Environmental Studies

Home >> Environmental Studies
The purpose of our environmental study is to equip our students and school community to develop lifelong sustainable practices. Students have been on a journey learning to become aware of the need to care for our school environment and they have developed important skills and abilities. They are making a difference!
Our sustainable journey continues with the whole school community involved in learning, developing lifelong sustainable practices and empowering students to become future leaders.

Our sustainability journey

For details on our adventure towards achieving a 5 star Sustainable School award.

Core Sustainability Programs

Active School Initiatives

An ongoing target is to reduce the amount of wrappers coming to school. Zero waste is always the aim and we applaud the parents who are sending lunches to school in reusable containers. However we continue to have a lot of wrappers in the grounds and not all of them are returning home. Our school policy does support this initiative for reducing waste.
For many years the children have been immersed in programs to build skills and understandings to develop lifelong sustainable skills. In the beginning, a selection of environmental and cooking programs operated as lunch time activities for groups of interested students. The number of children wanting to participate and their enthusiasm for these activities often exceeded the scope of the lunchtime activity. With our great facilities, these experiences are further enhanced with classes dedicated to environmental studies and cooking within class time. Students are able to experience the full cycle of food cultivation and its preparation for healthy eating. All components of the Sustainable Schools program: Water, Waste, Energy and Biodiversity are covered in Environmental Studies and Cooking Program.

Up until 2020 we had a specialist teacher lead our cooking units but when COVID-19 restricted school operations we were forced to restructure and now class teachers take lessons in the Science and Cooking lab. It is so important to teach children a love of cooking as young as possible. teaching children how to care for themselves and how to form healthy habits are life skills. Making wonderful ‘munchin memories’ in primary school can be reflected upon as our students look back with fondness as they grow older.

The program Prep – year 6 focuses on different aspects for different year levels, but as a minimum it covers concepts such as: Hygiene and safety in the kitchen - Knife handling and chopping skills - Food and nutrition – the super powers of food - Culture and celebrations link each year level to inquiry topic where possible. Parents are invited to volunteer to assist and lend your time in the kitchen as it ensures all lessons run more efficiently. Touch base with the class teachers if you can make yourself available. I hope you come back to this page often to download the recipes that we will be loading, see the photos or leave us a comment on anything cooking.

Each year we celebrate World Environment Day. On the day each level of the school will participate in sessions related to a changing theme. The whole school activity day is designed to get us all thinking about the positive impact of home-grown produce in terms of energy, water, waste and biodiversity . . . and of course Healthy Eating!  Students will attend a program at Edendale Farm and then become the educators in a Kids Teaching Kids session with their Prep buddies.
  • Environmental Leaders consult with their class mates, parents and staff to develop an environmental and artistic school yard plan
  • New seedlings planted in the garden beds as the weather becomes warmer
  • Community landscaping project make a big difference.
  • The Chopper squad take care of food scraps with some new tools.
  • The Paper pirates sail around the school looking for hidden treasures to stow in their chests . . . bins.
  • Students plant and nurture a corridor of indigenous and local plants along the new building
Students participated in the activities and planned and ran a session for Years 5-10 students at Donvale Christian college. After the inspirational Dan Adams delivered the keynote speech, everyone participated in a hip hop workshop presented by the Indigenous Hip Hop Projects group. In their presentation, our students encouraged their group to use thinking hats to tease out aspects related to driving change as primary school leaders. We thank the kids for giving up their time to prepare and present so capably at the forum. They are a positive example of leadership in action.
Over the years we have attended  ‘Water Learn It live It’ conferences. The keynote speakers are very inspiring. A recent presenter was a young marine biologist who has received numerous accolade, including: Young Australian/ Environmentalist of the year. She had made films, wrote books and developed programs for many organisation.  She claimed her passion for the environment was her inspiration. We learnt how data meters and loggers are making positive, sometimes huge impacts on school water conservation.

At ENPS we are already using Meter Mate –  which tracks our usage and detects leaks. A session on Virtual Water had all the participants gasping as we worked out how much embodied water we all use each day.  Victorian residents are now using on average of 155 litres but did you know that the embodied water is about 2900 litres per person. For example it takes about 800 litres of water to make 1 litre of milk. In our last session: Give Me The Money we discovered that parents, teachers and even students have been involved in seeking grants and were given useful frameworks and tips to help in the grant writing process.
Being environmentally focus on sustainable practice at our school provides opportunities for our students to lead and inspire others in the wider community.
A team of ten students prepared their Water Rap presentation and co-operative learning and public speaking skills for the inaugural Kids Teaching Kids Practically Green Kids Creek Conference. Eltham North Primary School hosted this event in conjunction with Edendale Farm with support from both Nillumbik and Banyule Councils. Approximately 108 students from 12 local schools had the opportunity to learn from each other in a full day’s program based on water and biodiversity themes. In workshops, the children worked with local experts, a guest speaker and viewed each others presentations, participated in a forum and made pledges for local actions at their school. We are fortunate to have local providers, like: Yarra Valley Water, Waterwatch and Edendale nursery supporting this event.