Footscray West Primary School is committed to sustainability and we are currently a 3 star accredited sustainable school.
Sustainability is an important part of learning and daily life at Footscray West. The school encourages positive social behaviours and an understanding of the value of taking care of our environment through:
- Curriculum links through units of study in Water, Waste, Energy and Biodiversity from Prep to Year 6
- Classroom and outdoor activities
- Special projects
- Student Environment Team
- The Connector Bugs
- Participation in local and national events
- Recess gardening
- Classroom prizes for Litter Free Lunch Champions and Walk to School days.
The Sustainability Program focuses on Water, Waste, Energy, and Biodiversity initiatives.
- We have 7 water tanks. Our first tank was won by a student in a writing competition and donated to the school. It has pride of place in the vegie garden. There are two more behind the gym, one in the orchard, and one in the Habitat Haven. This last one is specifically used to flush the children’s toilets, saving about 600,000 litres of water a year.
- An initiative begun by a past member of the Student Environment Team was to place buckets under the student drinking taps. Water caught in these buckets is used to water our many garden spaces.
- There are also water buckets in classrooms to empty ‘old’ water from drinking bottles, which again are used on the gardens.
- Students are encouraged to bring their own reusable water bottles to school.
- Every classroom has compost bins for lunch scraps and daily waste.
- Larger composting systems including Aerobins, worm farms, and open systems have been developed through Connector Bug projects and are located in easily accessible areas.
- There are co-mingled recycle bins in or near every classroom.
- Students are encouraged to use both sides of a piece of paper and scrap paper boxes are kept in classrooms.
- The re-use and recycling of materials is encouraged.
- Everyone is encouraged to turn off appliances, including computers, when not in use. Each class has an Energy Monitor responsible for this task.
- Monitors also make sure lights are turned off when the class is not in the room.
- Newer buildings have been designed and built according to energy smart principles.
- Energy efficient appliances and design are used wherever possible.
- We are lucky to have spacious grounds at Footscray West and are extremely proud of having received various awards for our gardens and commitment to sustainability.
- Much of our success is due to activities organised through the Connector Bugs. Volunteers from this group work with teachers and children at regular times during the week to establish and maintain a variety of outdoor learning gardens. Many classes enjoy planned weekly garden sessions with parent volunteers.
- The vegie garden is very popular with students. Every Monday at recess and lunch, students can be seen working with volunteer parents. They plant, weed, water, maintain, turn compost and, of course, harvest wonderfully fresh produce.
- Children enjoy the fruits of their labour with cook-ups in the grounds or classrooms.
- Connector Bug projects have also seen students establish and maintain an orchard, other fruit-bearing groves, a ‘bush tucker garden’, native planter boxes around the gazebo, and many native trees and shrubs across the school.
- With the support of Maribyrnong City Council, City West Water and Connector Bugs, a large part of the grounds fronting Argyle Street has been developed by students, teachers, community members, and parents as the Habitat Haven – an outdoor classroom and learning environment that supports sustainability, science, and other curriculum areas in a fun, hands-on way.