Working towards a Sustainable Future

The CPS Sustainability Journey in 2019

2019 saw CPS further our commitment to sustainability by joining the ResourceSmart Schools Program administered by Sustainability Victoria.

A Sustainability Subcommittee of school council was formed enabling parents and teachers to work together with the student Green Team to further a number of sustainability initiatives. A School Environmental Management Plan was drafted and several new policies including Green Purchasing and Sustainability were approved by school council.

Some of the highlights for the year were the removal of bins in the school grounds and the implementation of more recycling which saw us reduce waste to landfill at school by 100M3 which is amazing!

We also strongly encouraged nude food and installed green cones that digest food waste were installed at both the junior and senior school campuses. Buckets were put under drinking taps to save water and an energy audit was also done by students. In addition to recycling in the classrooms, batteries, mobile phones, soft plastic, writing instruments and dental products and recycling was made available to the school community at reception.

There was plenty of fun on the way too with students organising the first Enviro walkathon where students completed laps of the local park and raised $1859 for the newly established Sustainability Fund. Orange Day also raised money that was donated to sponsoring orangutans.

CPS participated in Clean Up Australia, Walk to School, Ride to School days and World Environment Day. Wherever possible, sustainability was included in the curriculum including things such as the energy audit into the science curriculum, the transport audit being used as a data project and making beeswax food wraps as an art project.

Staff and students attended the Student Environment Leadership Program at CERES.  Towards the end of the year, we heard the exciting news that CPS had been selected by Boroondara City Council to be part of the Boroondara Schools for Wildlife Project. (This project has now been postponed until 2021).

In 2019, the green team did all sorts of things. We went to CEREs to talk to other schools about how our school was sustainable and eco-friendly. We collected used and non-rechargeable batteries to recycle them, and we started a school walkathon to earn money to get our school’s Solar Panels. All these things have helped our school become a more sustainable place. However, we could not have done it without Mme Davies and Sue from the office. They were an amazing help.

Sustainability in the Curriculum

At Camberwell Primary School, we are committed to including a sustainability/environmental focus through Integrated Units across all year levels and as part of daily classroom practices. Our curriculum is designed with the intention of creating teaching and learning opportunities that reflect important environmental issues in the areas of Waste, Energy, Water and Biodiversity.

From early on, our students are encouraged to practise the language of reduce, reuse, recycle and rethink (in both English and French!). They are exposed to natural materials through structured learning tasks and developmental play and inspired to observe and appreciate the world around them.

Discussions about current events that affect our physical world and its flora and fauna continue to be part of learning as students move through the school. Projects may involve researching particular native animals, the threats to their survival and how we can act to protect them.

As students grow and learn, their investigations into the environment and our impact as humans becomes more sophisticated as they explore sustainable business practices. They identify how we, as consumers, can make a difference.

Excursions may take an environmental path too, with visits to the Dolphin Research Centre, eco farms and environmental parks such as CERES. Incursions, where facilitators come to the school, also impart a green message through teaching students how to create their very own beeswax wraps or construct miniature habitats.

Camberwell Primary School students are encouraged to be responsible and respectful citizens who make informed decisions to reduce the impact on their environment.

Camberwell Primary School Waste 2019

Camberwell Primary School saved all this waste from going into landfill in 2019 by recycling.

Wednesday, 24 June, 2020, six enthusiastic Year 3 volunteers: Nishkka, Ella, Hadley, Tara, Mia and Jarvis conducted part of our Waste Audit. The purpose of this exercise is ultimately to reduce the amount of waste leaving our school.

Our students identified bins on the Senior Campus, recording the number of receptacles and types of waste that are collected such as landfill/rubbish bins, co-mingle recycling bins, compost collection buckets, paper re-use trays, soft plastics and so on.

The team then focused their energy towards “landfill” and collected six of these bins from high-traffic areas of the school. Our fearless “Waste Warriors” then dumped and sorted the contents. We were very interested (and perhaps some of us slightly repulsed!) at our discoveries!

This investigation stimulated some questions: Do we have the right bins in the right place? Are students and staff using the bins correctly? Will it all end up in the right location? Can we do more to reduce the amount of waste we generate? … and how!?

The Waste Warriors are still compiling their report from the Waste Audit and look forward to sharing it with you next term.

Content coming soon…

Content coming soon…