Sustainability

 

At St Thomas School, we take enormous pride in our beautiful, natural environment. Our school, situated on the Bellarine Peninsula, has large areas for children to play in. Native birds (including Ibis, swamp hens and ducks), are attracted to our dam and indigenous plants and happily wander the school’s grounds. The environment is important to all members of the school community. 

St Thomas School is part of the Resource Smart Sustainable Schools Program. We endeavour to make our school a five star sustainable school by completing  four modules  which will lead to sustainability in the areas of Waste, Water, Energy and Biodiversity. Staff members undertake professional development and a whole school approach towards caring for the environment and environmental sustainability is embraced. Each area of the school is responsible for a module, ensuring students develop a clear understanding of all areas of sustainability during their time at St Thomas.

Prep - Biodiversity Module:

Prep is the ideal time to learn all about our great environment at St Thomas.  Children have the opportunity to explore:

  • The St Thomas Water Cycle, where water moves around our school from rainwater tanks and storm water, through frog creek to our dam, where it can be pumped around the school for watering our grounds.
  • Our vegetable gardens, which are located in all areas of the school, and provide us with great, nutritious food regularly used in cooking classes.
  • Our fruit trees, which are planted in front of north facing classroom windows.  These deciduous trees protect classrooms from heat in Summer, let in light in during Winter - thus reducing our energy usage - and provide us with a great variety of fruit.
  • Our chook pen is currently home to  ten hens, a rooster and numerous new chickens which freely roam around the school grounds.  They love our food scraps and provide us with eggs.
  • Our sheep which live around our dam, eat up our food scraps and provde great excitement during lambing season!
  • Our bird boxes, which were constructed by Year 5 / 6 students as part of a community project in 2011, and have provided safe nesting places for native birds attracted  by our indigenous plants.  There was great excitement in 2014 when a pair of rainbow lorikeets successfully raised 5 chicks in one of our nesting boxes!
  • Our wonderful native plants and trees, which provide a safe habitat for many native creatures. Signage around the school grounds remind us all of our very special environment.  Visitors to our school are amazed to learn that in 1997 when the school was built, our grounds were a bare paddock!
  • Our 'Blue Gum Forest', consisting of more than 2000 trees planted by students in 1999. Not only do the trees contribute to a cleaner environment, they are a great place for a treasure hunt!

Preps love to help care for their vege gardens with their Year 5 / 6 buddies, and are very grateful to the Year 5 / 6 students who help to maintain our gardens during their 'Fun Friday' activites each week.

Year 1 / 2 - Water Module:

Our Year 1 / 2 students are responsible for the Water Module.  This is a huge task for young students but they are well supported by the school community and are happy to know we already have many initiatives in place.  A big part of undertaking the Water Module is learning all about our water cycle. Here at St Thomas we are lucky to have Frog Creek running through our property. The water flows into our dam and is them pumped to a holding tank near our hocky field where it is used for watering our grounds.  Run-off from the watering and from the rainfall on our rooves then flows back into Frog Creek, completing our water cycle.

Activities and resposnibilites for our Year 1 /2 students include:

  • Learning all about the St Thomas Water Cycle.
  • Conducting a water audit once per year to look for problem areas where water is being wasted and coming up with solutions to the problems.
  • Placing signage around the school, reminding people to save water.
  • Placing containers under taps to capture water, and using the saved water on our vegie gardens and fruit trees.
  • Learning about other ways water is saved in our school e.g. the native plants in our gardens which do not require watering, the mulch on our gardens which keeps moisture in the soil and the water tank that is used to flush the toilets in the 5 / 6 building.
  • Learning about the birds, animals and insects that rely on the water in our school grounds.
  • Educating the rest of the school community aobut saving water through presenting items at assemblies and through the school newsletter.

Year 3 / 4 - Waste Module:

Year 3 / 4 students are responsible for encouraging everybody to reduce the amount of waste in the school.  

They do this by:

  • Providing bins for recycling classroom paper, and for recycling plastic, glass and cardboard within the school.
  • Providing buckets for food scraps, which are collected at the end of each day and given to our chooks, sheep and our worm farm.
  • Promoting Nude Food Tuesdays, when students are encouraged to bring their lunch in reusable containers, reducing the amount of litter in the playground and waste going to landfil. 
  • Reminding  the school community aobout our Snack Shacks which ensure that children only eat in designated areas, reducing litter in the playground.
  • Educating classes about their designated areas whcih they are responsible for keeping litter free.
  • Conducting "Clean Up St Thomas Day" once per year, to clear our school of all rubbish, to determine the types of rubbish that are causing the greatest problems and coming up with solutions to the problems. 
  • Educating the rest of the school community aobut managing and reducing waste within our school, through presenting items at assemblies and through the school newsletter.

Year 5 / 6 - Energy Module:

Our Year 5 / 6 students are responsible for the Energy module. It is always a challenge to reduce energy consumption, especially in a technology rich school, but we have already made a terrific start with the design of our buildings.  Many features of our buildings have energy saving aspects and were designed with energy reduction in mind.

Year 5 / 6 students are responsible for encouraging everybody to reduce the amount of energy used in the school.  

They do this by:

  • Placing signage around the school reminding people to 'swith off' when lights and devices are not being used.
  • Ensuring that computers are set for sleep mode when left unattended.
  • Ensuring electrical devices are switched off at the wall at the end of the day.
  • Learning about the energy saving nature of our buildings.
  • Conducting a school 'Earth Hour' once per year.
  • Using light sensors to determine whether lights need to be on.
  • Conducting an energy audit once per year to determine where energy is being wasted and to come up with new evergy saving measures.
  • Educating the rest of the school community aobut managing and reducing the use of energy within our school, through presenting items at assemblies and through the school newsletter.
Peninsula Drive Drysdale. 3222 Victoria Tel: 5251 1050 Fax: 5251 1074 Send us an e-mail