Premier’s Sustainability Award finalist

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10 September 2019

environmental sustainability at st aloysius

St Aloysius’ School, Queenscliff, is making the most of the local environment. In a narrow strip of land dividing Port Phillip Bay and Swan Bay, the school has used its unique location as well as partnerships to provide a truly immersive perspective on environmental sustainability. Earlier this year, the school received a ResourceSmart award for curriculum leadership (primary), and this week the school was named as one of three finalists in the education category for the Premier’s Sustainability Awards 2019. Principal Fiona Dawson writes about the great work being done at the school for the next edition of Catholic Education Today.

Earlier this year, our school was named Curriculum Leadership School of the Year (Primary) in the 2019 ResourceSmart Schools Awards in recognition of a determined focus on and commitment to sustainability education over the past few years. But our story goes back further than that.

In 2015, we implemented a science curriculum across all year levels that linked closely with environmental sustainability. In 2017, that curriculum was extended to include one session of general science and one of environmental science per week for all students in Years 3 to 6. The general science and environmental science curriculums were closely intertwined, providing a platform to support student independent research and to develop programs such as the Zoos Victoria campaigns, ‘Love Your Locals’ and ‘When Balloons Fly, Seabirds Die’.

In the past five years, our students have participated in local Kids Teaching Kids environmental conferences. In 2016 and 2018, we hosted our own local conferences. These events involved six schools and over 100 students from as far away as Williamstown and Drysdale. The Borough of Queenscliffe recognised the significance of these conferences by awarding St Aloysius’ School the Australia Day Award for Community Environmental Project for both of these years.

In late 2017, we implemented our Outdoor Learning program that encourages all year levels to plan off-site outdoor learning experiences on a weekly basis. This program is designed to use our unique location to enhance student wellbeing through connectedness with the natural surroundings.

We have also partnered with Deakin University and Queenscliff’s Marine and Freshwater Discovery Centre to develop a school culture of marine science excellence that has at its core the sustainability of our most precious resource: Port Phillip Bay and Swan Bay.