Igniting passion

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Seeing her students take ownership of their actions and watching this flourish through the school community was an outstanding Enviroweek outcome for Murray Bridge South Primary teacher, Jenna Longstaff.

Jenna saw Enviroweek as a chance to revitalise existing programs, reignite her students’ passion for protecting our environment and celebrate the community’s ongoing sustainable practices. “It achieved all this, and so much more,” said Jenna.

“I felt like I was running on adrenaline. We had a week to do all of these exciting things! Students were really engaged. Having so many activities and being part of the challenge enhanced our communication, we were working together to achieve a common goal.”

 

Growing positive change

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Jenna found that ‘seeing is believing’ for motivating students around sustainability.

“Students really took ownership of the environmental impact. Enviroweek snowballed into so many areas of sustainability. For example, although students didn’t focus on a ‘Sparky’ challenge they became vigilant about the use of power and switching off the lights.”

Jenna was delighted when she saw her student’s passion spread to others. “Students from other classes wrote lovely notes, promising what they would do to help our environment. It was encouraging to hear that we had impacted on other grades.”

Wider impacts

Murry_Bridge_South_4_webThe prize draws the participant profile page and outdoor activity rewards were great motivators for students. Jenna made sure that information and photos supplied by her students were uploaded to their profile C2A Green Clean World. “They loved the interactivity, and that encouraged more to join in.”

Jenna said parents reported that their children were growing vegetables at home and asking for fresh food rather than fast food. They also check rubbish bins at home to ensure that things are recycled correctly!

Class members discovered that there were a lot of ten cent recyclables being thrown in the school bins. In a three day period they collected $30 worth. Students continue to collect ten cent recyclables and cash them in, using the money to support charities.

Reality bites

Murry_Bridge_South_6Jenna kicked off Enviroweek with a visit to the local recycling depot to explore how rubbish is sorted.

After this students noticed that waste bins were being filled with recyclable rubbish. They decided to do something about it by:

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To help her students connect with nature, Jenna incorporated the following activities into her class during Enviroweek:

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Year 6 and 7 students are custodians of Murray Bridge Sotuh Primary’s kitchen garden. Enviroweek welcomes spring and was an opportunity for students to:

 

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Jenna was aware of a need to direct students towards making healthy choices, rather than looking to fast food. She gave them the opportunity to experience cooking for themselves. They investigated sustainable eating by:

 

Sustainability for the future

Murray Bridge South Primary School students will definitely participate in Enviroweek again. “Other classes are keen to get involved and complete some challenges.”

At the moment the students in Year 6 and 7 are preparing to plant winter vegetables in their kitchen garden and continue to monitor the waste program at the school. Jenna intends to further inspire her students by ensuring that she plans more activities in ‘the great outdoors’.

BY: SUSAN TATE