St Augustine's commenced our 'Sustainable Schools' journey in 2010 with the development of the Kitchen Garden Project. Based on the Stephanie Alexander model, the garden quickly became a focal point for the school and sustainable practices began to underpin much of the focus evident in the learning.
The garden quickly flourished and we added the water tanks, chicken coop and renovated the portable into the Garden Kitchen to provide the cooking program for the school. At the same time, we began to focus on other areas of the school where we needed to regenerate gardens or parts of our bush setting lost during the construction of our community hall. Our achievements earned us a place as finalists in the Victorian Sustainable Schools Award, in 2011.
Since then we have developed our focus on environmental issues and sustainable practices. We have taken on the ResourceSmart School program and are working towards becoming a 5-star sustainable school, we are working closely with organisations such as CERES to help us realise these actions. To date, we have completed two module and have 2 stars; Core and Biodiversity.
We have a dedicated sustainability educator/gardener and cooking teacher to support the Kitchen-Garden program and the children love cooking and eating the food from the garden.
Other projects we have worked on around the school are our Frog pond, Aboriginal sensory garden, Vineyard, Italian garden, worm farm, composting bays, recycling systems, water tanks, banana trees, and more. Many of these have been the direct result of student led inquiry units.
Resource Smart Update
Over that past year St Augustine’s has been working hard on achieving our water module as a part of the Resource Smart initiative. Through the audit on our current water consumption, it was clear that St Augustine’s is already doing a fantastic job with our water tanks being used for the toilets and watering the school Kitchen Garden.
It did come to our attention that our biggest issue is around cleaning supplies and making sure that the taps are turned off properly.
Keep an eye out for our new signs, to make sure we aren’t wasting any water!
I Sea, I Care, 2018
This year our Grade 6 Sustainability leaders, Keeley, Maggie and Xavier, have participated in the I Sea, I Care Program, run by the Dolphin Research Institute.
In Term 1, they were lucky enough to get up close and personal with some of the incredible marine life we have on the Mornington Peninsula, swimming with dolphins and finding seals.
In Term 3, they visited Banyan Reserve and inspected the water traps on Kananook Creek which highlighted just how much rubbish is getting into our waterways, not only polluting it, but killing marine life as well.
As a result, the Sustainability Leaders have been trying to raise awareness of the dangers of ‘one use’ plastic and trying to ensure that what we are using is being disposed of correctly.
They will be running their own lessons for the junior students to pass on all that they have learnt from the I Sea, I Care program.