Special Projects

Curriculum-Educating for Sustainability

Parkfield Learning for Understanding Sustainability – PLUS

Parkfield Primary School has been teaching and Learning about “Education for Sustainability” (EfS) for a number of years through an overarching project termed PLUS – Parkfield Learning for Understanding Sustainability. This program was initiated and founded by Level 3 teacher, Peter Robinson.

In 2012 the PLUS project won a NAB Schools First Award of $30,000. This was wonderful national recognition of the project and the partnerships working to make it all happen.

Today P.L.U.S coordinators, Sarah Dunbar-Stuart and Pam Offer coordinate an extensive range of incursions and excursions that allow teachers and students to gain better understandings of “EfS” through a structured sequence of learning activities. 

All students participate in PLUS activities and are encouraged to participate in reducing the waste the school produces by recycling. Most year groups participate in an excursion to develop their understanding of the environment and the need to preserve and improve what we have.

Parkfield  received a Waste Wise Grant to assist the PLUS co-ordinators with establishing a programme to reduce the amount of waste we produce as a school. This grant was used to establish a method of reducing the amount of organic waste we contribute to land fill. The PLUS coordinators, with the assistance of the school gardener, purchased and placed 7 worm feasts into 6 newly constructed garden beds. The garden beds were open for all classes to utilise as they wished. In Term Four the garden beds were used for herb and vegetable gardens.

One worm feast was placed into each of the garden beds and all the worm feasts stocked with worms. In addition to the worm feasts, a Wheelie Bin worm farm was purchased and set up. A few, selected classes contributed their organic waste from fruit time to feed the worms. The intention is to extend this program in 2017 with peer education and a whole school contribution towards the reduction of organic waste.

2016 saw the establishment of the Bush Tucker Garden. This garden has been established on the edge of the natural bush within the school boundary. This project was undertaken by a Year 2 and Year 6 Buddy Class as part of their PLUS and Indigenous Education programs. This project also received a PALS Health and Well Being Award through the Department of Aboriginal Affairs.

The School also has a bank of Photovoltaic cells. Weekly readings are taken and generation rates measured and published.

In addition to whole school initiatives, students from Pre-Primary to Year Six have participated in the following projects.

Pre Primary: Composting food waste using Worm feasts.                 

Year 1: Dolphin Discovery Centre and a beach clean-up at Koombana Bay.

Year 2:

  • NMSHS Wetlands tour guided by Year 9 students and beach clean at Koombana Bay
  • Maintained Parkfield Reserve with Shire of Harvey (weeding, rubbish collection, maintained seedlings)

Year 3: Wellington Discovery Forest, ‘Incredible Invertebrates.’

Year 4: Maintain Parkfield Reserve by planting, weeding and collecting rubbish.

Year 5:   

  • Brunswick River Restoration Action Group (BRRAG) incursion which included the Brunswick catchment model and discussion about Flora and Fauna along the river.
  • Brunswick River ExcursionWater testing and Macro-invertebrate collection and identification

Year 6:

  • Planting at Buffalo Beach with the Department of Parks and Wildlife and the South West Catchment Council.
  • Maintained Parkfield Reserve with Shire of Harvey (weeding, rubbish collection, maintained seedlings)

The P.L.U.S program continues to encourage and educate students in the importance of recycling aluminium cans, newspapers, ink cartridges, mobile phones and batteries.

Parkfield Primary School has continued to foster positive partnerships with local community associations such as BRRAG, The Shire of Harvey, South West Catchment Council and the Leschenault Catchment Council, Department of Parks and Wildlife and lloks forward to continuing this into the future.

2017 has been a year for the continuation of established programs and preparation for changes that will allow us to provide students with a practical program to establish good waste management behaviours. It is also our intention, and hope, that the garden beds will be further utilised by a greater portion of the school community and that the Bush Tucker Garden will continue to be maintained by the remaining cohort of students which planted it and developed further.