Airly Primary School
226 Airly Estate Road
AIRLY, 3851

Tel: 03 51 49 8251
Fax: 03 51 49 8253


Airly PS a ResourceSmart 5 Star school.

Harvest Lunch ResourceSmart is a framework that links a wide range of sustainability programs to help Victorian schools minimise waste, save energy and water, promote biodiversity and cut their greenhouse gas emissions. The framework helps schools to connect with other schools and experts in resource management to complete the ResourceSmart journey.

Sustainable practices within the school include:

    • As student 'Green Team' is established
    • Fruit trees are grown
    • Parent's Club provide new families with containers for lunch use
    • REDcycle - recycling of soft plastics
    • Mixed recycling bins used - hard plastics, metal
    • Skip bin for recycing cardboard - local community members also use this facility
    • Native gardens include a frog bog, lizard lounge, bee hotels, bird nesting boxes & bush tucker garden
    • Parent's Club has purchased recycled plastic bench seating

Frog Bog   Lizard Lounge

Community partners include:

  • Sale Rural Cluster schools – group Science days & excursions are held
  • Bug Blitz – field days
  • Greening Australia – tree planting to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions
  • Landcare – advice given about tree plantings in school grounds
  • Bunnings Warehouse, Sale – restructure of vegetable garden and school ground plantings
  • Wellington Shire Sustainability Officer - waste audit, visits to transfer station, composting, worm farms

School Events to promote sustainability include:

  • Planet Ark National Tree Planting Day
  • Greening Australia - Love Our Lakes Project.  Students have been involved in Cultural Awareness activities and have written & published an Envirostory about bush tucker.
  • Longest Autumn Harvest Festival Lunch - students cook a community lunch with produce harvested from our vegetable garden
  • Visual Arts program using recycled materials
  • School waste audit
  • Bug Blitz Field Day to the Heart Morass, Sale
  • 'Lizard Lounge' and 'Frog Bog' created
Airly PS   sustain4


Autumn Harvest Festival Lunch 

Students cook a community lunch with produce harvested from our vegetable garden

Harvest Lunch       Harvest Lunch

Students take action to divert waste water

Adam saw water trickling away down the drain when students got a drink from the drinking taps.  He thought this water could be diverted to the school’s nearby frog bog.  A hose was connected from below the drinking trough and ends in the frog bog.  Waste water from the trough now regularly tops up the water level of the frog bog and isn’t wasted.  A tap allows the water to be diverted back to the waste drain if soap is used when students wash their hands.

trough1   trough2   trough3

Biodiversity sculpture

Airly PS created a biodiversity sculpture using recycled objects.  An old office chair and car tyre rim were joined to create a circular piece of art.  The circle was important as students added painted diagrams showing the life cycles of a frog and a duck.  The sculpture can be turned in a circular motion so the audience can see the eggs – tadpole – froglet – frog cycle.  Also shown is the egg – hatching – duckling – duck cycle.  Students researched the types of frogs and ducks found in the Heart Morass wetlands, Sale before making their sculpture.  Frogs and ducks were chosen for the sculpture as we have both animals in our school grounds.  The sculpture was on display at the Heart Morass Restoration 10 Year Anniversary.


Preps making paper bricks

Our Prep students have been using the school’s waste paper to make paper bricks.  Used classroom and office paper is shredded, soaked and squashed into the ‘brick machine’.  The soggy bricks are then sat in the sun to dry.  The bricks will be sold next winter for use in fires.  Students have learnt that this is a positive way to use waste paper and minimise the need to cut down trees to burn in fires for heating.

bricks1   bricks2   bricks3v2

Biodiversity Audit 2017 - (conducted with Beck Lamble, East Gippsland Sustainability Officer)

A biodiversity audit of the school grounds found most of the planted area has (exotic) lawn.  There are some ornamental trees, and many new plantings are native. There are many nest boxes in the school.  An active frog bog and lizard lounge are in the grounds – which the students are enthusiastic about.

Biodiversity   Biodiversity
Native Tree Counters   Rock and Log Counters - for lizards and reptiles
Biodiversity   bio4
Non-Native Tree Counters   Logs providing a habitat (hole/burrow)
Skye noticed wattle tree attracts lots of butterflies.

Fauna & Flora

When the audit was undertaken we didn’t see many birds or animals, but it was very hot in the middle of a summer day.  We checked one of the nest boxes that we could reach and took this photo, which shows evidence it is being used by birds at night.  We had the discussion just because you don’t see animals it doesn’t mean they’re not there – and some are nocturnal.  You need to be an investigator and look for clues – like feathers, nests, poo.


Biodiversity Action Plan

The Students came up with the following list of actions/ideas that could help improve the biodiversity of the school:

  • More native plants (locally native) – plant more and continue to care for the existing ones
  • Plant native trees that will eventually have hollows for possums, gliders etc
  • Native bushes for bees, birds and butterflies
  • Bird baths – for birds on hot days – have been placed under the trees but need filling with water


Solar Energy Monitors

 2017:  Each month students have a job to do – they check Airly Primary School’s solar reading to determine how much energy the school’s solar panels are producing.  Last month the reading was just 61 kWh compared to the usual 200-300 kWh per month.  The girls wondered if the reduction was due to the onset of winter and less daily sunshine.

July’s reading however was non-existent – no change had been recorded since June.  Upon closer inspection of the digital readout, it showed we had ‘GRID FAILURE’.  A local solar company was contacted for advice and the problem was rectified.  Daily inspection followed and the temporary fix was short lived and the company needed to identify a larger problem with the inverter.

The moral of the story is that if we weren’t regularly checking our solar readings we would not have been aware of any issue.  Students have learnt the true value of their monthly chore and have now seen some real life benefits to being sustainable.

solar issue 20.7.17Web