Our school has been implementing some of the principles of Sustainability for a few years. Teacher Tim Hill began in 2011 with the aim of improving the school’s ecological footprint by significantly reducing rubbish and waste. He then instigated an environmental audit with a plan to improve biodiversity in our school grounds and surroundings. The first stage of this was to put up nesting boxes in trees  and enlist level 6 students and parents to establish the mural garden of native plants in the Breezeway and to bring in and plant raised vegetable and herb gardens. Our senior students learned how to apply for grants and fundraise to achieve these wonderful living memorials to their time at the school.


We now have a Sustainability Action Team and a commitment by the school to continue the process through the structure of ResourceSmart AuSSI, a nation-wide network of organisations and schools who are following a 5-step process to become environmentally more responsible. In 2013 we successfully completed our ‘core module’, collecting data on Waste Management, Energy and Water Usage. We are currently focused on Biodiversity as our major module in 2014, dovetailing with the major redevelopment and replanting of our school grounds with native vegetation.

For the past two years, students from levels 3 and 5 have represented the school at ‘Kids Teaching Kids’ conferences at Edendale Farm and visited other schools who have progressed further on their ResourceSmart journey. Senior students have established ‘Green Teams’ to engage the school community with the principles of  more ecologically respectful behaviours. Parents and students have contributed their time and expertise at working bees to replant and maintain the grounds around the new buildings. We have received grants from and enlisted the help of Banyule Council’s environment officer to advise us about local plants. Very recently, 100 little Blackwood trees were put in to the newly dug area by the cricket nets to provide shade and a friendlier habitat for birds and insects. We have even begun to see and hear frogs! We look forward to the completion of the major landscaping work and to the opportunities it brings for further bio-diversification.

Our vision statement as formulated by the whole staff in 2012 is that Ivanhoe East Primary School will become a 5 star Sustainable School, instilling lifelong values of respect and care for our environment. We will empower students, staff and the community to nurture and take responsibility for our natural world. Through teaching, learning and productive partnerships we will work together to improve our future.
If you are interested in finding out more, please contact Susan Coward or Larissa Smith who are the leaders of the Sustainability Team. We would love your support!