ResourceSmart Schools provides a framework that has helped St Louis de Montfort become more sustainable. ResourceSmart Schools involve students and teachers in real-life learning opportunities that influence sustainable behaviour now and in the future.
St Louis de Montfort has participated in the ResourceSmart Schools framework since 2012 and in that time we have embed sustainability across all learning areas and it has assisted us to address the cross-curriculum priority for sustainability. Our students have developed leadership and problem-solving skills and improved confidence in their ability to make a difference.
We have also made practical cost savings through changes to waste collection, monitoring of water usage and implementing ideas from our students and teachers.
On 3 December 2014, our school was accredited as a 5 Star ‘Leadership’ ResourceSmart School. We have completed the AuSSI Vic Core Module and the four other Resource Modules to qualify for this certification. Becoming certified in 5 Star ‘Leadership’ recognises our school’s commitment to creating sustainable practices, infrastructure and integrated learning. We have found creative and efficient ways to integrate waste, water, energy and biodiversity initiatives into their everyday actions.
The key activities that led us to achieving 5-star sustainability certification included:
- Core aim to develop lifelong sustainable practices
- Educational, practical and community activities
- Leadership training to empower pupils to lead, educate and motivate their peers.
Through the five focus areas we have been able to:
Improve our outdoor natural environment; by planting trees that are conducive to our environment; upgrading the play areas and making them environmentally friendly; using natural materials that reduce the impact on the environment; to educate the school community about incorporating biodiversity in our every day school life.
Control energy consumption so that we reduce our impact on the natural environment; avoid unnecessary costs associated with wasting energy; educate students, staff and whole community about the best practice for use of energy consuming equipment and services; and to conduct an energy audit and maintain records of energy consumption.
General Sustainability (Core)
Develop whole of school sustainability action plans; specific actions plans for each resource area (biodiversity, energy, waste and water); track our resource consumption through the online system; apply for grants and awards and ensure our actions align with the checklists and resources provided.
Our Environment Action Team implements a yearly action plan and reviews our practices and activities. Communication in many forms (presentations, murals, signage, photo’s, assemblies, PD sessions, website articles) is an essential element of this program.
Students engage in a diverse range of learning experiences to develop the knowledge, skills and behaviours to make informed decisions about their impact on the environment.
Continue the development of a Waste Wise ethic within the whole school community; to provide and maintain healthy and aesthetically pleasing learning environment through the reduction of waste and litter; to practice waste wise principles of reduce, reuse and recycle; and to reduce the cost of waste and litter management.
Prompt actions that will reduce water usage; to appreciate water as a precious natural resource; to plant trees that are conducive to our environment and don’t need much water; to educate the whole school community about ways to reduce water usage both indoors and outdoors and to conduct a water audit and maintain records of water consumption.