At EHPS we believe in sustainable practice and a biodiverse environment. Our school community is strengthened by working together over many years to improve our expansive grounds and creating take-home practices which support our local community and Council. We recycle paper using Visy boxes, catch water under drinking taps to put on our gardens and reduce our rubbish coming to school by encouraging children to bring rubbish free lunches. Sustainability activities are encouraged and promoted by our Sustainability Captains elected from Year 6 who are supported by the Sustainability Coordinator.
We have established a vegetable garden, where in the past produce has been used to make Bolognaise sauce for pasta, toasted treats and baked potatoes all flavoured with fresh herbs from the garden. Pumpkin soup has also been on the menu! Did you know our sunflowers have even appeared in the Waverley Leader newspaper? Children have painted school fences with thematic based art, made tiles to decorate native and sensory gardens and used mosaic to decorate breezeways. Keep an eye out for rainwater tanks and compost bins. We believe we can make a difference and create a positive and sustainable environment to enjoy and live in.
To support the philosophy of "Schools For a Sustainable Future," Essex Heights has decided to introduce the idea of HERO monitors in every grade. The acronym stands for Helpful Energy Resource Officers. A boy and girl in each class will become responsible for turning off electrical equipment in their classroom when not in use. They could be fans, air conditioners, lights, computers etc. All the items are listed on the back of their badge. This role will be regularly rotated so that everybody gets a chance to share the responsibility for maintaining our piece of the planet here at EHPS.
Local Council and Community Engagement
The Monash City Council works closely with schools and runs education programs which enhance our students learning experiences. We recently converted a bare slope into a biodiversity garden. Monash City Council’s Bush Crew and Sustainability Education Officer have worked collecting seed from Damper Creek and donated 80 endemic grasses and low shrubs. This means we are developing a corridor (albeit fragmented) to encourage local wildlife.
Recycling Bins Roster
We have a great team of parent volunteers who put our yellow lidded Council recycling bins out on Sunday evening ready for the fortnightly collection on Monday.
EHPS is located in the City of Monash who recycle through a partnership with VISY - click here for more information.
What more more information on living sustainably in Monash? - click here.
Wipe Out Waste
Essex Heights Primary School is proud of our Wipe Out Waste days. On Tuesdays and Thursdays we ask that student’s food is wrapper free or that any packaging is recyclable. Ideally, a student's lunch will only contain items that will be eaten, composted or recycled. Any non-recyclable packaging is to be taken home for disposal.Reusable containers are a handy way to pack a rubbish free lunch. They also make it easy to buy food and drink in bulk (instead of single-servings) which can save money over time.
The Wipe Out Waste Challenge is one of Essex Heights Primary School sustainability education initiatives. By participating, students will have a better understanding of how we can take action to rethink purchases and single use plastics. Bulk buying also saves money and promote healthy eating choices. On average, a child who has single use wrappers can generate up to three pieces of rubbish per day, which equals a monstrous 30kg of landfill per child per year!
Target Tarp Tuesdays
As part of our commitment to being responsible community minded learners, each class has been assigned a ‘backyard’. The backyard helps students develop social competencies as they become more responsible by looking after the area. We conduct our Target Tarp fortnightly on Tuesdays at lunchtime. At 2.20pm the bell is rung and students are come together to clean their area of litter.
The Sustainability Captains encourage and support the clean up by having a fun target for the students to reach. Each item is placed on the Target and sorted into waste disposal types. Working together we endeavour to keep our lovely grounds clean and tidy.
To help students reach the target, they are encouraged to have a "rubbish free lunch" on Tuesdays and Thursdays. If children do have packaging, they are encouraged to put it in their lunchbox and take it home. With our no eating outside commitment our rubbish in the yard should be heading towards zero.
As part of our Sustainability Hub with our raised garden beds and growing fruit orchard we also have some new chickens this year. Previously our chickens were sourced from our hatching program which supported classroom learning around life cycles.
Our most exciting news is also the cutest! We have recently purchased 4 almost brand new chooks. For this new adventure we have chosen pure bred chickens. The species we have chosen will not lay every day and also have ‘time off’ during the colder months. This non laying period allows the chicken’s reproductive system to rest and repair. We now have two Asian Silkies and two Dutch Barnevelders. They are docile breeds who are spending time in their coupe getting to know each other and the friendly faces of the children. We ask that students do not poke the chickens through the fence-they do not like it. We have a past student completing her Duke of Edinborough by caring for the brood over the weekends and the Holiday Program taking the holiday shift.
Our After school Hours program in very involved in our Sustainability hub. Looking after our chickens and planting seasonal herbs and vegetables with the attendees.
EHPS students have participated in:
Other resources to encourage looking after our environment:
Look out in our Contact Newsletter for updates and initiatives which promote ways our school and community can contribute to being more sustainable!