Climb every mountain

St Therese’s Primary School, New Lambton is working with Catholic Earth Care this year. As we return to school, we are challenging our families to look at the lessons we have absorbed from remote learning and distancing over the past two months to ensure the sustainability of our Earth. 

We have looked at the positive changes in our environment due to fewer vehicles on the roads. Across the world people are sharing examples of how pollution has decreased, such as Mt Everest being visible from parts of India for the first time in more than 30 years.

To continue our positive impact on the environment we have introduced “Walk to School Wednesday” where children are encouraged to walk/ride or catch public transport to school. Children who live too far from school can be dropped off further away than normal, and walk from there. Many families have taken up the challenge, some even organising carpooling. 

This environmental awareness began five years ago with the creation of an Environmental Team comprising Year 6 students and overseen by one of our co-ordinators. Initially we began with a few small garden beds maintained by a “gardening club” involving students with additional needs and learning support assistants. This has expanded to a whole section of the school grounds behind the OOSH buildings and our groundsman and groups of students have been busy getting our winter crops in. 

Classes can also book in to work with our groundsman, to learn about growing plants from seeds and garden care. Our garden project has been so successful that our teachers are involved in a “plant swap” as part of Wellbeing Week in Term 2.  This year, the Environmental Team introduced recycling of food scraps that are collected by Feed Organics Recovery to convert to compost, as well as recycling of soft plastics to help reduce the waste created at school.

The P&F has been involved in fundraising for a number of years to install solar panels that will ensure the electricity needs of the whole school are covered during school hours.  Last week, 90 panels were installed with connection to the grid planned for later in the week.

The goal of the school is to limit the negative impact our actions have on our environment, so that we look after our Earth for future generations.

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