5 stars for St Columba’s!

by Chantel Munoz, Sustainability Leader

Last week we were all very excited to learn that our school was awarded its fifth star for the Sustainability Certification. This means that our school is now a 5 Star ResourceSmart School and has met all the requirements of the ‘Leadership’ Star Level.

In his letter, Philip Dalidakis MP explains that, “Becoming a 5 Star school recognises your commitment to creating and embedding sustainable practices, infrastructure, integrated learning and taking action on climate change. This recognition is significant as ResourceSmart Schools Certification represents a Victorian standard that your school has successfully met.”

A big thank you to our school Green Team, staff and students over the years who have contributed to this journey and award. We also acknowledge the support and guidance given by the staff at the St Kilda Eco Centre and CERES Environmental Park. While we are excited to celebrate this achievement, we hope to build on our success by continuing to maintain our great work in sustainability and connecting and learning alongside other schools.

by Daniella Maddalena, Principal

What an outstanding achievement! On behalf of the children, staff and school community, I would like to take this opportunity to say a very big thank you to Chantel Munoz, our Green Team parents and our Eco warriors past and present on achieving our fifth and final star which makes us a fully-fledged Resource Smart School. This is such a significant achievement as there are very few schools that actually achieve this milestone.

The acquisition of five stars has certainly been a labour of love. On my arrival, back in Term 2 2015, the school had already embarked on this project with the help of a very committed group of parents, affectionately known as the Green Team, and staff from the Port Phillip Eco Centre. Since then we have seen this initiative permeate throughout the school. In 2016 we introduced, as part of our leadership program, the Year 3/4 Eco warriors and this really helped to cement sustainable action in our school and in the local community. It is seen as a rite of passage by our junior children to become an Eco warrior and our Year 3/4s take this responsibility very seriously. This then carries forward to Year 6, where we are never short of children wanting to continue to fly the sustainability banner and become a Sustainability Leader, helping Chantel with the many other sustainable initiatives we participate in.

With the support of the Port Phillip Eco Centre our school has committed to make a difference in our community and the world and we are very grateful for this partnership which includes opportunities for all levels within our school.

All schools rely on parental support and without the support of the parent Green Team, which is a wonderful asset and plays such a vital role in our school, we might not have achieved this recognition quite so soon. This amazing group of parents, have worked tirelessly to secure grants and have undertaken a multitude of sustainable projects for our school community. For this I am very grateful and I thank you for your generosity, dedication, commitment and support of the school.

Family – school partnerships are so vital in assisting children to get the most out of their schooling. At St Columba’s family involvement plays a very important part of the core business of our school. We know that family involvement has a major impact on student learning, regardless of the social or cultural background of the family. The work of our Green Team, Eco Warriors and Port Phillip Eco Centre is an example of our strong commitment as a school community to building partnerships that are based on mutual trust, respect, and shared responsibility for the education of the children at our school.