Our H2O heroes are the WATER WIZARDS.
They’re out to save every drop of precious water. In a blink they turn off taps and collect water from the bubblers in buckets.
This H2O is then used to make plants grow. Their magic is already at work in the toilets and on every tap where special valves slow the flow of water. They prevent the wastage of water everyday in lots of ways.
GROWING– Water-saving mechanisms, including: new dual flush toilets tanks to supply all toilets, timer taps, Aquabubblers, buckets under taps and replacement of old leaking pipes have increased .
Despite population increases and some extensive leaks, our water consumption graphs show that last year we reduced our water usage by over 25% and we are on track to improve further this year.
We propagate and plant indigenous/ native flora - using water crystals and mulch / tanbark
CREATING – Gardens are only watered using rain or harvested water. By embedding SS across the whole curriculum, we learn about water and develop water saving practices. Creative talents of the students appear in song, poems, slogans and messages around the school and in gardens.
DISCOVERING – Water Day’s activities allowed students to measure water usage in everyday life and raised issues (living with little/no water) through explorations and support of Water Aid. Students carried water containers on their head to gain perspectives on how some people access daily water. Local environment excursions provoked discussion about water pollution. Environmental Leaders created a water rap to spread the message and presented at several venues, including a Yarra Valley Water LILI PD. They capably communicated aspects of ENPS’s water reduction practices (that have been instrumental in ENPS becoming a gold LILI school) as 50 participants joined their school tour.
TOGETHER - The combined efforts of ENPS’s school community are making a big difference in water conservation. As our students say:
“ We are trying to save water because we’re in a drought.” Ruby
‘We can’t waste water because it’s vital for us and all living things to live.” Tasman
Everyday we apply strategies we’ve learnt so we can save more water. If we all save some water there’ll be more water left for drinking water and for what we need.” Holly
Whole school involvement –The SIT team (with input from students and school community) plans water activities during term 4. Whole school events occur in water week. Problems are readily identified with Smart Meter, SETs monitoring and audits. Water events focused on the water we use and monitoring were incorporated in World Environment Day activities and families nominated actions in the Greenhouse Games challenge. The focus this year in all these programs is to reduce our water consumption.
Ongoing process:Regular communication (e.g. website, assemblies), responsible planning and timelines are used to ensure continuity and increase student’s involvement.
Channel Nine news filming on Water Day.
Getting the message to everyone –Informationfor and by Environmental Leaders, other students, members of the SIT teamis regularly communicated. The trend to use the website ensures student activities, newsletter updates and general information relating to Water are available to the whole community.
The power of students spreading water messages, via raps, posters and murals at Assemblies and other events is powerful. Environmental Leaders also monitor strategies and communicate information in classrooms.
Continuing the learning – Level 3 students explored water websites as a part of their unit of work. Regular newsletter updates with actions, information for students and parents ( GHG challenge helpful hints) are posted on the school website.
Resources -Provision of grants to fund water saving initiatives , appropriate materials, reference material, access to expertise, excursions and incursions has enhanced the classroom, coaching and extra curricular learning for all students.
Time constraints -Simple and achievable targets, implementing specific water activities in term 4, having a team of teachers working with Environmental Leaders have ensured that our pursuit of water efficiency keeps happening. Targeting a few specific community and school based actions and one clear focus, Water in term 4 hasencouraged people at school to get involved.
Future goals: Achieving the milestones for gold status has spurred us on to involve both students and our school as a resource and provide support. During term 4 we hope to host a water forum for local school students. We have set up partnerships with other schools to help them in their SS journeys. Later this year as part of a curriculum review we will examine how we can address water education at all levels of the curriculum.
A Great Start: Water education starts with our transition program when our new Preps and parents are introduced to our water hydration program and start the year with water bottles (water hydration program) that are easily refilled at the Aquabubblers. Early in the year they are introduced to our ENPS Enviro Water Heroes –the water wizards ( see website).
SUPPORT: ENPS’s management structure supports the implementation of the SS components, including Water. As a focus in our 4-year AIP, fourth term is targeted for water activities. 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 Water, and the coaching program expands learning opportunities for water conservation practices. Support comes from Yarra Valley water, Melbourne Water, Edendale farm and other providers. Water audits conducted by Environmental Leaders, monitoring our usage via sets and State of the school reports, as well as our Smart Water Meter monitoring - reinforce and encourage the water conservation strategies. Helpful hints / information is communicated through projects like: Greenhouse Games Challenge, Water Week activities and World Environment Day activities. Monitoring our water usage reveals that despite a significantly larger school population (25% increase) and leaks from old pipes, we have still managed further savingsof around 25%.
History: Our journey: ENPS received accreditation for the Water module back in April 2006. The focus of this module is to reducing water consumption, support student initiated projects in the school and community, and model water wise projects and activities for local communities.
Some of our achievements include success in reducing usage, increasing our learning about water and involving everyone in our journey We call this our H20 plan
How can we keep reducing?
Our mission continues the search for opportunities to reduce water usage by maximising water harvest and reducing water flow. ENPS is utilising a $50,000 water grant to supply additional water tanks to service all toilet blocks, gardens and greenhouse. Toilets and taps have been upgraded.
2– Toincrease learning:
Learning occurs across the school in many forums, including powerful peer learning in multi-age activities:
Our Environmental Leaders engage in a variety of tasks: meetings, discussions, monitoring, leading classmates, presenting in and beyond the school setting (an original H2O rap at Water LILI launch), Assemblies.
On World Environment day mixed–age groups from Prep to year 6 engaged in a range of water activities.
Planning for Term4 includes: Level 3 VELs unit - utilising water LILI program, Yarra Valley Water, Waterwatch and an action research project at Edendale farm
Others involved in the journey
To develop broad understandings and a comprehensive range of experiences utilises various resources: local community and council, DEECD, Waterwatch, Yarra Valley Water, Edendale, CERES. Fundraising activities e.g. Water for Life develops students as global citizens and raises awareness of our precious resource – H2O.
To achieve these significant Water Smart outcomes we have implemented some effective solutions.
Our increased school enrolment is creating extra demands however water-saving measures in place, have prevented major increases. An Audit of accounts reveals only small changes – flow meters, dual flush toilets, using harvested water, classroom and schoolyard routines (buckets under taps and aqua bubblers) all contribute to conservation of water.
Extensive planning of learning experiences occurs at a whole school, level and across the school. The 2-year rotation of Scope and Sequence ensures all levels of the school complete an environmental unit. This year teachers and students have also participated in a Sustainable Schools coaching program, based on their environmental unit of work. Utilising the valuable resources involved ongoing research, sharing of ideas, professional development activities, research and an ongoing commitment to achieve the ideal for all learning.
Developing effective partnerships with resource personnel and local agencies has created opportunities for enhancing knowledge and experiences, such as: monitoring water cleanliness –raising awareness of how we affect water supplies and quality, as well as awareness of importance of this precious commodity water on a local and global scale. Making learning real by getting involved in some form of action is developing lifelong learning and practices.
Elements of your current environmental management plan relevant to Water Smart include:
Effective management practices are required to plan, implement and assess environmental projects. Our journey continues with critical steps necessary to ensure the resources, expertise and procedures are considered in the school’s management plan.
Our school commitment begins with goals identified at the end of each year. Different groups contribute to this assessment and planning for the coming year. From management to student level there are opportunities in many forums for the school community to have input. Careful budgeting is required - grants need to be subsidised by school.
On a curriculum level, regular audits of planning documents, development of VELs documentation, developing resources (both human and physical) and providing professional development are all factors to ensure learning is current, appropriate and effective. In 2008, one of the Level 3 VELs unit is being rewritten to encompass a Water unit, that included multi-dimensional learning activities and involvement in the local area.
Regular Staff PD sessions, meetings, coaching and whole school days enhance teacher learning and consequently influence student learning.
Details of who is involved in the school’s Water Smart activities include the following:
The success of environmental education at ENPS relies on many groups being proactive in the provision of facilities, curriculum and learning experiences:
Environmental leaders (P-6) have the opportunity take an active role in the school. Older students guide other students, and all have input in regular meetings. Responsibilities range from reinforcing water saving practices, reporting back to their classes to representing the school in the wider community.
All students at ENPS are expected to be responsible with water usage. Awareness of their impact on water is reinforced through participation in whole school events and targeted learning at all levels.
Classroom teachers contribute by modelling, engaging in planning, coaching and reviewing curriculum provision.
The Sustainable Schools School Improvement Team, led by two SS co-ordinators, develops an Annual Action plan that includes the identified needs and responds to school wide goals. Team members are involved in projects including: lunchtime activities, mulching, auditing, local projects, ensuring buckets are under taps.
The School Council facilities team(parents/staff) engage inforward planning to ensure provision of resourcesand targetidentified projects.
External organisations, such as: Yarra Valley Water, Edendale Farm, CERES, Bluescope, Waterwatchprovide valuable knowledge, activities and resources to enhance learning.
Integrated curriculum unit called Water Every Drop Counts
Water Quiz: Go to http://www.yvw.com.au/waterschool/juniors.html
Our water Our Future: Go to http://www.ourwater.vic.gov.au
Save Water: Go to http://www.savewater.com.au
Melbourne Water: Go to http://www.melbournewater.com.au/education