APPS sustainability in the curriculum

Sustainability is taught across all levels in the school through specific lessons and daily practices.


Sustainability Leaders

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We have had 11 Grade 6 Sustainability Leaders this year. They led our school to make changes to sustainability by:

  • Collecting data on active travel to school (weekly), waste and biodiversity
  • Communicated our sustainability initiatives and vision at each school assembly, in the school newsletter, konnective messages and visiting classrooms
  • Improved the management of our waste systems by putting in the same bins in each classroom - Landfill (red) small, Recycling (yellow) large and Compost, and educating each class about the items that go into the correct bins. Our leaders have also spoken at assembly each week about the importance of recycling paper and cardboard. Leaders also help each class empty and clean their compost bin each week and help with recycling in the classrooms.
  • Beautified our productive and indigenous garden in Paradise and around the school. Students have planted indigenous plants on National Tree Day with Grade 4 students and painted planter boxes in bright colours.
  • Taught lessons to Grade Prep and 1 students focussing on compost, worms and recycling.
  • Learnt about sustainability from experts including Gio Fitzpatrick (nesting tubes and bat habitat) and Sharron Hunter (waste and composting) from the Port Phillip EcoCentre.
  • Work in the garden with students during Garden Club each Monday. Leaders help with watering, tidying up, planting and other tasks.


Waste Warriors

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Three Grade 4 students came to ask me if they could do something to improve waste at our school. Our students do not eat outside so we have very little rubbish in the playground. However, we need to keep improving our waste sorting in the classroom. So, the Waste Warriors were born!

Each week four Grade 4 students check each class’ bin and give a report card on how the class has sorted waste. Teachers and students get immediate feedback on how they are going and what they can do to sort their classroom waste more sustainably.

WOW (Wipe out waste) Wednesday

Nude food lunchbox



Every Wednesday we encourage students to bring a nude food lunchbox to school. Nude food means we are sending less waste to landfill and ensuring our waste does not harm marine life in Port Phillip Bay.


Cleaning up the beach with Beach Patrol

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Grade 5 and 6 students cleaned up 2073 pieces of plastic with Beach Patrol 3206 volunteers in Term 2 this year. Each year level visited Albert Park Beach on different days. We found that much of the rubbish was very small and that there was a lot of it!

Energy Savers

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Each class has two Energy Savers who turn off lights, IWB and help set the right temperature for the classroom.


Albert Park Lake excursion


Grade 2 Excursion to The Albert Park Lake Thursday 2nd of August 2018. We learned about the ecosystems and the macroinvertebrates that are affected by pollution in the water with Gio Fitzpatrick from the Port Phillip Eco Centre. We also learned about the birds and how this space has changed over time.

This is what Millie told us about the excursion:

First we saw the birds and some people went crazy about naming the birds. next we stopped and drew pictures of the lake. Then we stopped and saw the mini beasts from the water. They got the minibeasts from Albert Park Lake and put them into trays. We used magnifying glasses to look at them more closely because they are small.


We learnt about water fleas and how they move around their habitat. Seeing the mini beasts and my favorite minibeast was the silver fish .I liked naming the birds even though we forgot most of the names.

Thank you Millie. It’s great that our students are learning about local animals even if they are small.

Learning about microbats and nesting tubes

Grade 5 students constructed and painted nesting tubes to create habitat for microbats in our school grounds. The nesting tubes will be installed soon. Once they are up, we hope to monitor the species who will call our school grounds home. We are expecting to find species such as the Gould’s Wattled Bat.

Preps in the garden

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Prep students have been learning about compost, recycling, waste and the garden. Captain Trash from the Port Phillip EcoCentre taught Preps about recycling, reusing, rethinking and did a litter pick up in the school grounds.

Biodiversity - Visiting the Ngargee Tree

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Sustainability, Art, Music, Arts Festival and School Leaders visited the Ngargee Tree (Corroboree Tree) in St Kilda to learn about Boon Wurrung culture and biodiversity. Students met Dave from the Boon Wurrung Foundation and Port Phillip EcoCentre staff to explore this significant cultural landmark.

Active travel

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Active travel is a large component of health and sustainability at our school. Every week on Tuesdays we count how students travel to school. We call this Terrific Tuesday. Students display how they travelled to school by putting a peg on a plate showing their mode of transport. We celebrate active travel each term with breakfast, stickers and special guests e.g. CoPP Councillors and staff. Our themes for 2018 have been:

Term 1 - National Ride to School Day

Term 2 - Winter Woolies - rug up for the cooler months

Term 3 - Tour de France

Term 4 - Tour de Cure and Walk to School Month



Sustainability Leaders - Grade 6 students learn about sustainability through:

  • Conducting biodiversity, waste and litter audits
  • Speaking at each assembly about sustainability initiatives such as nude food, recycling, active travel, biodiversity, water, etc.
  • Planning whole school events e.g. Enviro Week, Sustainable Cinema
  • Attending workshops e.g. installation of nesting tubes with EcoCentre staff
  • Going to events e.g. the Sustainable Schools Festival at the St Kilda Town Hall
  • Teaching younger students about composting, recycling, nude food, etc.

Penguin Friendly Project

Grade 4, 5 and 6 students participated in the Penguin Friendly Project delivered by the Port Phillip EcoCentre. 22 students ( 6 x Grade 4, 6 x Grade 5, 10 x Grade 6) worked in waste issues over six sessions. Students learnt about the impacts everyday waste items can have on marine life in Port Phillip Bay.

Creatures of the Bay project

Creatures of the Bay was an art project involving local schools and community groups on the issue of waste on our local beaches. Grade 5 and 6 students made amazing art works from items found on Port Melbourne beaches. Beach Patrol 3207 volunteers worked with students to pick up litter at Albert Park Beach. Students tallied the data and analysed the findings in mathematics. Art works were created in Art sessions each week with Art teacher, Rachel Lehrner. Students visited Gasworks Art Gallery to view their works and see artworks local schools.

Planting at Westgate Park

Grade 5 students joined volunteers from Westgate Park to plant indigenous grasses and shrubs to increase biodiversity in our local area. Our school grounds does not have space to plant indigenous gardens. However, Westgate Park is just a local bus ride away! 21 volunteers from Friends of Westgate Park assisted APPS to plant, learn about aquatic invertebrates at the lakes, and local bird and micro bat species. This is an annual event and has been running since 2013.

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Albert Park Lake

Grade 2 students went to Albert Park Lake to discover the surprising aquatic mini-beasts that live in Albert Park Lake. The lake is fed with storm water from St Kilda Road and then filtered by the aquatic plants that live in the lake. Gio Fitzpatrick from the Port Phillip EcoCentre taught students about aquatic animals and how these animals are indicators of water quality. Students also went on an adventure to name as many birds as they could. This is an annual event and has been running since 2014.

AP Lake Science 1

Preps in the garden

In Term 3, Preps learnt about growing plants and our school garden. The students have been propagating plants that will be planted in the school garden. They have been learning about compost, worms and how to care for living things. Grade 6 Sustainability Leaders have delivered lessons on compost, recycling and nude food.

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Grade 1 students went digging in our school garden to find out which wonderful insects call APPS home. This is part of the Grade 1 Science unit learning about what living things need to survive. Grade 6 Sustainability Leaders also delivered lessons on compost, recycling and nude food.

Burrrunan dolphin - our unique species

Grade 6 students learned about marine animals, and in particular the four dolphin species, that live in Port Phillip Bay. This Science unit looked at the features of different dolphins, food webs and food chains, as well as the negative impacts of waste in the marine environment.

Learning in design and technology

Grade 5 students Learning in design and technology unit focused on students recognising the importance of sustainability and identifying environmental problems in the local community. Students brainstormed design ideas to solve sustainability issues and worked on a project to address these concerns. Projects included digital technologies and other technologies.



APPS has embedded sustainability into the curriculum across all year levels.  In addition, Grade 6 students lead sustainability activities throughout the year.  In 2016 our school has 10 Sustainability Leaders.  These students met weekly with Andrea Eales, our school's Sustainability Coordinator, to plan events, work on behaviour change and improve our systems to reduce waste as well as energy and water consumption.


In addition, our school holds Gardening Club each Thursday lunchtime for students who wish to help our garden grow.

In the classroom:

Term 1: Grade 4 - Science - interdependence of living things and their life cycles


Term 2: Grade 5 - Design and Technology - Learning in design and technology

            Grade 1 - Science - protecting resources by reducing, re-using, re-thinking, recycling

            Prep      - Science - investigating what plants need to grow well

Chop’n’chat - chopping up organic waste for our school compost

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Sustainability at APPS is part of the curriculum in a number of ways. Our school has eight Grade 6 students who are Sustainability Leaders and engage in many actions to improve sustainability at APPS.  In the classroom we have had a number of different learning experiences:

Term 1: Grade 4 - Cooking with produce from the garden and soil science

Term 2: Grade 2 - Science - Water saving through growing plants and saving resources e.g. paper

            Grade 1 - Science - Invertebrates in our school grounds

Term 3: Grade 5 - Science - Cooking with produce from the garden, garden activities including organic waste

        Grade 3 - Science - Energy efficiency

Term 4:  Grade 6 - Science - solar cars and sustainable garden

             Prep     - Garden explorations - growing plants, harvesting food and organic waste




Term 1

Grade 1 explored invertebrates in our local environment. They looked closely at snails, ants, worms, spiders, slaters, millipedes and more! Students asked questions about why it is important to have invertebrates in our world and the role they play in our lives. Students learnt songs about worms and ants to help remember scientific information about these invertebrates.

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Grade 2 students visited Albert Park Lake and studied aquatic macro-invertebrates.  We found a damselfly nymph!

Term 2

Grade 5 students focussed on learning about the impact of rubbish on Port Phillip Bay.  Students completed a sustainability project which were presented in the open classrooms.

Grade 6 students investigated their ecological footprint and researched and presented information about not-for-profit and social enterprise organisations.

Term 3

Grade 3 students looked at mini-beasts in the playground and at Westgate Park.

Grade 4 students grew plants from seed and made books out of reuse paper.

Both Grade 3 and 4 students went to Westgate Park on the 606 bus to learn about indigenous plants.  Educators from the Boon Wurrung Foundation told stories and helped students look closely at wildlife and plants.  St Kilda Indigenous Nursery Cooperative (SKINC) came to our school and showed us different seeds and how seeds from indigenous plants germinate.

Term 4

Preps investigated our productive garden. Students made mint and nettle tea, ice-blocks with mint and flowers from the garden and learnt about how worms help the garden.

April 2014

Resource Smart AussiVIC - Core Module

This term we're working towards completing the 1st Module in this Statewide Sustainability rating system for schools. The Core Module covers areas such as communications, our vision & a baseline audit. We have a number of tasks to go and would welcome any parents joining us to achieve this important first step. If you're interested, please contact Pippa Connolly on 0417 592 702 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

If you would like to find out more about the Resource Smart AussiVIc program, go to :

Zlatka's Mid Autumn Garden News

Gardeners have sighed with relief and welcomed the second rainy spell of 2014. The school's edible garden is showing flowering purple podded dutch peas in Paradise. The perennial scarlet runner beans have set pods and continue their flowering spree greening the Pop Up Park. Purple flowering amaranth is growing around and about the schoolground.
The racing car planter filled with chives became a random taste session hit with the children late last term. This autumn, we have imported other members of the perennial onion family into Paradise. The tree onion aka egyptian walking onion, unusual shallots like potato onions and society garlic. Also, few chives survived our extreme summer in the pop up park.

tomatillos the Cloud garden Paradise
Tomatillos coped better than tomatoes in the very hot days of summer and their husked fruit even survived a missile throwing episode to become a salsa culinary delight for the teachers and staff attending school on curriculum day.
Another surprise star performer was the little patch of New Guinean cowpeas growing in Paradise. Their dark green leaves were unsinged by the strong 43 degree sun and they continue to set pods. The peas have a hearty aftertaste which is inspiring enough to collect them all for seed to plant for the summer to come.
Finally a promise of more to come. Winter may be approaching but by being close to the sea, frost is unlikely and we can happily continue to plant and grow the garden with edibles that enjoy the cooler season.

Ideas for recycling

As part of our objective to work towards a zero waste fete we donated unsold donated items from the fete to charitable organisations. One such organisation is called St. Kilda Mums who provide baby equipment to families in need. They have a particular drive at the moment for cots and prams so if you have one you don't need any more, please check out the following link or see the poster attached in this newsletter and in the school foyer.

Nude Food – What is it? Why do we need it?

On the first day of Term 2 2014, Grade 5 students did a litter audit of the school and surrounding area. 814 pieces of rubbish were found! The common items found were soft plastics (e.g. cling wrap, scrunchable plastic), hard plastic (e.g. drink bottles, yoghurt containers) and a mix of paper, straws and even padlocks and polystyrene.

Introducing Nude Food!

What is it? Nude Food is food with little or no packaging.
What do you need? Snacks and lunch in reusable containers.Drinks in reusable containers.

What to reduce - lunches in plastic bags, cling wrap or foil.
- single use drink boxes, bottles, cartons or pouches

Nude Food Tip No. 1
Discuss with your child what they like to eat and how much.

Bin audits in schools show large quantities of unopened pre-packaged foods, including single-serve yoghurts, cheese sticks, sandwiches, uneaten apples/fruit and many near full fruit boxes being thrown away. This costs your family money as well as creating waste.

Parents and students - pack a Nude Food lunch box to reduce litter at Albert Park PS and stop litter travelling to the Bay.

News 28 March 2014

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April 2014 Garden Report

Working towards a Zero Waste Fete

As part of APPS's Sustainability drive we're introducing a number of initiatives to this year's fete including :
- use of recyclable or re-useable products e.g. biodegradable wrapping & cake plates + signage using recycled core-flute material
- more recycling bins + signage indicating what they're for
- continuation of lucky jars - the ultimate in recycling!

Earth Hour : Saturday 29 March, 8.30 pm - 9.30 pm.

After a busy fete day, when you are totally exhausted, turn off the lights and enjoy the peace! Check out & get involved.

Grades 1 & 2 Sustainability Expos : Tuesday April 1

The students have been preparing some fantastic displays of sustainable creationsconnected to cooking, science and gardening. Dioramas, painted pebbles and dragonfly drawings are just a few of the crafty projects students will be proudly showing off to family and friends. Classrooms will be open from 3:00pm - 3:30pm. We would love to see you there!

Ride2School Day Review : March 19

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What a beautiful crisp morning to have a fruity breakfast outside with families from our school!

215 students wheeled bikes, scooters and skateboards to school, while 152 students enjoyed walking to school. There were only 80 cars. This is half of the number of cars on a normal school day!

A big thank you to Robert at BASC (extra special helper), Pippa & Poppy Connolly, Steve & Daisy Doyle and three superstars in Grade 5 - Jody, Madeline and Shabnam. Thank you to local business Passionfoods for providing organic seasonal fruit. Also thanks to Port Phillip Council for providing funding for the event.

We are now planning the next APPS Ride2School day in Term 2. How about getting involved? Contact Andrea This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to find out how (it's not too much or too hard!)


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Port Phillip Council's "She Spoke"2014 Festival

This three-month program is dedicated to promoting women's participation in bike riding and runs until Sunday May 5. It features 13 subsidised events aimed at encouraging as many women as possible to "get on their bikes".
Girls and boys are welcome to join children's and family activities including a bike decorating workshop and bike training. Details of all events are at