Tallygaroopna Primary School prides itself on the fabulous ways in which we are thinking sustainably and teaching our students ways to protect our future.
We are very lucky to have Karen Armstrong as our Business Manager and she, with Resource Smart have lead the way in introducing a lot of recycling and sustainable future ideas to our school.
Karen Armstrong was made the Resource Smart Business Manager of the year for the HUME region 2017. We are very proud of the achievements and changes she had brought about at our school.
Karen was responsible for the implementation for the Weekly Newsletter to now be emailed and presented to parents on the Flexibuzz website rather than be printed out weekly.
In each of our classrooms we have three colour co-ordinated bins that are labelled ‘General Waste’, ‘Recycling’ and “Green Waste.’ These are updated frequently so students, teachers and staff are aware of what can and cannot go into these bins. After consultation with Amy from Veoila we have implemented soft plastic collection bins – where students are able to put their CLEAN wrappers from things like chips, museli bars and snaplock bags etc. The students are eager to use these new collection bins and are very aware of clearing their wrappers of food before placing in the plastics bins. These plastics will be taken into Coles regularly to be recycled. (Coles has a proper Soft Plastics Recycling bin.)
We encourage students to be aware what things are going into each of the bins and to make sure that contamination is kept to a minimum.
We also encourage students to think about what paper is used in the classroom and to ensure they are not wasteful with such things as paper (making sure all the paper is used thoughtfully and ensuring that paper can be recycled for classroom use.) We also ask that teachers be aware of these things for example, instead of giving students a worksheet to stick into their workbooks, they instead work directly into workbooks, also to photocopy in colour only when absolutely necessary and to think about utilising different media when possible to reduce paper usage. (eg. Something laminated might cost more to produce but students can reuse them, rather than used once and thrown away)
We also have a Maker Space running in our Multipurpose Room and everyone, families, staff, students and wider community are encouraged to donate their clean reusable containers and cardboard boxes etc. so they are being reused.
We will be having a Waste Audit during one of our fortnightly Buddies Sessions (21st August) so we can highlight to our students the importance of doing this correctly. This will be added to our Educational Waste Policy/checklist with the intention of having this run every year at the start of the year. Also on our Educational Waste Policy/checklist is to have the Grade 5/6 leadership team to present at assemblies in Term 1 about recycling and waste reduction. We find that when this is engineered by the students for the students they are more aware.
Grade 5/6 students each day empty General Waste into the schools General Waste bin and keep an eye out for cross contamination.
The Grade 5/6’s is also responsible for the collection of Blue Recycling Bins from the classrooms and emptied into the Blue Recycling Bin and returned to the correct rooms. Only one of the Blue Recycling bins (of which there are 3 in the school) are put out at a time and utilised so that cross contamination is kept to a minimum.
The Grade 3/4’s are responsible for the daily collection of the Green Waste bins and they are emptied into the Green Waste bin for collection fortnightly.
We also have a worm farm where the food scraps from the Breakfast Club (run by parents and teachers twice weekly Mondays and Tuesdays) are put into. Our Welfare Officer John Hosking is charge of ensuring the health of the worm farm and making sure that this great product is used in our school’s veggie patch.
We have a Nude Food Friday which has been running for nearly 2 years, where students are asked to encourage mums and dads to minimize one use plastic in student’s lunch boxes. Students are encouraged to be involved and a friendly competition has sprung up between the classrooms with a Nude Food Trophy making the rounds going to the weekly winner’s classroom. We also have Parents Club who do a Munch ‘n Crunch every Term (we do not have a canteen so this is a treat from Parents Club) and they aim to hold a Nude Food Munch n Crunch at least once during the year. This will mean that everything they have utilised to create the meal with have little to no environmental impact.
Our Welfare Officer John Hosking and Karen Armstrong is working in conjunction with Goulburn Broken CMA to get some indigenous plants to be planted in small groups with our student population, this gives all of the students a chance to connect with our Welfare Officer and brings about a sense of responsibility and ownership to the plantings. This will hopefully bring about a stronger connection for the students to our indigenous plants and trees.
Earlier this year in Term 2 our theme was Recycling and protecting our Environment and we watched the ABC’s War on Waste which we found was very beneficial. The students at Tallygaroopna Primary School are very driven and interested in this.
Earlier this year as part of the theme work, Grade’s 3 – 6 were involved in a Waste Excursion which was a terribly successful excursion and one that all students found very popular. Students travelled to Goulburn Valley Water to see how water is treated and ways in which we can save water and then they participated in a Follow your Rubbish tour which took them from the Shepparton Resource Recovery Centre to Western Composting.
We have also composed a Tallygaroopna Primary School Waste Checklist which is displayed prominently in each classroom so all teachers know what the expectations are in involving themselves as educators and students. On the checklist are things like
• induction lessons on Nude Food at the start of the year (Grade 5/6 present at assembly and at Buddy sessions.)
• a Waste Audit to be run in Term 1 every year.
• Term 2; an excursion for Grade 5/6’s to Reedy Swamp/Waterways,
• Term 3 – Involvement in the GV Water Water Competition,
• Term 4 – Waste, Recycling Excursion for Grade’s 3-6’s.
We also have as part of the checklist a weekly element where teachers can be reminded what is the expectations every week, Term and Year so to ensure that Sustainable Ideas are embedded into our curriculum. Teachers are also expected to turn off Projectors, Speakers, Microwaves and Classroom refrigerators off at the wall at the end of Term, and all lights, fans and photocopier turned off at the end of the day. We also ask teachers to be thoughtful when setting up their classrooms in the morning (if it going to be cold only turn on heating where necessary, closing curtains to keep heat in, closing windows when air conditioner is on.)
We believe at Tallygaroopna Primary School that being Resource Smart is important and that when we all work together we can make our school sustainable.