What shall we do?

Thinking About School Management and Sustainable Resource Use

  • How is the school's waste managed? How much of the waste stream is sorted for reuse or recycling before being sent to landfill?
  • Are there any incentives for staff/students/parents and friends to research and develop processes to reduce or reuse resources by the school community?
  • Have any waste, water, energy audits been done at the school? Do they help you decide where resource use can be reduced or refused?
  • If not, how could students be involved in an audit? One afternoon could be devoted to doing a whole school waste audit. Who else needs to help with the auditing? Who will record information? (this information can be your baseline data to check against to see if things have improved further down the track)
  • How can student voice and participation be strengthened?
  • What needs to happen to make sure the project is evaluated, reviewed and reported on within the school community?
  • What needs to be put into place to ensure the project is sustainable?

Use the IVAC approach so small student groups/teams can

  • investigate and analyse a local issue from multiple perspectives and develop options for action
  • prepare and present their proposals with recommendations/options to the school/local council on a researched issue
  • identify local sustainability issues, investigate these and develop public awareness campaigns for the local community.

Brainstorm to generate as many ideas as possible....... then come back and choose those that most appeal.


  • What is the situation that you are concerned about?
  • What do you know about it?
  • What do you need to find out about? What economic, political and social structures affect this situation? A compass rose is a useful tool for students and teachers to explore the environmental, social/cultural, political and economic aspects of issues.

  • What would you like to see happen?

Actions and Changes
  • What is it going to take to bring this about? How might these changes come about? What can the school community do? What are you prepared to do?
  • What support would you need?
  • What is your first step? Action Plan.doc
  • Who do you need to talk to?
  • How can you get others together to work on this?
  • How will you monitor progress and evaluate the impacts of the project?
  • How will learners tell their story - documenting their investigations, action and evaluation ? Will they be working in groups?

Still thinking and looking for some inspiration? Read this short year 3 story and some other Victorian school waste projects stories

Look at Palmerston Christian School's efforts

Possible timelime

Term 1 week 5 - Action Plans and Unit of work online and some notes on how its going so far
By end of term 1 - The Big Waste Day out has a structure and an update on individual school
Term 2 week 5 - Another update

By end of term 2 - The day is planned

Term 3 week 5 - Big Waste Day Out