Principal, Karen Jenkin – “We know sustainability is important to the way we live and we want it to become intrinsic to our students’ everyday learning.”
Our vision for sustainability
To become a Sustainable School by reducing Pinewood’s environmental impact or ‘footprint’. We aim to:
- implement sustainable practices at Pinewood in the areas of energy and water use, waste disposal, creation of wildlife habitat and the purchasing of products and services.
- include, where practical, themes of sustainability within the curriculum.
- foster a sense of whole school responsibility for Pinewood as a Sustainable School.
We are a ResourceSmart School
ResourceSmart Schools is “an award-winning Victorian Government program that assists schools to embed sustainability in everything they do, encourages real-life sustainability learning and helps schools save money.”
Our school achieved its first two ResourceSmart stars in 2016 for the Core and Energy modules and in 2019 we received our third star for the Waste module. In 2020 the school is working on the Water module for our fourth star.
The Green Team Story
Our community is very proud of the progress made towards embedding sustainable practices into the daily routine of staff and students. Litter in the school yard was a major concern of the student-led Green Team. Their commitment and passion has resulted in a range of initiatives that have had a positive impact throughout the school.
Water Audit (2019)
Our student Green Team helped to conduct a water audit in 2019. Students assessed the school’s water infrastructure (taps, tanks and watering systems), water use and possible water savings. We are hoping to reduce our water consumption in 2020.
Sorting Waste (2018)
The Green Team conducted a litter assessment of the waste accumulated at school and presented their findings at a school assembly. The students noticed that snack and lunchtime fruit scraps were making their way into the landfill bins. Their concerns led to the school introducing fruit scrap bins into all classrooms. Members of the Green Team delivered the bins to the classrooms and educated the students about how to use them and why it is important.
Litter Free Lunch Boxes (2018)
Litter free lunch boxes are an easy way to improve the school environment along with waste sorting bins for hard plastics, paper and landfill. The Green Team have educated the entire school community on how to reduce and sort waste using a four tier waste management system by conducting information sessions at school assembly and through the school newsletter. The students wrote a Nude Food Policy that has had significant benefits on both the environment and our school. This initiative has reduced waste to landfill and saved money for the school.
Lights Off (2016)
A whole-school design competition highlighted the commitment of the student body to improve sustainable practices. Student designs have been implemented throughout the school as a constant reminder to save energy.
Cleaning the pond (2016)
The pond is a much loved feature of the school and supports the school’s vision to provide a safe haven for wildlife. However, like any garden, it needs tending from time to time and the students were keen to tidy it up when it was somewhat overgrown and looking a little green.
The students wrote a letter to Ms Jenkin outlining their concerns and asked whether it could be tackled at the next working bee. The whole school community worked together to improve the biodiversity of the pond.
Our Sustainability Team
Greg Tate, Sustainability Coordinator
Our sustainability program helps children to see that their actions can make a difference. Students have many opportunities to work on hands-on projects of practical benefit to the school. Together with the help of staff and parents, our students are looking forward to reducing water and energy use, reducing our waste and increasing our living places for native wildlife. The many small actions and choices we make throughout the week can all add up and reduce Pinewood’s environmental impact. In 2017 a student team delivered workshops on the theme of energy use at the national Kids Teaching Kids Conference. We welcome and appreciate the contribution of the Pinewood parent body in assisting the Green Team to achieve their goals.
New parents and staff who want to be involved are encouraged to contact the school’s Sustainability Co-ordinator.
Helpful Sustainability Resources