Sustainability at Solway
Solway Primary School recognises the importance of being a sustainable school for the benefit of the planet’s environmental health. Our goal is to manage resources efficiently and integrate sustainable practices by educating and motivating the whole school community to live more sustainably.
We joined the ResourceSmart Australian Sustainable Schools Initiative (AuSSI Vic) program in 2008. This program helps schools and students to actively build sustainability into the fabric of every day school and community life. We achieved our first star accreditation in Curriculum and Core Module in 2009. Since then the School Community has worked hard to meet the AuSSI Vic Program targets and in June 2012 we were awarded 5 Star Accreditation. In the same year we were also named as the City of Boroondara’s 2012 Sustainable School of the Year.
In 2015 we were reaccredited with our 5 star status which was another huge achievement. 2018 will see us seeking reaccreditation for the second time. Solway is one of only forty nine schools in Victoria to have reached 5 Star status, of 868 participating in Resource Smart Schools, and one of only a handful to achieve reaccreditation.
To achieve 5 Star Accreditation Solway has met benchmarks in the following:
- Curriculum and Core Module – successful integration of Sustainability into the curriculum via the incorporation of Sustainability units into our Inquiry learning. The incorporation of Science as a specialist activity for all students. Excursions, construction of Eco-towns, Solar Powered Boat project, Kitchen Garden Program for Preps and participation in the Kids Teaching Kids program.
- Biodiversity & School Grounds – improvement in our habitat ratio to meet the AuSSI Vic benchmark. Participation in National Tree Planting Day (focussing on Indigenous Natives) and MasterClass Gardening Program, lunchtime Gardening Club and the creation of student designed, interactive signage in the school Wildlife Corridor. Regular proactive Working Bees (to maintain a healthy habitat), extension of our Wildlife corridor in 2017, the construction of a sensory garden and outdoor classroom as an extension of the Kitchen Garden in 2016.
- Waste – we have met the benchmark of 0.3m3 of landfill per student per year. Activities include the installation of 3 Waste Stations in the school grounds, classroom Waste Stations, productive worm farms and compost bins and improved management of green waste from our Working Bees.
- Water – the installation of 2 water tanks in 2008 (50,000L) and 2009 (25,000L) which feed the student toilet blocks and the Kitchen Garden. Dual flush toilets are operating in the student toilets and 9 water efficient Aqua Bubblers have been installed in the school grounds.
- Energy – 44 photovoltaic solar panels were installed in 2009 which have helped us reach our benchmark of reduced energy consumption. Future switches have been introduced in all classrooms, as well as energy efficient lighting. Student designed ‘Switch Off” signage is displayed throughout the school.
Our 5 Star Accreditation has been achieved through the collaborative effort of our School Leadership Team, teachers, students and parents. Our Environment Captains, together with their team, are active in promoting initiatives, programs and competitions throughout the school, and the value of living sustainably to the wider school community.
For further information about Sustainability, please refer to the below websites:
- Sustainability Victoria & the ResourceSmart Australian Sustainable Schools Initiative Victoria (AuSSI Vic)
- Victorian Association for Environmental Education ~ your voice in education for sustainability (AuSSI Vic Facilitator)
Sustainability @ Solway
Watch our 3 minute film to see what exciting sustainable initiatives we have at Solway Primary.
This short film has a script and soundtrack created by the students of Solway Primary School. It documents the sustainability journey and shows the steps you take to become a leading 5 star rated primary school in Victoria, Australia. Enjoy watching the kids introduce you to the Principal, teachers, student leaders, parents and preppies and hear how excited they are about the school's sustainability initiatives. The film is 15 minutes in length and was filmed in 2012.
This short film was created by REPLAS with our Environmental Team to show their products and recycling plastics.