East Bentleigh Primary School recognises that the environment is integral to the quality of our student’s lives. We endeavour to reduce our ecological footprint through adopting sustainable practises.
With regards to waste it is our aim is to minimise landfill waste produced by the school and increase the percentage of material that is reused and recycled.
Since 2010 East Bentleigh Primary School has been developing a Sustainability Curriculum which includes the Resource Smart Aussi Vic Schools program under the guidance of CERES Education Consultant Kirsty Costa. In 2010 - 2012 East Bentleigh was selected as one of 30 schools to be offered a funded spot to work through the ResourceSmart AuSSI Vic Schools Program – Core/Waste/Energy Modules. Explore all our work here.
Sustainability Captains / Green Team Captains
In 2010 East Bentleigh Primary School selected its first ever Sustainability Captains. These Grade six students were encouraged to attend sustainability meetings, enter in the school’s SETS data, participated in the schools sustainable projects which included Permaculture Garden, Indigenous Garden and the Outdoor Garden – initiate our Nude Food Project and ensure that the community is informed of the many actions that are undertaken by regular talks at assembly and reports to the school council.
Our Sustainability Policy
In 2010 East Bentleigh Primary School developed our Sustainability Policy and have continued to implement a hands-on approach to education for sustainability through learning experiences and whole school events.
- To include the whole school community in the process.
- To use resources and equipment as efficiently as possible.
- To choose the most appropriate energy saving methods available.
- To develop a program that promotes sustainable transport eg. Walk-to-school.
- Recycling – All classrooms have recycle bins and it is the responsibility of our ECO team to put out our recycle bins. We also shred our used paper and use it in the permaculture garden or feed it to our class guinea-pigs
- Nude food – Our Eco Team captains have been educating the whole school on ways to have Nude Lunches. This has been extremely successful as we had zero waste on National Nude Food day. We hear conversation amongst our students discussing their lunch boxes and how they manage no wrappers.
- Chickens – We love our chooks though they do mess up our beautiful gardens. We did have some issues with the chooks eating our newly planted seedlings so our students have made fences out of tree cuttings and bamboo – weaving the branches in and out of the bamboo stakes. This looks ascetically pleasing to the eye and has kept the chooks out. Our chooks are free range and we think they think they own the school!
- Kitchen/garden program – this has been up and running since 2009. All scraps from our kitchen program, from classrooms and staffroom compost bins are used to fertilise our many gardens around our school. Our students are educated via our garden program on how best to manage this.
- Interactive whiteboards to reduce paper – We have portable whiteboards that are used in our senior Steiner classes and all our Mainstream classes to deliver stimulating lesson starters and reduce paper use.
- eNewsletter - everything by email and online to reduce paper – We have been delivering our bulletin and newsletter electronically for two years now to all our families to help us reduce paper usage.
Energy Saving Initiatives
- New building – energy efficient lighting, sensor lighting, timed heating, natural air flow cooling
- Indigenous gardens as part of a carbon sink – these are highlighted in our Core case study
- Solar panels – installed in 2010 though have only recently been feeding back into our grid.
- Thermometer in each classroom to measure and monitor the temperature
- Signage in each room to remind students to turn off electrical items
- Lamb’s wool seat covers – cutting down on heating during winter
- Routine for putting SETS data online with students helping as a curriculum activity – this was incorporated in numeracy sessions and students now have ownership of this data.
- Walking School Bus
Walking School Bus
Here at East Bentleigh we would love to initiate ‘Walk/Ride to school’ programs but it is difficult to get students involved as many of our families travel lengthy distances to access our Steiner stream.
After brainstorming with our Eco Team we instigated a walking school bus every Wednesday morning. Two enthusiastic staff members meet families at a park approximately one kilometre from the school and walk to school. Our highest number of participants has been 35 so far. It is amazing what you can achieve with a little enthusiasm!