Here at Black Rock Primary School we are committed to working as a school to both be more environmentally friendly and teach students about sustainability from Foundation to Year Six.
As part of the Victorian Curriculum, Sustainability has been identified as a Cross Curriculum Priority. Some of the key reasoning for this is that “Learning about Sustainability allows students to develop the knowledge, skills, values and world views necessary to contribute to more sustainable patterns of living” and that “Australia’s future prosperity will be impacted by past, present and future decisions, particularly in relation to the environmental, social and economic challenges”.
Black Rock Primary School has been a ResourceSmart School since 2014. ResourceSmart Schools is an award-winning Victorian Government program, managed by Sustainability Victoria, that assists schools to embed sustainability in everything they do. Through ResourceSmart we are supported by consultancy and professional development from a CERES facilitator, to minimise waste, save energy and water, promote biodiversity and take action on climate change to benefit our school and community.
Changes at our school
Since 2008 the program has engaged more than 1,500 schools saving $35.5 million through these efforts and importantly the following environmental savings;
One of our biggest commitments we have made in reducing our environmental impact has been installing solar panels on the roof of the BER.
This was completed in 2021 to support the Victorian Government’s goal of net-zero emissions by 2050 through the Greener Government School Buildings (GGSB) program which helps schools install solar power systems to generate renewable energy.
The program provides upfront funding for the installation of a solar power system, which is paid back by schools in instalments over five years. Once the cost of the solar power system has been paid back, schools then retain 50% of the savings.
Schools gain the benefits of the solar power system over time, such as generating electricity on-site reducing the costs of electricity bills and helping the environment by reducing the school's carbon footprint.
Since 2014 some of our other big changes that have happened at Black Rock Primary include introducing commingled and soft plastic recycling, implementing a whole school composting program (complete with a worm farm) as well as a Year Four Gardening program.
Every year a team of passionate Year Sixes are chosen to be Sustainability Leaders and support and educate their fellow students. Our leaders for 2022 are Ned Long and Will Carthew.
On Friday the 25th of March we celebrated Earth Hour! From 2:15-3:15pm the school turned off our lights as part of the WWF worldwide initiative and investigated how we can care for our environment.
On Monday the 7th of March our Sustainability Leaders Will and Ned received their badges at the BRPS Leadership Assembly. Will and Ned have done a fantastic job so far this year teaching students about recycling and how to use the Sustainability room.
On Friday the 4th of March our whole school participated in Clean Up Australia. We cleaned up our whole school and learnt about how to recycle better.