Student: It is important to clean, to clean our environment.
Principal: It is early days, we have only been going a term and four weeks on delivering this new curriculum. So for us, we're still, I guess you could say, we are still piloting. But the opportunities that have presented to us, that have been presented to us this year, just with Enviro Schools for example, we need parents help to make that happen.
Parent: We as the parents are the follow through, you know, the follow through, putting it into practical things, like the edible garden or recycling at the school and working then later on with the children in support groups.
Principal: So right now we’ve got three parents involved in the school who have been working with groups of kids on garden design, planting plans, irrigation plans and even other features that need to be incorporated into the landscape to bring our school landscape, bring it up to the sort of standard that our kids are actually demanding, and our parents and community.
Teacher: We got all the children throughout the whole school to talk with their teachers and to go out and investigate around the school and identify places that they felt really good in, places that they liked, places that maybe they didn’t feel so safe in like the car park, and using a school map identify places they wanted to change and what they would like to put in those places. So the staff were also involved and we also shared it with the parents and the community. So the children have basically come up with a map of what they would like the school to be like.
Student: I especially like learning about the environment and since I am the Green Ferns leader this year it gives me a chance to really get involved and help the school learn more about the environment.
Teacher: The aim is through Enviro Schools that the children are taking ownership, they are designing, they are creating, they are fully involved, and that down the track the school will be somewhere where they feel really safe, that they want to be, that they really enjoy, that they are engaged in, they are motivated, and they are using the environment as well. So it is not just them being out in the playground, they might be in the edible gardens, they’ll be in the native gardens that have endemic plants that reflect what Renwick once was like. So it is educational but it is also somewhere that they have designed and they’ve been part of.
Teacher: I know that I was teaching five year olds last year and they wanted to see waterfalls and all sorts of things, but the main thing that they really wanted was more colour. And we’ve been able to produce that in our school with our recent additions and our recent paint jobs so that’s been great. I think, they also wanted edible gardens and that is something that we’ve actually started too. So the children feel as though they are empowered. And that is actually one of our teaching beliefs, is empowerment.
Teacher: One of the really exciting things that we are noticing is that the kids really want to be involved in making positive changes in the environment. And that’s not just in the school but also hopefully that will be feeding back through to their homes. And once they leave Renwick School it is something they will naturally continue to do for the rest of their lives.
Parent: With our main industry being the wine industry I think sustainability and environmental aspects are of importance for our children. And through the learning at Renwick School they get exposed to it and can take aspects on and learn for the future. An example is the edible gardens. We as parents, we support this project and our network, through the parent support group so we are organising fun events and fundraisers to get money together to donate towards projects like that. And an edible garden for the children is something which is definitely for the future because that is what we want to see our children to think of the environment, have a healthy lifestyle and to take that on into their life later on.