS). The school has been transformed with the building of a new school hall. Parents, staff and students have devised an ambitious plan to transform its landscape as well, and to create joint projects that will link new gardens with environmental and indigenous education. A native habitat garden in the grounds of BHPS will complete a native habitat corridor between Cooper Park and Bellevue Park, enabling BHPS to form vital links with the local community.
Belltrees Public School
Chooks to cucumbers
We will work as a school community to build a child friendly chook house and vegetable garden that will allow us to teach the children about sustainable gardening, recycling, waste management and caring for animals. This project will be connected to our healthy canteen program, through the selection of seedlings and plants that will be suitable to use in our canteen preparation each week - including lettuce, tomato, onion and cucumbers. The children will see that it is possible to make a difference to their world through simple programs and activities, and will learn to use household waste for recycling and other practical purposes, rather than throwing it into the bin!
Blacksmiths Public School
Fresh fruit farm
This project involves students designing, planting and maintaining an orchard, following organic gardening principles. Our community demonstrates limited awareness of sustainable living practices and few students have food gardens. Through our vegetable garden, students are becoming engaged in and knowledgeable about, growing and eating local, seasonal produce and associated practises including composting, worm farming, water conservation etc. This is slowly extending into the wider community as students spread the message. We now have parents volunteering with garden classes and some have begun home gardens. The orchard will enable us to expand the program, involving all students, allowing real life learning about sustainability.
Boorowa Central School
The project will have two components including the whole school. Secondary students will generate an educational video based on workshops delivered by South East Resource Recovery Regional Organisation of Councils on recycling and leadership. Boorowa Central School will embed environmental sustainability into the school's curriculum by supporting a student led program that fits within Primary Connected Outcome Groups units. The program involves the collection of composting materials (from 'fruito break') and recycling materials (paper). The materials will be composted and used in gardens that grow edible and ornamental plants. A worm farm will also be established. Students will be able to track the plant's lifecycle and monitor the benefits of composting.
Boronia Park Public School
A new stage: edible garden learning environment
The 'edible garden learning environment' is a project that takes our trial vegetable patch to a new stage of a permanent garden, for vegetables and indigenous edible plants. We developed a trial vegetable garden with small groups of Year 6 students, the school gardener and community volunteers. The school is now ready to integrate this environmental learning into the curriculum for each class from K-6. To do this we need to expand the edible garden area so that six groups of five students can work in the garden at one time. This initiative is supported by the whole school community. We will reduce, reuse and recycle our school waste to develop compost for the vegetable garden.
Bowraville Central School
Bowraville native fauna augmentation project
The 'Bowraville native fauna augmentation' program (BNFAP) aims to continue to build on the conservation and habitat enhancing work that has been completed previously at the school. This project will provide funds that will help sustain the interest and momentum within the student body for protecting and encouraging native species within the school and district. It will involve a wide range of students, many from severely disadvantaged backgrounds that in many cases find it hard to find activities that they can feel part of and were they can achieve easily recognisable success. This project will also help to engage students in our Return from Suspension Program unit that are coming back from suspension or have attendance issues. The BNFAP will also continue to provide outdoor teaching and learning experiences for students, staff and the wider Bowraville community.
Budawang school community native garden and bike track
Our school occupies a corner position in a quiet street. The land between our school fence and the road has been used as a dumping spot for the stones used to make the road. Sections of the land seem to be sterile as nothing grows there. The only thing that does grow in other spots are weeds. We mow the weeds at the moment, but would like to bring in some fertile soil and plant this area with native plants that will improve the appearance of the whole neighbourhood, including the entrance to our school. The section of land is wide and long enough to build a bike track along two sides of the school. Bike riding is an important part of our school Personal Development, Health and Physical Education program. The project would be supported by a local business enterprise and a nursery who would provide labour and plants at a reduced cost. TAFE will also be involved if they can form a disabilities class. Our students would assist with the planning, design and development of the project.
Byron Bay Public School
The evergreen team: sprouting sustainable gardening practices
Our school is currently establishing a vegetable garden that is permaculture based and incorporates sustainable practices and a waste management program. A number of planned initiatives will make a difference to the school's approach to garden and waste management and environmental sustainability. Our 'Green team' consists of children from each year and parent and teacher helpers. The children are given hands on experience in selecting plants, sowing plants into the soil, overseeing the growth, harvesting to supplement the food provided by school canteen. We also have established an indigenous plant area that will enable children to learn about indigenous species and culture. The 'Green team' rotates each term so that every student can experience the garden and learn about the process of growing fresh produce, from soil management, climate requirements to harvesting and preparation. To reach its full potential and be self-sufficient, funding is needed for many plants, watering systems, composting equipment, soil, gardening tools, and a worm farm.
Camdenville Public School
Reducing waste at Camdenville - integrated composting system
Camdenville Public School is a small primary school located in the heart of the inner city suburb of Newtown, Sydney. The school community initiated a vegetable garden last year and the teachers and students have been using the garden each week for lessons on planting, growing and harvesting food. From the beginning the plan has been to create a permaculture garden where the composting of organic waste would be a feature to build students and the local community's understanding about ecological sustainability and its value to the environment. Our school would like to improve its composting systems to include worm farms, rotating compost bins and chickens. We believe the school can showcase to the greater community, the variety of ways to compost and reduce waste which will lead to a greater understanding of ecosystems, biodiversity and sustainable food growing practices.
Cameron Park School
Organic food gardens for life, leisure and well-being
Cameron Park School caters to the needs of students with moderate to severe intellectual and physical disabilities. A regional plan for Special Education services has seen Cameron Park School restructure to become part of a three campus model school. Cameron Park School is therefore expanding and specialising in the education of middle school students who are in years 5-8 of their education. This change to our school population will allow us to now include Agriculture as a key learning area and to develop both staff and student's knowledge and understanding of effective, sustainable and environmentally responsible plant agricultural practices.
Central Tilba Primary
Practical learning in food production and waste reduction
This project will educate our students and their families in the steps they can take to support sustainable food production and waste reduction. The project will develop partnerships between staff, students and parents. Knowledge and skills will be shared through the community. Students will gain practical skills and experience in techniques of propagation, maintenance and integrated pest management and will become successful at growing food. The need for this project was identified from a survey of students' interests. The students have expressed a desire to participate in the food gardens and reduce waste as one of their priority areas. The food garden project will be integrated into broader school management activities through the creation of large scale composting bins to recycle office waste, grass clippings and vegetative waste from maintenance of the school grounds and the use of worm farms to deal with the food scraps from students and staff lunches.
Claremont College student kitchen garden
The 'Claremont College student kitchen garden' will provide the students with a hands-on opportunity to grow herbs and vegetables for them to use in cooking both at school and at home. The children will take responsibility for caring for their garden and through this, they will learn about healthy eating, sustainable living, composting, water conservation and responsible pest control. The children will also learn the fundamentals of propagation and garden care. The students will understand that this project contributes to, and encourages them to have a healthy and active lifestyle.
Colo High School
Building environmental leadership and bird biodiversity
Students have identified a lack of small bird species in the 26 acres of school grounds. Research undertaken by students has identified a number of endangered small woodland bird species that should be present in our local area. Our proposal is to create a suitable habitat by removing introduced plant species and re-planting the dense understorey shrubs that provide both protection and food for small bird species. The project work will be carried out by our student landcare group. The group is lead by year 11 students who are training younger students to carry out environmental initiatives. Involvement in the student landcare group will foster future student leaders and become self sustaining.
Coomealla High School
Our land our food
A year 8 class has been working on the concept of beautifying/revegetating a section of the entrance way to the school throughout 2011. We have had assistance from the local Landcare group and students have joined as junior members. The project will bring to fruition the plans and thoughts of students, community and staff to have an entrance to the school that reflects out geographical location as native plants will be used. Students, in 2012 will work toward the formation, planting and maintenance of the gardens. Planning is currently taking place as to introducing the project as an elective for a small group of students to undertake. The second area to be developed as part of the project is a bush tucker garden where students will work with the local Aboriginal community to gather seeds, propagate plants, grow and harvest food. This concept is cross curricula and the school is working on a Common Outcomes method of teaching in year 8 this year.
Croydon Public School
Creation of sustainable vegetable gardens at Croydon Public School
We aim to increase students' environmental awareness and understanding of the need for sustainable gardening practices that benefit themselves, the local community and the environment. Our project/plan is to develop sustainable and eco-friendly vegetable gardens and orchards within the school grounds. We will invite parents to become involved, particularly those with expertise in environmental and gardening practices. The gardens will be used to provide fresh foods to promote healthy living as well an outdoor learning environment that provides students with practical/hands-on, relevant learning experiences. Supplementary worm farms and composting will provide educational opportunities for sustainability and waste reduction. Promotion of more efficient use of resources will occur via rainwater harvesting, recycling etc. Children will have access to an existing rain water tank for the garden. Teachers can utilise the gardens to promote environmental sustainability as well as horticulture and gardening practices.
Curl Curl North Public School
The interactive garden
An unused area of the school grounds needs to be developed into a valued environment. Through activities involving weeding, clearing, constructing and planting we aim to provide an area of biodiversity and sustainability as a learning and passive area for students.
Elonera Montessori School
At Elonera Montessori School our aim is to re-claim an area of school grounds that lies parallel and very close to a creek behind our school play and classroom area. The plans have been approved by the Department of Water and Energy. The project will involve the whole school with leadership from the high school. The area will return to its natural state with creek restoration and planting between the school hall and Aristo Creek. The project's success will mean a natural area which protects Aristo Creek and provide a habitat. We want to facilitate a design implementation process that involves all stakeholders (students, parents, teachers, maintenance staff and community) and demonstrate how small spaces, no matter how small can be integrated into the whole school responsibilities of the environmental education curriculum and the whole school management plan and practices. The support of stakeholders will facilitate the implementation process. The NSW Environmental Trust Grant would fund materials and our community will build the project.
Gillieston Public School
Traditional bush garden
We would like to establish a traditional garden. Our school has a commitment to providing a range of learning experiences and we believe that students benefit from a broadening of the curriculum. We are open to students learning in a range of environments beyond the classroom. We would like our students and staff to work collaboratively with our Aboriginal Education Consultative Group and our school community to design, plant and maintain the garden. At present our school has a well established environmental program; we have a worm farm, composter and a chicken coup. Each morning our students have a timetabled fruit break - scraps are used to feed chickens and they are also used in the composter and worm farm. Our worm farm and composter are used to nourish our small grove of fruit trees. We are interested in expanding our program by establishing a traditional garden. We believe there will be significant learning opportunities for our students and we can strengthen our links with the community.
Glenorie Public School
Ready, set, grow
The school's 'Ready, set, grow' project is aimed at encouraging and supporting the creation of a sustainable school fruit, vegetable garden and hen house where concepts such as composting, worm farming, recycling and supplying the school canteen with eggs and vegetables can be introduced. The project will be linked to the School Environmental Management Plan and curriculum (science) through the garden, which will assist with the teaching of resource management, reduction of waste and healthy eating.
Governor Philip King Public School
Governor's gorgeous gardens and grounds project
The school has areas which can be used for making into gardens and planting vegetables thus utilising them as hands-on learning areas for students who will be making healthy lifestyle choices by exercising, planting vegetables, cooking and consuming healthy snacks. The garden areas will be kept weed free and students will be taught about mulching to retain moisture. The veggie scraps will be composted and used for the already existing worm farm. A different set of classes will be allocated and responsible for looking after the gardens each term. The school environment and surroundings will improve and look great.
Halinda School For Special Purposes
The meeting place - outdoor community classroom
'Halinda Green outdoor community classroom, living with purpose - learning with passion'. A three year project netting a highly productive permaculture garden, a Stephanie Alexander Foundation funded garden kitchen, greenhouse and bike education track. These outdoor learning areas have been developed from our School Environmental Management Plan and incorporate recycling and water conservation. The 'Meeting Place' is the final stage of the project developing a covered amphitheatre and cultural artefacts garden utilising the expertise of the multicultural families in our school community. The learning space will be a place of cultural exchange and environmental enhancement. Recycled materials and cultivation of native and cultural plantings will feature.
Hamilton North Public School
Automatic watering system
Hamilton North Public School has an established green system consisting of vegetable gardens, an orchard and a worm farm. We compost our fruit scraps and flush our toilets from rainwater tanks. Recently the school constructed a grow tunnel to produce vegetable seedlings. Now we would like to install a regulated watering system for the grow tunnel and vegetable gardens. There are two tanks that will supply the water. The staff and students maintain the gardens but have concerns with maintaining a regular water supply. The watering system will allow an efficient and consistent result producing seedlings to use in the veggie patches. Excess seedlings will be sold to parents for families to plant at home. In short, we want to 'grow it ourselves'.
Homebush Boys High School
Energy wise at Homebush High
Our current electricity bill is very high (around $80,000) - suggesting there's significant energy wastage. What areas/activities in the school create most waste? What can be done to address it? Who is going to do something about it? Why does it matter? This project supports our solar panels plan - moving from capital works investment to a learning focus, involving students, staff and the school community developing a deeper understanding of sustainable energy use through experiential learning. The project involves:
undertaking an energy audit (electricity use) to determine inefficiencies in the school environment
educating and increasing awareness about ways to minimise electricity use
implementing a range of measures to achieve these objectives.
Hornsby Heights Public School
Edible garden, pond and outdoor learning amphitheatre
In 2009 a group of committed parents and teachers from Hornsby Heights Public School came together with a dream to conceptualise and build a permaculture 'Eco Food Garden' in the centre of our school. Based on our final design, we have installed a number of raised garden beds, incorporated a composting system and will soon add a fruit forest, bush tucker garden and herb spiral. This project focuses on the creation of a gecko-shaped vegetable garden inspired by our mascot, Mr Green, a frog pond and a tiered seating area for outdoor learning, and continues our motto of 'Kids growing for a better future'.
Hunter School of the Performing Arts
Eco warriors go native at HSPA
Over the past 18 years a technical high school has been transformed into a selective co-located primary and secondary school specialising in the performing arts. An enormous amount of energy from staff, students and the school community has established its successful reputation both academically and in the performing arts. While the school has become a beacon for talented young people, its grounds remain that of an industrial high school. Since 2009 the school has started to focus on environmental changes in terms of solar panels, eco plumbing and light fixtures and is now turning its attention to the grounds. This project aims to highlight the environmental need for the plantation of local native species to regenerate green areas, decrease CO2 emissions, attract birds and butterflies, provide much-needed shade as well as beautify the area. The project has great potential for teaching students about the role of vegetation in decreasing our carbon footprint, the use of local species to encourage biodiversity, and the process of selecting, planting and caring for trees.
Illawarra Environmental Education Centre
Mobile response unit for student action for SEMPs
We will equip a camping trailer as a mobile sustainable schools interpretation, monitoring and action hub. Staffed by Illawarra Environmental Education Centre (IEEC) teachers making school visits, feature at environmental expos and/or excursions to various ecosystems across the Illawarra and South East Region. School communities and in particular students need support in the form of expertise and equipment in addressing sustainability issues within the context of their school life. IEEC staff and resources within the trailer would be used to enable and/or model opportunities for student centred engagement with the sustainability action process.
This project is to establish a secure propagation shed where students are engaged in planting seeds and cuttings for use in our Stephanie Alexander garden which we are currently establishing. Students can take an active part and direct responsibility for the care and propagation of plants. We hope that this project can assist us in realising our dream of becoming a school that promotes best practice in environmental education. Students in our school have emotional and behaviour disorders and hands on learning in a greenhouse and in gardens at our school would provide for the implementation of rich learning tasks which would be embedded into classroom and specialist group activities.
Kangaroo Valley Public School
Landcare challenge for an outdoor classroom
This project will rejuvenate Kookaburra Creek, an area of rainforest within the school grounds so it can be used as an outdoor learning area. The intention is to have students and the school community take ownership of the site by accepting a Landcare challenge to reduce weeds and make the site suitable as a resource for teaching and learning. The proposal will realise the vision to build the site into the school curriculum as a rich resource for engaging students in school life and caring for the environment.
Kincumber High School
KHS green team Kincumber native planting and bush regeneration project
Our project aims to increase the biodiversity of local flora and fauna in areas surrounding the school, through regeneration of weed infested bushland corridors between the school and local houses. The project will make a difference as it will allow students to become directly involved in the regeneration of local bushland areas, allow for the production of a 'bush tucker' garden to increase the involvement and understanding of Aboriginal students and their heritage and to create an outdoor classroom to compliment the syllabus outcomes in Science, Biology and Agriculture.
Lake Macquarie High School
Lake Macquarie High School bush tucker garden
In line with the Sustainability Action Process it is envisaged that a 'bush tucker garden' be planned, established and tended to by the school's Indigenous students. This will enhance the student's cultural awareness as well as seeing them contribute to the school's canteen and hospitality courses. Indigenous experts will be employed to take the students through all stages of the gardens growth and development, so that the students can impart this knowledge to the wider school community, taking their role from student to teacher. This will be an ongoing program used as a valuable teaching tool within our school.
Lisarow Public School
Upgrade of billabong
We will redevelop a section of our playground in an area referred to as the 'billabong'. This area incorporates an amphitheatre. Retaining walls, seating and a bridge to the stage area and a low screening fence will be built. Then a creek bed incorporating two frog ponds will be built. Stormwater from the covered outdoor learning area and canteen will be directed through this area. Nesting boxes will be built and placed in the trees along the creek. Each student will plant a native plant in the area. The area will be used by students for environmental activities and lessons.
Maclean High School
Maclean High rainforest rehabilitation for future flying fox habitat
Maclean High School has a history of flying fox issues regarding their roosting in very close proximity to the school. This project is to develop a restoration and rehabilitation program of a highly degraded rainforest area and gully adjacent to the school. Students, with assistance from our local Maclean Landcare, Yaegl Elders and Clarence Valley Council will implement a bush regeneration program. This will involve rapid broad scale weed removal, reducing canopy competition, allowing native seedlings a chance to emerge and replanting with suitable natives in major understorey gaps. A sequential photo history and data collation will be undertaken to identify the regenerating natives, ultimately developing an alternative flying fox roosting site.
McCallums Hill Public School
The native garden on the hill @ McCallums Hill Public School
McCallums Hill Public School has an area at the front of the school that has scattered trees, a plain grass area and is unused in its current state. We hope to turn the area into an aesthetically appealing sustainable native garden. Students will be involved in planning and planting the garden and develop a sense of community and pride in beautifying the school environment. The native plants will attract local fauna, improve biodiversity and complement the playground. The establishment of the native garden will provide a fun space for students to play and interact with nature.
Metford Public School
Bush regeneration and erosion control of outdoor school learning space
We aim to rehabilitate a disused area of our school grounds creating an improvement in the habitat, empowering students to be involved at all levels of project construction. We want to increase the current vegetation by at least 30 percent by improving the soil quality, removing waste, planting native grasses and understorey trees and shrubs as well as construction of swales. In turn this will create a habitat for small native birds and reptiles. This project will prevent storm water run off and stop erosion of the site.
Morisset Public School
Healthy endemic habitat garden: looking, learning and acting
Morisset Public School adjoins remnant bushland habitat that has important conservation value for local environmental sustainability, and whose endemic biodiversity includes threatened flora and fauna species. Guided by local conservation professionals, students will survey this local habitat, the flora and fauna present, and human impacts. Students will then relate their observations to current sustainability principles, and design and implement a number of actions. A 200sq metre endemic habitat garden will be constructed using local plant species and habitat features designed to attract and support local fauna. The school garden will transform an unvegetated dusty slope that is degrading local water quality. This project will promote deep student learning and engagement in conservation and sustainability issues, and provide an important education resource for the whole school community. Students will monitor the garden and attracted local fauna, and communicate their findings about the garden, and the importance of conserving local habitat to the local community.
Narrandera High School
The 3 R's - recycle, reduce and reuse
The student representative council has identified, in consultation with staff, parents and peers, the need to develop a school-wide recycling project. The space in the local landfill site is limited. The school is the largest in the community which accumulates a greater amount of waste. We have no system for collection from classrooms, office, staffrooms and the playground. The waste goes directly to landfill. This will be overcome by obtaining colour coded recycling wheelie bins for the playground, along with crates for paper collection in all classrooms, office and staffrooms. A newly established 'Boys Shed' program will incorporate this into their program and use their shed as a sorting and transfer point (eg. local recycling paper centre, recycle areas at the local landfill). This project will educate all students, staff and community members on the continuing need for ecological awareness, the problems associated with waste products in a rural community of all types and 'real life' action in solving the 'waste' problem.
Nazareth Catholic Primary School
Sowing, growing and knowing - a sustainable garden at Nazareth Public School
We will establish a school vegetable and fruit garden including compost bins, worm farm and rainwater-tank-fed watering system. Nazareth Catholic Primary school is a young and thriving school in the newly established suburbs of Shellharbour. While Shellharbour's past history revolved around farming and food production, this connection has been lost as the suburbs rapidly developed. Creation of a school garden will be a visual, tangible and nutritional educational experience for the whole school community. The garden will be watered with harvested rainwater, and draw on composted organic waste - reinforcing these important cycles in food production for this suburban community. The program would be both theoretical and practical and provide tangible rewards through harvesting and cooking the garden's produce. Local expertise around composting, worm farming, and even a local 'celebrity chef' will be engaged to further broaden the experience and skills of staff and students.
Newtown North Public School
To grow to help - a community garden for an inner city school
In 2010 the school community held a community forum to develop a School Environmental Management Plan. Our whole community thought about how we can live, learn and work together to become more informed and active about caring for our world. There was a strong desire within our inner city community to construct community garden beds incorporating compost bins, worm farm and a water tank within the school grounds. The school is an inner city school in Sydney and many of the students have limited opportunities to grow and harvest produce. The garden is viewed as an opportunity to further enact out school motto, 'To grow to help' and put our school values in action. The project will provide opportunities for students to learn about important concepts in sustainability, nutrition and community by working together to create their own permaculture garden.
North Gosford Learning Centre
Australian fauna and flora learnscape
Our school is a purpose built facility for school students with a history of learning and behavioural difficulties. A percentage of our students are of Australian Aboriginal parentage. Our project aims, to regenerate, local bushland and transform the area, into a 'native flora learnscape'. The purpose is to create an outdoor learning environment so Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students, develop a greater understanding of traditional Aboriginal practises. An understanding of traditional Aboriginal practises can be achieved by examining the nutritional and medicinal purposes of native flora species. In addition, native flora species can be utilised as raw materials, for the construction of human habitat, as well as habitat for our local native fauna species.
Ocean Shores Public School
Wetland fauna and water monitoring project
The 'Wetland fauna and water monitoring project' builds on work undertaken to rehabilitate the school's ecologically significant paperbark wetland habitat with WetlandCare Australia in 2010-2011. By monitoring birds, mammals, reptiles, insects and water with appropriate equipment, and supported with educational resources and professional development, the project will engage the whole school community in understanding the intrinsic relationships between habitat protection, species diversification and the impact of humans on the environment. This project builds on established links with Southern Cross University, Waterwatch, Rous Water, Byron Shire Council, WetlandCare Australia and Byron Bird Buddies, to broaden the school community's understanding of biodiversity.
Regina Coeli Primary School
Regina gardens (kitchen gardens that grow food)
What is the problem? We would like to see the students of Regina Coeli actively involved in sustainable living. We would like them to experience first hand the joy of choosing an appropriate design, choosing suitable plants, planting and maintaining a productive area of their school. Student learning will focus on all of the above, as well as developing great empathy for the cycle of food and the role the earth provides in sustaining life. What will we do? The aim of Regina Gardens is to design, implement and build a sustainable kitchen garden, which will grow food to share with our school (food to be used within the school canteen). We will use space within our own school grounds to build the gardens, hence maximising student learning. Students will be the primary participants in nurturing and sustaining Regina gardens.
Rosary Park Catholic School
Outdoor learning regeneration/rehabilitation project
This environmental project involves the regeneration/rehabilitation of a spotted gum ironbark community adjacent to an outdoor learning area attached to the library of the new primary school at Branxton (20 kilometres west of Maitland). This green school site (five acres) is generally cleared with scattered mature gums. The project, involving students, teachers, parents and the community, aims to provide learning opportunities in environmental care and management resulting in the development of a regenerated, natural area. The students will participate in the design, surface preparation, species planting, pathways and seating facilities. The project will also help to blend the new buildings with the natural environment.
Sawtell Public School
The sanctuary - kitchen and habitat gardens at Sawtell Public School
The central focus of our kitchen garden is to promote and encourage healthy living and eating. Many children in our school have limited experience with growing, preparing and cooking fresh, healthy food. The garden will be designed along permaculture principles, and be established and maintained using organic methods. A permaculture approach ensures an integrated program that incorporates aspects of waste management, the sustainable use of water and energy resources, as well as the creation and restoration of biodiverse environments within the school grounds. We aim to develop students who are more active, more aware, more often.
Springwood Public School
School vegetable garden stage 2 - outdoor learning area and hens
Staff, children and parents and the local community have created a permaculture food garden, including an orchard, worm farm and compost bays in a disused part of the school grounds. The garden allows students to learn about and apply environmentally sustainable practices, and learn about food production and nutrition through practical learning experiences. Students and volunteers work regularly in the garden, including formal gardening sessions. This project is to create an outdoor learning space overlooking the garden, including bench seating under a pergola with plantings and workbenches in a levelled work area. This space will enable students to:
watch demonstrations and receive instructions on garden duties
gather to learn about plants, biodiversity and sustainable practices
reflect on their garden experience within a comfortable and inspiring space.
The project also includes introducing hens as a key part of the food garden. Our hens will provide eggs, fertiliser for the garden, a means to reduce waste, and a means for students to learn to care for animals.
St John's Primary Riverstone
The garden buds: establishment of vegetable and bushtucker gardens
The 'Garden buds' program is designed to establish a vegetable garden and a bush tucker trail amongst an already extensive native planting on school grounds to complement our semi-rural environment. This project will help to develop and extend the oral language skills of our students as they interact and communicate with others and develop their public speaking skills when presenting information about the garden buds program. This program is supported within the framework of our Catholic ethos as students come to learn and appreciate God's creation. It will allow us to further our recycling practices with the inclusion of worm farms and composting of food waste as well as demonstrate garden to kitchen links with a menu featuring fresh 'home-grown' produce in our parent-run 'Snack Shack' initiative and provide a source of income to feed back to the program with excess produce being sold to school families and friends.
St Mary's High School Gateshead
Setting up the greenhouse
Our project will establish a greenhouse by and for landcare students. Landcare students will learn how to propagate local native trees and shrubs and vegetable and herbs. These students will then put these plants in the school grounds and in the vegetable and herb garden. We are a registered Lake Macquarie City Council landcare group and regenerate Kennedy Creek (which runs along our playground). After the funding for the 'Landcare 4 Youth' project finishes in Term one, 2011, we will have to buy native trees and shrubs for the regeneration work and other native gardens in the school grounds. Our volunteer grandmother, who oversees the veggie garden, supplies us with veggie and herb plants. This greenhouse will reduce these costs, support our creek regeneration work and in the long term we may be able to supply neighbouring schools and other members of our local community with endemic trees and shrubs. Our creek regeneration work and veggie and herb garden will become more sustainable.
St Michael's Catholic Primary Nowra
Biodiversity birds alive!
'Birds alive' will create an integrated, natural learning space in a bio-diverse environment. Here, our children can learn local Indigenous stories, dances and songs, surrounded by local flora, planted to encourage native birdlife into our playground. Nowra's totem is the Black Cockatoo, a local Dreaming story with particular relevance for our children and the environment as it encourages us to look at the weather patterns to plan for the future. Our learning space will bring together students, native flora and fauna, teachers and local Indigenous elders. Artworks and sculptures will further help encourage active learning across a range of subjects.
St Paul's Catholic Primary School
St Paul's - we are a green school! (WAGS project)
St Pauls will create an attractive outdoor learning area that contains native, bird attracting, drought tolerant plants, recycled plastic seating and a frog pond. The area is located beside the main school entrance and would aid in visually promoting our school as a 'green' school .The seating would be constructed of recycled plastic. Six bench seats will provide a learning circle that can look inwards towards a tranquil pond area or outwards towards the surrounding native gardens. One custom made backed seat with artwork will be placed to take in the view of our beautiful escarpment and highlight our school's commitment towards minimising waste and recycling.
St Paul's High School
Our student environment action team have identified a need to both improve the amenity and usability of space around two newly relocated demountable class rooms while providing additional habitat for native bird species to improve environmental sustainability in our school. To achieve this our project plans to revegetate the area surrounding the two classrooms with local bird friendly species and create walking and seating areas which will be researched, designed and constructed by students. Our project aims to create a space that is both relaxing and engaging and will increase student knowledge and interaction with the local natural environment.
St Therese's Community School
Us Muurpa (Children) can make a difference with our land
'Us muurpa can make a difference with our land' is a project providing opportunities for students to be engaged in the care of their land. Staff and students will create an 'outdoor learning environment' where they can explore, discover and learn about plant and animal life and how best to care for them. Students will research and purchase local native plants and design a 'native garden' within our school grounds to encourage bird and insect life. Students will make a bird feeder, pond area for frogs and tadpoles and also plant vegetables, citrus trees and local bush tucker that they can use when preparing their breakfast and lunch. Students will also begin creation of a compost area to recycle food scraps.
The Armidale School
Doody Park regeneration
The school has a degraded watercourse flowing through part of its site and seeks to rehabilitate it through redesign and revegetation. At present the site is an eroded gully mainly covered by weeds and subject to severe fluctuations in water flow. We would redesign the watercourse with ponds and reed beds, slowing the progress of stormwater and filtering out nutrients. The entire area would be replanted with native vegetation using students from The Armidale School and Minimbah Schools as well as delegates from Australian Round Square schools attending a conference at Tasmania in April, 2012.
Tomaree Public School
Yarn up: native garden and Aboriginal learning and meeting place
The local 'native garden and Aboriginal learning and meeting place' is a significant project that promotes the environment and students' and teachers' knowledge of how local plants and trees help to sustain the area. This will provide a 'yarn up' meeting place for Aboriginal students. The nature and location of the garden provides a unique opportunity for students to plan, monitor and implement the garden in conjunction with the students' personalised earning plans. The garden has the involvement of our local Aboriginal traditional owner who has a pivotal leadership role in explaining how local plants, individually and collectively create a sustainable environment.
Toongabbie Public School
Restoration and sustainable development of the nature area
Our project aim is to create sub layers beneath the protected, remnant Cumberland Plain trees situated in a central part of our school grounds. Recent student studies, including an audit of the native flora and fauna, have highlighted the importance of restoring and sustainably developing this heritage based environment. Consultation and involvement of the wider community and the local council, who have a stake in the long term preservation of this environment, is paramount. By developing a usable, authentic environment, informed by student based research and development we aim to foster positive behaviour of students at Toongabbie Public School.
Westdale Public School
T.A.L.E. - Together a learning environment
We will construct an environmentally, sustainable habitat garden that will attract local wildlife and be suited to the climate, water and soil conditions of our local area - the understorey of the existing corridor of trees. The habitat will provide a variety of native and indigenous plants that flower across the seasons, providing sustainable food sources, a habitat for local birds and a wetland area for frogs, fish and lizards and a paved access path for disabled students.
Wooli Public School
Establishing a kitchen garden for junior students
The project aims to better engage transition, kindergarten and junior students in the kitchen garden and Dunecare programs currently conducted at Wooli Public School. This project will involve:
the purchase and construction of two new vegetable garden beds purpose built for junior students
purchasing gardening equipment designed for children so they can fully participate in all vegetable gardening/dune care activities.
The garden produce will be used in the 'garden to pate - tummy warmers' program where the older students design and prepare meals from seasonal produce for other school students. Native plants will also be propagated for revegetation of dune areas which forms the school's 'back yard'. Students would also benefit from the educational benefits associated with the project as part of their environmental education program.
Page last updated: 02 August 2012