Werribee Primary School endeavours to reduce our ecological footprint through adopting sustainable practises in biodiveristy by:
- planting indigenous plants in the school grounds.
- being involved in whole school activities, such as, Clean Up Australia Day and National Tree Day annually.
- continuing to have yard clean ups and litter management procedures in place, such as, eating inside, no food on the oval, nude food days, lunch box audits.
- encouraging staff, parents and students to be involved in school working bees.
- use outdoor garden areas as learning spaces.
- develop practical hands-on biodiversity activities, such as, plant propagation and gardening.
We have developed four new garden areas in recent years to increase the biodiversity of our school. Our school community feels we have an essential role in contributing to sustainability, not only to reduce our environmental impact but to also ensure our future leaders understand and take pride in being custodians of our planet.
In 2015, students, parents and teachers worked together to produce a learnscape. Each space is an outdoor learning area to teach students about different learning environments. We have a strawberry hill, vegie garden, herb garden, succulents, natives, indigenous grasses and a sensory garden.
In 2012, as part of a classroom community engagement project, 3/4J decided that they wanted to improve the garden area near our classroom. Our class spent time during the term weeding the area and then decided we wanted to do more, so we made several gardens designs for consideration. A parent (Julie) made contact with us offering to work with students to design and paint a mural so we added her suggestion to our design.
Our Student Environment Team worked with Julie to paint the mural and the tyres in this outdoor area. Parents contacted Bunnings to obtain sponsorship for the purchase of paint for the creation of our environmental mural.
In 2013, the parents (Julie and Libby) gained a donation of plants and mulch to complete this area. The Yr 3/4 students and teachers worked with the Bunnings team members to add plants to this area on National Tree Day.
The area's main feature is the environmental mural created collectively by parents, students and teachers. The groundwork is made up of several sections - circular concrete steps, red stones, white stones, recycled tyres, red and black mulch and indigenous plants.
The design of this garden area was created by students and is designed in a circular shape to coordinate with the tyres that already existed in this area. The five tyres were surrounded by white stones and then a second layer of red stones. On these red stones were the large circular concrete steps making a path as an outer layer. The red mulch was added to make it look like an extension of the river painted on the wall with the black mulch as contrast. The recycled plastic seat added another dimension of caring for our environment. These features make this area a much more inviting space for outdoor learning.
MY GREEN WALL
In 2013, STIHL's My Green Wall project saw the installation of vertical gardens in a select number of primary schools around the country. The vertical garden is a tangible learning experience for Grade 3 students to teach kids about nurturing real plants over time.
STIHL's My Green Wall project is about letting kids get their hands dirty and have a little fun, while educating them about the importance of our natural environment and how to take care of plants.
Werribee Primary School is one of the first schools in this area to have a Green Wall installed. The students were very excited about participating in this activity. Many adults responded positively to the finished result. We received our own vertical garden – a complete kit which includes a steel frame structure carrying up to thirty pots. This is supported by curriculum-compliant educational and teaching materials for Grade 3 students, as well as inclusive take-home materials for each child to share with their family.
In 2013, Werribee Primary School created a numeracy indigenous garden in the area surrounding the Gr 5/6 playground. Colourful poles, a sundial, hopscotch area, a mosaic rainbow snake and indigenous plants were added.
The mosaic snake has been created by a variety of students from Years 3-6 who made the concrete blocks and then added a mosaic top. The 30 pieces were positioned to create a rainbow serpent moving through a grass land. The students have been working with Mrs Wembridge, Year 3/4 teacher and Ms Melazzini, a University student, as part of a 50 hour Sustainability project.
SAVE THE EASTERN BARRED BANDICOOT
The Werribee Open Range Zoo is working hard to save the EBBs (Eastern Barred Bandicoots) from extinction. The population of EBB’s is on the verge on extinction with only about 200 left! Those remaining EBB’s are all in captivity, there are none left in the wild.
Every year, our BEST (sustainability student team) have had the opportunity to name a bandicoot. In 2014, we named our bandicoot, CORRYONG (which is an aboriginal name for bandicoot). In 2015, we named one COCO. In 2016, we named one CRASH.
More photos and information can be found on the Act Wild webpage -http://www.actwild.org.au/wildschools/wildactivists/werribee-primary-school/
OR the Werribee Zoo webpage http://www.zoo.org.au/news/wyndham-schools-love-their-locals
QUIZ Questions and Answers about the Eastern Barred Bandicoot
How long do Eastern Barred Bandicoots live?
Just two or three years
What is the Eastern Barred Bandicoots diet?
It eats insects, beetles and crickets. Mill worms are its favourite
How do they find their food?
Eastern Barred Bandicoots use their strong sense of smell, their strong claws and pointed nose for digging small holes.
How long are the pregnant for?
Eastern Barred Bandicoots have the shortest pregnancy of any mammal – only 12.5 days
How many babies do they have at one time?
Eastern Barred Bandicoots have 2-4 babies which remain in the backwards facing pouch for 60 days
Are Eastern Barred Bandicoots endangered?
Yes, they are a vulnerable species and need your help to save them
Why is the Eastern Barred Bandicoots almost extinct in the wild in Victoria?
Because 99% of native grasslands have been destroyed and Predators such as cats, foxes and dogs kill them
I’m an EBB, you can’t touch me
Because of the feral proof fence at the Werribee Z
I’m an EBB, I have a short pregnancy
It’s only 12 and a half days before you see a baby B
I’m an EBB, I want a feed
I like insects for breakfast, lunch and tea
I’m an EBB, you can’t find me
Because foxes and cats are eating me
I’m an EBB, can you save me
I’m nearly extinct, I only live in captivity
I’m an EBB, I’d like to be free
Can you help to rescue me?
Written by the BEST team 2014
I’m a Little Bandicoot
Short and Stout
Here are my stripes and here is my snout
When foxes and cats come
Hear me shout
Guardian dog chase them out.
Written by the BEST team 2016