Monday, October 5, 2009

World Environment Day 2009

To celebrate World Environment Day in 2009, students had a picnic day in Gough Whitlam Park with various nature and environment activities conducted by teachers and parents.

Year One got busy making artefacts with paperbark. Interestingly, the girls tended to make baskets for gathering flowers and seedpods.

The boys were drawn to making balls with paperbark and string and then playing rowdy games of throw, chase and tackle.

The techniques for making the artefacts was based on Aboriginal methods but we improvised with modern materials such as newspaper and string!

We also attempted an Aboriginal-style woven basket from matt rush (Lomandra) found at the park and did a pretty good job for our first attempt!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Spuds - 2009

In 2009, the crop chosen for the Kindergarten bed was once again potatoes.

The ground was prepared in May and Kindergarten students took turns to plant their spuds.

This time three varieties were planted. They were: Sebago, Pontiac and Desiree.

One month after planting, the first leaves started to emerge.

Soon the garden bed was chock full of potatoey goodness!

In late September, as the holidays approached, the leaves began to brown and some potatoes could been seen poking out of the earth. It was time to harvest!

The kindergarten classes congregated in the ELA, anxiously awaiting their turn with a trowel.

There's something magical about digging in the ground and finding food.

The output from this crop was little more than we had planted! But not a bad haul considering there was almost no rainfall and very little watering undertaken.

The kids were very happy with what they'd gathered.

Read about the Harvest Day cookup in the School blog.
Click here for details of the 2007 potato crop.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


It's a sad day for the school as six mature trees have been removed to make way for the new school hall, including this beautiful old fig tree.

Click on image to enlarge.

Two of the trees were heritage-listed figs. They were planted by students in 1932 as part of an arbour day ceremony making them 77 years old. Four of these mature fig trees remain across the front of the school. It is hoped the foundations of the new building won't compromise their health.

An aerial photo of the school in 1943 shows eight fig trees. Some were subsequently removed because of disease and the danger of dropping branches.

Three other trees were removed included the Plane tree in the centre of B Playground and two Eucalypts.

It' s only a year since major work was undertaken to protect this Plane Tree from Sycamore Lace Bug.

Students survey the changes to their playground.

The school Principal has written the following:

Understandably there is a great deal of heartbreak amongst many of us to see trees being removed in order to place the hall on the site.
As part of the process the issues of the heritage building and the fig trees were included... the project managers, employed experts to do an assessment and make recommendations as to placing the hall to meet DET’s requirements and requirements for building next to a heritage site.

I have sought advice and my understanding is that this decision is not one that is negotiable as there is no other viable site and that the trees will be removed.

Concerns were also raised about the impact on the remaining figs which are across the front of the school. An aborist has advised the builders on the appropriate measures that must be taken to protect these trees during the building of the hall. They will be fenced off from the builders and strict guidelines are in place about run off from the site, dumping of materials in the vicinity of the trees and so on.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Quick Survey

Click here
for the survey mentioned in the Enviro Newsletter.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


In 2009, Year 1 established 2 worm farms on the balcony outside their classroom with the aims of reducing school waste and creating fertiliser for the gardens. Marrickville Council ran a workshop for parents and teachers on how to set up and maintain the worm farm and students provided fruit and vegetable scraps from their lunches to feed the worms.

Click here for a PDF file that tells you all you need to know about building a worm farm or fixing one that has gone a bit squiffy!

Some basic rules to follow include:

Other tips:

  • keep the worms damp but not too wet
  • avoid dryness as this encourages ants and cockroaches
  • in summer make sure the worm farm is kept in shade to avoid getting too hot
  • in winter, it will slow down a lot due to cold weather - unless it can be kept in a dappled shade spot to increase the heat and therefore the activity of the worms
  • use the right worm stock – red or tiger worms are recommended
  • use garden gloves to handle the worm farm to protect fingers from visiting spiders
Just in time for the May Fair, Year 1 bottled up the precious Worm Juice for sale.

They used recycled drink bottles that had come from the canteen and added stickers with information for the buyers:

The worm farms have been so successful that the school is now establishing a Worm Factory! There are to be 5 worm farms, one for each day of the week, and the aim is to use all the school's food scraps.

This week's Garden Club was very popular. Children who'd never been before came to get their gloves into gooey worms and squishy horse manure in the worm farm building process.

A week later, the Worm Factory was up and running thanks to the hard work (and busy colouring in) by Year One students.

Monday, April 6, 2009


0n 25 March 2009 the school participated in the Ride2school initiative and completed a HandsUp! survey to log the results.

The breakdown of who did what on the day can be seen in the results of the HandsUp! survey completed in each classroom by the teachers and collated by the P&C.

A pie chart showing the proportion of students that rode bikes or scooters, walked, caught public transport or came by private car is shown below: