Quaama growing a sustainable school

QUAAMA Public School has planted a tree on its grounds as part of Planet Ark’s School Tree Day. 

On Wednesday all 56 pupils gathered excitedly around the spot designated for the tree.

Principal Ros Bannon asked the pupils why it was important to plant trees.

“They bring oxygen,” one girl said.

“They are homes for animals,” said another. 

General assistant Alan Holbrook had picked out a sugar maple to plant at the school, near the playground. 

The hole was dug by Mr Holbrook, with some help from the pupils of course, and he also taught the children the best way to plant trees that had come from a pot. 

All knew what was the most important thing to do after planting – to give it some water – and they listened intently to Mr Holbrook as he explained what deciduous trees were. 

“It will be a big tree one day, so that will give some nice shade for summer,” he told the children.

Ms Bannon said the school plants a tree every year, but thought to register for the Schools Tree Day this year.

“What we are trying to do is be a more sustainable school,” she said.

They have applied for grants to get solar panels, have composting and recycling at the school as well as a gardening program. 

“Each stage works with one community member planting vegetables in the garden, and then we use those vegetables for cooking,” Ms Bannon said.

“We are trying to do a whole school approach to sustainability and environmental awareness.”

She said the children embrace the environmental factors at school as they always put their scraps in the right bins, love gardening and are respectful when community members come to teach them.

“Anything outdoors, our kids love,” Ms Bannon said.

“They love that kind of hands on learning.”

Quaama P&C recently won a $7000 grant from REAPing Rewards, which is going towards buying 12 iPads and supporting devices for their Learning with Air program. 

Ms Bannon said the funding hasn’t been given to the school yet, but as soon as it comes in they will purchase the iPads. 

Searching for wildlife

PUPILS at Quaama Public School are part of an ongoing My Place project, cataloguing wildlife in their area. 

The Year 5-6 pupils taking part in the project are being led by Doug Reckord of the Bournda Environmental Education Centre.

Pupils said they were seeing what types of animals lived around their school.

They had already seen a noisy friarbird, Australian magpie, crimson rosella, a brown snake skin and even a fox, taken on a night-camera. 

They are focusing on birds at the moment, and after the animal is seen they add it to the Atlas of Life in the Coastal Wilderness database online.

The class is continuing developing the skills they learn in My Place in the classroom.

As a school project this term, the pupils have to pick a bird, insect or animal, and design an environmental habitat more suitable for the critter, then to try and create that environment in the school grounds.  

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