Every Tuesday morning the whole school actively engages in Earth Aware, a program promoting environmental awareness through cross curricular and hands on learning. Activities include strategies for minimising waste and litter, using water wisely, saving energy, protecting our biodiversity and learning to grow and cook organic meals.
Our kitchen garden has been prolific and this semester we have harvested a phenomenal 100kg of produce including sweet potatoes, mandarins and Jerusalem artichokes. We have also been busy building several large ‘berry beds’ complete with recycled bike wheel trellises and look forward to making and selling our inaugural berry jam around Christmas time. These beds will give us greater food production and allow us to explore perennial climbers like berries, kiwifruit and chokos in greater depth.
The Waterwise classes have focussed on the importance of ground water, particularly in relation to its larger role in ecosystems and we have been learning about aquifers and bores. During Wastewise lessons we have been documenting and monitoring the birds, animals, insects and mini-beasts that call our school grounds ‘home’. These studies will assist in creating strategies to increase the biodiversity that surrounds us. In cooking classes we have been making delicious spinach ravioli with eggplant filling from scratch, practicing our knife skills and making jams and cordials.
Earth Aware has also extended learning to our community via a series of workshops including Pruning, Wholefood Cooking and Introduction to Vegetable Gardening. These have proved very successful and we have received positive feedback and many questions about the program and ethos behind Earth Aware. In addition to community workshops, we have hosted professional development to other schools, allowing teachers to learn about our program as part of their professional development.