I have the greatest admiration for the work that all staff do on a daily basis at our divine school. I am fortunate to be surrounded by staff who have enormous hearts, who strive to provide the most enriching educational experiences for every child and who are committed to developing the whole child so that they are well placed to make a positive difference to their their world.
It is easier to understand the role of our ES staff and teaching staff but we have a number of staff who make such huge contributions to our school and I thought I’d shed some light of these staff over the next few months.
Recently I had a conversation with Anabel Herr about her role as our school’s Sustainability Coordinator and how sustainable practices are being embedded in our school and homes. The following information will not doubt get you excited as you read about ‘all things sustainable’ at our school! I thought this is well worth celebrating as a community!


Sustainability at SKPS
  • Sustainability is an integral part of SKPS curriculum
  • A School Environmental Management Plan (SEMP) for the whole school has been developed
  • Anabel has applied successfully for a number of grants to improve sustainability at SKPS
  • We liaise with local and regional groups to improve sustainability at SKPS (Eco centre, local council, Menshed, beach patrol…..)
  • We liaise with political representatives and local business for support of projects and to raise awareness, for example, writing letters to the mayor of the CoPP about reducing the use of plastic straws
  • Students give presentations at events to educate other schools about our efforts to be more sustainable
  • We are participating in ‘The Creatures of the Bay exhibition at Gasworks Park to raise awareness about our marine environment
  • We are part of the government initiative ResourceSmart program, and are currently a 3 star school
  • SKPS won the ResourceSmart ‘Waste Award of the Year’ in 2016 
  • We have been invited to apply for the school of the decade award by ResourceSmart
  • 4 working bees are held at SKPS to maintain the school grounds and to strengthen our community each year
  • Sustainable travel: SKPS promotes sustainable travel in many ways:
    • we collect travel data once a week and enter the data into ‘Hands up Travel’ data;
    • we celebrate Ride to School Day and Walk to School Day
    • we hold a Walkathon once a year
    • we are a Ride2school Gold School
    • Dr Cranky’s bike hospital: The Bicycle Hospital started as two Dad’s repairing bikes under a tree at their kids’ local school to ensure every kid has access to a working bike so they can ride regularly. Since the program started at SKPS 18 bikes have been donated, 17 bikes have been repaired with the help of children and 14 bikes have been given away to our community;
  • An annual biodiversity assessment is undertaken on our school grounds
  • Green waste from the school is mulched and used on garden beds
  • Weed control and litter management is undertaken on a regular basis
  • Our school is fortunate enough to have a beautiful green space providing a habitat to a range of animals including Tawny Frogmouths, birds, possums, bats and invertebrates.
  • We have a Nature Club
  • Planting policy:
    • Focus on planting mainly indigenous/native plants
    • Yearly audit of all trees > 6m
    • ‘One tree out’ – ‘two trees in’ policy
  • We have established a number of different areas that allow our children to explore the different aspects of nature:
    • Productive garden
    • Japanese Garden
    • Orchard
    • Jungle (old frog bog)
    • Nature playground/Enchanted Garden
  • SWEP program: we have installed water loggers at our mains to monitor our consumption and receive warnings about potential leaks
  • We have installed a 50,000l rainwater tank to catch stormwater for our oval
  • Our sprinkler system is monitored by a weather station to ensure it only comes on when needed. In addition, the sprinkler system comes on during night time to minimise evaporation
  • 4 additional tanks provide water for our toilets and our productive garden (on a drip system to minimise evaporation)
  • All our toilets are dual flush toilets
  • All new sinks are fitted with water saving taps;
  • All white goods are at least 3 star water efficiency rating
  • We focus on planting drought tolerant plants to reduce water consumption
  • We have applied for grant to drill a bore hole to reduce treated water consumption
  • SKPS liaises with beach patrol groups and participate in beach clean-ups
  • Water wise actions – students bring water reusable bottles from home each day to keep them hydrated throughout the day.
  • In 2012 we installed a 12kW solar system on one of the buildings (63 panels, 190W each), and we are currently investigating the possibility of installing an additional 230 high efficiency panels to increase our system to 60kW
  • In June 2015 we replaced most indoor and outdoor lights with LED lighting
  • We are running a switch off program in the classrooms to decrease our energy consumption even further
  • We have motion sensors installed to reduce energy consumption
  • Computers are set to a sleep time regime to conserve energy
  • Our sprinkler system and watering system are on a timer setting and the emergency lighting and outdoor lights are on a nightly timer setting
  • We open blinds during the day and use natural light wherever possible
  • We have installed at least 4 star energy rating appliances (dishwasher, fridges, washing machine, dryer)
  • St Kilda Primary School follows operational practices of ‘Reduce, Reuse and Recycle’
  • We are a nude food school, which means that we encourage all children to bring unpackaged food to school. In addition, the children eat their snacks and lunches inside for 10 minutes so that we can make sure any rubbish we do have goes home
  • We are participating in ‘The Creatures of the Bay’ exhibition to raise awareness about our marine environment; we have collected litter from the beach and made it into 2 art projects to represent the impact our behaviour has on the marine environment
  • In 2016 we introduced colour coded Eco bins to each classroom and admin area to enable the waste to go to the right place, whether recyclables, food scraps or landfill
  • Green waste is currently collected in Year 5 and 6 and feeds our worms and chickens or goes into our compost bins. The students from these classes have formed teams and monitor the collection and distribution of the waste (e.g. environmental team). Our long-term aim is that no green waste leaves the school.
  • We also established a School Recycling Depot with strong support from our Parent Green Team. This is a place where our community can recycle soft plastics, batteries, mobile phones and printer cartridges.
  • Penguin Project: In 2016 the Year 1s initiated a project to raise awareness for our bay and to decrease littering, in particular plastic bags; they produced reusable shopping bags made out of T-shirts and sold them to the community; the money raised was donated to for support environmental issues
  • Paper recycling program is monitored each week by children in Year 4 (especailly Jamal) to ensure that all classrooms (and the office area!) recycle or reuse paper. Over the course of this year we have again reduced our paper consumption overall by almost half!
  • In 2017 we changed to 100% recycled paper for the printers, which is Australian made and carbon neutral
  • All unused furniture is either sold or recycled in an appropriate way
  • Zero Waste Fetes: In 2013 and 2015 we had a range of strategies to make a zero waste fete happen through having a Wash Van (for the cups and plates from our Devonshire Tea stall), compostable plates, cups and cutlery, a reverse vending machine for any cans or bottles and having compost bins available for left over food. Our Year 5 children were very active in supporting this initiative as part of their leadership program, which had a strong focus on sustainability. They wrote letters to all the stall holders asking them to consider how they were going to make their stalls waste free and acted as sustainability advisors on the day of the fete and provided information about what to do with any waste to all visit. Our fete in 2017 will also be a waste free fete and we work closely with the Eco Centre and Port Phillip Council to make this happen.