Promoting ecological conversion and environmental sustainability
At St Columbkille’s, our students and staff take an active role in being stewards of creation and 'caring for our common home’.
Inspired by Pope Francis’ environmental encyclical, Laudato Si’, our school community understands that we have to respond to the environmental challenges of the 21st century with creative and thoughtful planning, education and concrete actions that can make a difference to the health of our planet, all people and all creatures.
Our commitment to being responsible members of Planet Earth is evident in our classroom learning and teaching, the prayer and liturgical life of our school, our resource and grounds management, and whole school planning for community initiatives that contribute to the betterment of our environment and our relationships with one another.
Our St Columbkille’s school community is involved in a range of initiatives that empower our students to support the ongoing care of creation through:
- Student Environmental Team – 'Enviro Ninjas'
- Curriculum integration of environmental awareness and sustainability
- Participation in environmental action and awareness initiatives ('Green Days') – including Clean Up Australia Day and World Environment Day
- Outdoor learning spaces
- Vegetable, herb and fruit plants and trees in our garden, 'The Patch'
- A waste management system, that includes recycling and participation in the 'Vinnies Return and Earn' scheme
- Worm farming and composting of organic waste
- Trash-free lunches
- Eco-friendly infrastructure – including solar panels, water tanks, sub-pods, LED lighting and sensor lighting
- Green ethical catering
- Dedicated staff environmental committee and staff environmental coordinator (WEN Contact)
- Staff professional development to support student and school environmental learning and action
- Physical 'Acknowledgement of Country’ on school grounds
- Celebration of the 'World Day of Prayer of the Care of Creation' and the 'Season of Creation'
- Earned Environmental Education Grants to further our environmental projects
- Active members of the Wollongong Environment Network
Our school also has a School Environment Management Plan (SEMP) which identifies and plans for our key environmental actions and projects. These include:
- Connecting learning and teaching to the implementation and maintenance of the school’s outdoor learning areas and gardens
- Expanding 'Trash-Free Tuesday' to also include 'Waste-Free Wednesday'
- Developing written 'green' catering procedures for our canteen, school and hospitality events
For more information, visit the CEDoW Wollongong Environment Network