Eltham North’s Energy Buster is ENERGYRO.
He is ever ready to turn off lights, computers, heaters, fans, air conditioners or any other electrical appliances when they are not being used. With a Zap he controls the flow of electricity around the school using a special Energy Saving Device. . .as well as his Triphosphorous tubes!
Doors are no problem when kept closed to save heated or cooled air escaping. He’s always on the lookout to find ways to save more energy.
GROWING – Growing knowledge of current technologies and energy reduction practices is integral in all facets of our SS program. Growing club students share knowledge e.g. relating energy to all aspects of life (growing plants -solar energy). Learning how to make little changes and conserve energy (reducing GHG) was a World Environment Day focus.
The Greenhouse Games Challenge continues this for families. Overall our energy usage graphs remain steady despite substantially larger demands.- increased population, more classrooms and air conditioning installation. This demonstrates the efficiency of energy-reduction practices and implementing current technology. Students monitor classroom shutdown procedures and participate in energy audits. Savings and knowledge of renewable energy will be enhanced with the installation of a large solar array shortly.
DISCOVERING – Units of work: Level 3 Energy unit (experiments, monitoring, energy forms, real life scenarios), sharing knowledge from: CERES, World Environment Day whole school events, 5/6 carbon sequestration presentations, NSSP - learning about positive, environmental aspects of renewable energy, participating in energy audits and expert talks are some aspects of how our students are discovering vital knowledge that enables them to communicate with others, make decisions and share their knowledge at assemblies, student forums and via website articles. Greenhouse gases emissions reduction and Ecological footprint activities encourage discovery of positive/ negative changes / results.
CREATING – Signage and murals, with simple messages, e.g. ‘Save, Quit, Shutdown’ reinforce procedures, remind our community and reduce energy consumption.
TOGETHER - WED theme 'Your Planet Needs You-UNite to Combat Climate Change' provided impetus for discussions and ideas for action. Our Environmental Leaders play an important role in teaching other students and informing our community.
‘We ‘re reminding and teaching other classmates how to be saving energy and being environmentally friendly’ Gabriel
‘We have monitors in our classroom to monitor the computer, lights and heaters. Jarrod
Whole school involvement – The SIT team (with input from students and school community) plans from year to year. This is based on regular monitoring and audits, successes, identified needs and responds to initiatives drives the program. By nominating a SS component focus each term, whole school focus days are embraced. Relating key events and ongoing activities to the term focus allows students, teachers and our community to engage in: WED, Ride/ Walk to school, Walking School Bus, Greenhouse games. The focus this year in all these programs is to reduce our Green House Gas Emissions.
Ongoing process: Raising awareness, communicating information, maintenance / modification of infrastructure, increasing student’s involvementhas necessitated regular communication (e.g. website, assemblies), responsible planning and timelines to ensure continuity.
Getting the message to everyone – Informationfor and delivered by Environmental Leaders, other students and members of the SIT teamare continually communicated. The trend to use the website ensures student activities, newsletter updates and general information relating to Energy are available to the whole community. The power of students communicating their initiatives and environmental messages, in their unique way, has been noted particularly at Assemblies, and in classrooms. Visual aids created by students have also been effective.
Continuing the learning – Level 3 students explored energy websites (completing web quests) as part of their Energy unit. Our school newsletter provides articles with suggested actions and information for students and parents e.g. GHG challenge helpful hints and a ‘Did You know?’ section.
Resources - The provision of appropriate resources, reference materials, access to expertise, excursions and incursions has enhanced the classroom, coaching and extra curricular learning for all students.
Time constraints - By making actions simple and achievable and implementing activities according to a timeline, and having a team of teachers working with Environmental Leaders and lunchtime groups, we have found we are able to expand the opportunities for students to be involved. Targeting a few specific community and school based actions and one clear focus, Energy, per term hasencouraged people at school to get involved.
Future goals: Later this year as part of a curriculum review we will examine how we can embed environmental education more fully so that it becomes inherent in our entire curriculum.
A GREAT START:At ENPS we begin by introducing our prospective parents to our Sustainable Schools program as part of the transition process. Our new Preps learn about our Enviro Heroes, including: Energyro and energy saving practices. This learning is scaffolded with increasing technical knowledge and skills as students progress through to Level 4 where they apply their learning in a Sustainability unit of work. Students have the opportunity to be involved in lunchtime clubs or become Environmental Leaders so they can become experts and become mentors for their classmates.
SUPPORT: ENPS’s management structure supports the implementation of the SS components, including Energy. As a focus in our 4-year AIP, there are measurable and timed actions for energy in our annual action plan. Our School Improvement Team has representation from each level of the school ensuring effective communication and implementation of the AIP. A budget and the School Council facilities team supports these actions. Our curriculum includes units of work based on energy and the coaching program expands learning opportunities for Energy knowledge and reduction practices. Grants have ensured we are able to install energy saving devices (such as our Eco Light which saves 30% on our lighting). Energy audits conducted by teachers, experts and students identify areas for attention, e.g. energy efficient appliances, T8 and T5 lights, future switches. Students monitor classroom practices and helpful hints / information has been communicated and fun activities completed this year through projects like: Greenhouse Games challenge, Carbon Sinks and World Environment Day activities.
We have our solar project (30 panels) working effectively and we are banking energy power and extending our learning and savings with this renewable energy source.
History: Our journey: ENPS received accreditation for the Energy module back in December 2005.
The focus of this module is to engage students to be leaders in energy conservation, to provide solutions for energy school energy issues and to review and reduce the school’s energy consumption.
In November 2007 ENPS won the Energy Smart Schools Award for Victoria and were a finalist in 2008. Students presented a short overview of our achievements at the MCG.
At Eltham North Primary School we believe ‘Little changes can make a big difference'- Our sustainable journey, started five years ago, continues with the whole school community involved in learning, developing lifelong sustainable practices and empowering students to become future leaders. These goals encompass all aspects of our planning, implementation and practices. They drive us to further reduce our Energy, Waste and Water requirements and increase the Biodiversity of our school environment. Being a 5 Star Sustainable school also provides opportunities for our students lead in their own school and inspire others in the wider community.
Science experiment using balloons.
Eltham North is a trial school for 'Carbon Sink' Trading program (commenced 2008). More information about the Carbon Sink program and an explanation of 'terms' (~37K PDF Doc)
Energy Hints for home
Walkthrough Audit details
What are the three most significant outcomes your school has achieved lately towards being Energy Smart?
Now – Learning about Energy – Learning occurs in various forums: Participation in Environmental Leader’s program beginning with leadership training program, prepares our leaders for regular meetings, classroom responsibilities, communication, presentations and providing positive role models for their peers. The theme of the whole school World Environment Day was ‘Reducing CO2’. The mixed age groups rotated through a range of multi- dimensional activities (including ones that enhanced understandings about Energy). Our involvement in the Carbon Sinks project entails student, parents and staff learning, as well as promoting carbon-reducing practices in the wider community through our Website, newspapers and newsletter articles. Classroom units of work develop understandings are part of a two year rotation. Visual evidence is apparent in posters, murals, discussions and actions throughout the school.
Reducing our Carbon Footprint- Ongoing audits, regular review of energy usage (SETs), maintaining classroom Energy Shutdown practices, a ‘Planting for the Future’ project (funded by Nillumbik Council), increasing Green Power percentageare actions undertaken to reduce ENPS’s carbon footprint.
Getting Proactive – Our initiatives include: signage, increased promotion by Environmental Leaders (newspaper articles, website, newsletter), participation in Weed Warriors program, Adopt a Plant, energy audit (Planet Savers) monitoring of energy using SETs interactive website.
What are the challenges we’ve implemented to achieve these significant Energy Smart outcomes ?
As our school population has risen dramatically to 525, we have had to address a number of challenges: providing extra facilities, increased demand (computer usage, interactive whiteboards, extra classrooms, installation of air conditioning). Our auditing processes reveal that our usage has remained constant. This indicates that our shutdown practices and Energy Saving Devices have compensated for increased demand. Our challenge now is to explore opportunities to continue further reduction of energy throughout the school. Our involvement in the Carbon Sinks project is providing us with goals and opportunities to achieve this. An application for a Solar grant, another energy audit, involvement in carbon sinking projects like: Local land care (carbon sequestration) all have the aim of reducing energy usage and our carbon footprint.
Promotion of the ‘Walking School Bus’ and ‘Walk on Wednesday’ programs are simple initiatives that our students and parents are being encouraged to support.
Unreliable power supply and energy sapping appliances were identified. The facilities team (School Council) has overseen an upgrade of power provision, installation of skylights (to enhance natural lighting). Energy efficiency has been considered in our building projects, including window placement and appropriate insulation, and in the upgrading of refrigeration and hot water systems.
Artists wall display outside the Prep classrooms.
Here is a summary of our environmental management plan. The Sustainable Schools project team is responsible for developing an annual action plan. Representatives from each level of the school meet regularly, provide feedback to and from level teams, and ensure targets are implemented. Many of them are involved in lunchtime activities or oversee other sustainable projects. Whole school days are planned by the ENPS Sustainable Schools Co-ordinators in conjunction with classroom teachers. VEL’s based Units of work are planned and implemented by teachers at each level. Displays, signs, photos, murals and short films, created by students and teachers, reflect the learning and provide visual reminders for all our school community. These are prominently exhibited around the school and on the website. Data has been collected for the past 5 years of Sustainable Schools’ involvement. This data has also been recorded using SETs – an interactive website. As part of the Carbon Sink Project, there are fundraising opportunities (Jack Green power). A Solar grant is being submitted this year. Our ESG commitment continues.
Who is involved in the school’s Energy Smart activities? The ENPS SS team devises an action plan each year with term goals with specific actions to be targeted. This encompasses classroom, whole school programs and new initiatives are systematically implemented throughout the year. Our two SS Co- Ordinators plan whole school days, co-ordinate Environmental Leaders meetings, grants and applications, newsletter, website, coaching program, maintenance, promotions, conduct school visits and provide staff and parent PD. Environmental Leaders attend meetings, leadership conference, prepare for promotion, provide peer leadership, are involved in decision –making, initiate and monitor classroom practices. Facilities sub-committee of School council encourage parents to attend working bees, provide expert advice and specific services, prepare and engage in maintenance activities. Local community organisations who work in partnership with ENPS include Edendale farm, Planet Savers and Nillumbik council. Our School Council promotes and supports many initiatives. The facilities team plan and implement any aspects of the SS initiatives, e.g. providing resources, expertise and ensuring effective installation of devices to reduce energy consumption at ENPS.