Orchard Grove Primary School is proud to call itself a sustainable school. The school has embraced many sustainability programs that have become an integral part of the school. The Junior School Council and the Green Team play a major role in running the programs.

Smart Food Tuesday encourages children to have a rubbish free, healthy lunch every Tuesday. This also has a run on effect to other days of the week. Classes compete to be the Smart Food class of the week. Classroom JSC members record results on a tally sheet. Children are rewarded for their efforts by participating in the Smart Food Raffle, where the winner receives a reusable bag full of rewards with a sustainable theme, at Friday Assembly.

Green Team members from Years 1 to 6 run the Energy Monitor program where they make sure lights and smart boards are turned off during break times throughout the school. At Assembly each week a compliant class is awarded The Kermit Green Energy Award.

Susan Berkeley is our wonderful resident horticulturalist and she runs Garden Club in ‘The Grove’, our school kitchen garden or in garden beds around the school. Members of the Green team are rostered on to help her.

We have a great school kitchen and garden program where every Friday, Trinity cooks a healthy and seasonal menu using produce from’ The Grove’ with the Grade 3 and 4 children.

The children regularly study sustainability topics as part of the Integrated Studies program. One of the features of the Level Four program in 2013 was a Challenge Based Learning program with a sustainability and consumerism theme. Children researched global and local issues and presented their findings at an Expo where they encouraged others to live a more sustainable life whether it be avoiding products containing palm oil or regularly walking to school. Many people were impressed with their commitment and knowledge of sustainable issues .

We aim to forge links with the local community. The whole school participates in Clean Up Australia Day in first term. The school grounds, playing fields car parks, Wurundjeri Walk, the rain garden and the wetlands are thoroughly cleaned by the school.

The rangers from Whitehorse Council regularly conduct activities highlighting the biodiversity in Wurundjeri Walk. The Green Team will work with a representative from the Wurundjeri Walk Advisory Committee to revegetate areas surrounding the creek, to restore the understory, promote biodiversity and animal habitats.

Every year we plant plants and shrubs around the school under the guidance of Susan Berkeley ,as part of the National Tree Day program. The children also participate in’ Green Day’ where they display their creativity in dressing up a feature of the sustainability program, whether it be as a wheelie bin or a tree! The children donate a gold coin to sustainability projects around the school.

We are so lucky that our school is located adjacent to such a wonderful natural reserve, ‘Wurundjeri Walk’. The children have the opportunity to observe lots of fauna and flora. In Spring, native ducks from the wetlands are regular visitors to our school.

Our frog bog is home to spotted and striped marsh frogs and pobblebonks. Many classes enjoy the frog bog. Picnic chairs and tables in the frog bog are often used as an outdoor classroom.

The school was the winner of several Sustainability awards presented by the Whitehorse Council in 2012 including the Sustainable School Award and the Overall Sustainable Organization prize for the City of Whitehorse. We are very proud of our sustainability achievements at Orchard Grove Primary School.

Sally Fyfield and Erin Ward
Sustainability Co-ordinators