Congratulations – St. Joseph’s are State Tidy Town winners 2020!
St. Joseph’s has been awarded a state tidy town award for “The Sea is my best Friend project”. Our 3/4 learning community embark on a weekly adventure learning about our wonderful local environment. Through an inquiry approach to learning students have been learning about Westernport Bay and the unique biosphere we live in. In 1982, a large portion of Western Port was designated as a wetland of international importance under the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar Convention). Our students are active agents ensuring we protect and deepen our understanding and passion for this unique area we live in.
In 2011, through a Contemporary Approaches to Primary Science program we commenced a focus on Mangroves and studies into the unique ecosystem of Westernport Bay. In 2012, with the support of Catholic Education we formed a sister school relationship with SDN Tekalok 5 primary in Lombok where we mentor and share learning in a project called “The Sea is our Best Friend” working to conserve mangrove ecosystems in close proximity to both schools.
See link to video: https://www.sjcribpoint.catholic.edu.au/learning-teaching/asian-studies/
From this point we have embarked on an amazing journey which has culminated St Joseph’s Crib Point being passionate advocates for our wonderful Westernport Bay. We won our first Tidy Town award in 2012 for protection of the environment and have been state finalists on many other occasions. In 2020, we have been awarded the State winners in the Education section and nomination in the Indigenous culture category.
The specific work our 3/4 learning community have been doing over the past two years is simply inspiring. The students walk to Woolleys beach each fortnight and partner to learn with each other, with local Indigenous leaders, rangers and members of Westernport Biosphere. This program is capably led by our wonderful school experts Lucy and Jess and the inspiring leadership of Sue and our magnificent 3/4 teaching staff Megan, Ebony and Luke. Here students learn about the importance of our unique marine flora and fauna, empowering our students to conserve and protect our Bay now and into the future.
We deepen our experience and inquiry by focussing, respecting and celebrating the amazing work of our first people in protecting our environment. Through additional weekly Indigenous studies and connecting with local elders our students have learnt many important facts deepening our knowledge of the Boonwurrung people and the work they have done in protecting our unique environment.
Congratulations also to Lucy and Julie for our nomination for the state Tidy Town award in embedding first people’s culture and knowledge of indigenous flora and fauna across the curriculum at St Joseph’s. Through the weekly Indigenous and Permaculture class students learn in a powerful, authentic Indigenous program for lifelong appreciation and respect for Australia’s First People and the unique natural environment.
A special thank you and congratulations goes to our Deputy – Leader of learning Sue Jackson who has been instrumental in leading this journey of inquiry since 2011. Sue is an amazing leader of learning in our school and I am so proud and grateful for all that she has done for our students in connecting learning and life in ways that will empower our students for years to come to be passionate advocates and agents for our bay.
A special thank you and wholehearted appreciation to Jess Brady and Lucy Kiracou who have been instrumental in deepening our students’ knowledge of our wonderful environment through expert permaculture studies, state of the art sustainable practices and being absolute role models for our students.
And above all to our amazing students who are absolutely inspiring in all that they do in being environmental agents in this area.
Why do we do this?
We connect with projects such as these to bring our vision and frameworks of knowledge, faith and friendship alive. Through our identity, through our faith, our wellbeing and through connecting learning to life we strive to provide an environment that deepens and enhances the lives of every student in our school empowering them to take action and make a difference.