Nightcliff Primary School's Eco-Warriors: Meet the young environmental champions leading the charge for a sustainable future
At the heart of Nightcliff Primary School is a spirited and passionate team of environmental champions known as the 'Eco-Warriors'. Comprised of 27 students from Year 3 and Year 4, with the support of senior students, the warriors work diligently to instil values of sustainability throughout the school.
With the school motto being “Believe and Achieve, Support and Sustain”, sustainability is embedded into everything the school does, and educators actively encourage students to develop a strong sense of responsibility for environmental stewardship.
Nightcliff Primary School has the support of Keep Australia Beautiful NT and are accredited through the Eco Schools ‘Green Flag’ program; an international status and the world’s largest sustainable school program present in 72 countries around the world. The Eco-Warriors meet several times a year to collaborate on ongoing initiatives, maintain records for their accredited statuses, and brainstorm innovative strategies for future projects, propelling their school towards a greener tomorrow.
Nightcliff Primary School students are learning to live sustainable lives from an early age at school every day, and educators hope to embed eco-friendly ideas and practices into their home lives and beyond.
City of Darwin is proud to call Nightcliff Primary School students and educators Recycling Heroes!
RECYCLING HERO HIGHLIGHTS:
- All classrooms have a compost bin which is filled with scraps following mealtimes, the Year 5 and 6 class representatives manage the compost bins daily and with the introduction of a buddy system, are teaching the younger children to empty, clean and return their compost tubs after lunch every day. As a result, the school has seen a significant reduction of organic waste going into landfill.
- Sustainable learning is enhanced through active participation in caring for living things such as ducks, chickens, and tadpoles. Plus, in maintaining the seasonal vegetable and herb garden students are taught the importance of recycling, composting and the value of waste reduction.
- Recently, Nightcliff students studied the ‘Circular Economy Approach’ – a concept about production and consumption that encourages sharing, leasing, reusing, repairing, and recycling existing resources to reduce waste and carbon emissions. After completing a persuasive text on the circular economy, students from the Eco-Warriors were successful in influencing the purchasing habits of the school administration and school canteen. The school now only purchases recycled paper, and the school canteen now purchases biodegradable products with no plastic and recycled napkins.
- Business skills are learnt as the Eco Warriors allocate a roster for the collection of used paper and cardboard which are collected fortnightly for recycling. Students in upper primary collect the recyclables from each class, office, library, pre-school, and Early Learning Centre at the school. The program has removed 15 wheelie bins (1200kg) of paper each fortnight from being placed in waste bins and sent to landfill.
- ‘Emu Parades’ are a tradition at Nightcliff Primary School. Although students are always encouraged to pick up their litter, there are often some scraps of plastic inadvertently left lying around. Every Friday after lunch, classes roam through their designated area in the school grounds and pick up whatever litter is lying around. A celebration is called for when no litter is found!
- Students enjoy using recycled or reused materials to construct artworks. Teachers encourage students to collect a of a variety of household materials including boxes, wool, paper, ceramic tiles, plastic bottles, lids, string, and fishing nets. They engage with the students to problem-solve in the creation of animals, masks and sculptures using trees and bicycles, mosaics, and installations. For example, during the 2019 Arafura Games, the Early Childhood students, and their Art Teacher, Ms Pozy, worked hard to create recycled fish artworks to display at the closing ceremony.
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Images: Supplied by Nightcliff Primary School