Community & Environment

Community Garden and Horticulture

Greek philosopher Plato once said “the most effective kind of education is that a child should play amongst lovely things”.  Our school garden program provides students not only with the opportunity to acquire basic horticultural skills and knowledge but also “hands on” and fun activities such as growing plants and exploring the natural world – the “lovely things” that they have helped create.  Topics we cover include identifying vegetables, herbs and fruit, natural pest control, safe and appropriate tool use, propagating techniques, composting and soil improvement. Outside tasks may involve digging, planting, weeding, pruning and making new garden beds while classroom sessions include the processes and links between what we grow and what we eat.  Importantly, school garden programs embrace curriculum subjects including literacy, numeracy, science, art, crafts and society and environment.


The Globalisers are a group of students led by Cam Grigg who work on sustainable environmental projects in our school. Projects focus on improving our school grounds, aesthetically and educationally. Interested students from year 4 to 7 nominate through a verbal application process. If successful, they work with Cam to identify potential projects and help source funding through grant applications to organisations such as the Natural Resources Management Board (NRM). NRM have helped the Globalisers with two substantial projects so far – the frog pond and our Native Plant Trail. This year they are working with classes on establishing an Asian garden. They have also identified a future project that will focus on natural play scapes and Brightening Our Boundaries. These students are looking to develop our first SEMP (School Environmental Management Plan) that looks at 4-5 year environmental priorities of our school.

Wipe Out Waste Program (WOW) – Year 6/7s

The WOW program is run by the Year 6/7 class entirely on our own.  It is a recycling and composting program aimed at reducing land-fill.  We started WOW after KESAB helped us do a rubbish audit, which showed the school had a lot of recyclable material going to land-fill.

At the beginning of the year we organise teams and roles which outline those responsible for certain bins.  The bins are all labeled according to the recyclable product contained within – white paper, coloured paper and card, GMP (glass, metal, plastic materials), 10 cents (plastic bottles and juice boxes) and compost.  Each Wednesday afternoon, the teams spread out across the school, collect their bins from classrooms and office areas and take the material to their nominated collection point or the composting area in the garden.  The money raised from 10 cent items is used to fund purchases for the WOW program like new collection bins and composting materials.

Cj and Peter (Year 7 students 2014)

Hillcrest Community Centre

The Hillcrest Community Centre is built on land that once had transportable classes on it many, many years ago.  We use the hall for indoor sport, assemblies and school performances and have a close relationship with Community Centre staff, volunteers and clients.  The Neighbourhood House organisation that operates from the Community Centre was instrumental in helping us establish our Breakfast Club and Community garden.  Our School Choir regularly performs for the Senior citizens who meet there every Tuesday and Thursday and we share donations of grocery items, garden tools and plants.  Members of the Neighbourhood House sit on our Governing Council and we benefit from their insight, knowledge and contacts within local government.