It’s nat­u­ral cu­rios­ity

Mercury (Hobart) - - BACK TO SCHOOL -

GIRLS in Fa­han’s Ju­nior School are en­cour­aged to be in­volved in the out­doors as much as pos­si­ble in their daily rou­tine.

Fa­han’s out­stand­ing gar­dens and grounds cre­ate an in­spir­ing place to learn for all classes.

Last year the Kinder­garten girls en­joyed plant­ing the seeds of broad beans, snow peas, peas and car­rots in their play­ground gar­den.

They also planted a big tray of pansy seedlings, which were then pot­ted and taken home at the end of the year.

The girls grew many flow­ers and picked some for press­ing and dec­o­ra­tions in their out­door play.

Through the year, the Kinder­garten stu­dents watched with ex­cite­ment as the plants grew, and the girls thor­oughly en­joyed har­vest time.

“To have the typ­i­cal in­door class­room trans­ported into the Kinder­garten gar­den is a lux­ury not all schools have, and I love the op­por­tu­nity to do this as much as pos­si­ble,’’ said Kinder­garten teacher Re­becca Wig­gins.

“The girls have shown me time and time again that we are life­long learn­ers and that our ideas and po­ten­tial are lim­it­less.

“Each day the girls model the gen­tle art of kind­ness, grat­i­tude and the de­sire to be sur­rounded by na­ture.”

Fa­han is com­mit­ted to de­vel­op­ing an en­vi­ron­men­tally sus­tain­able learn­ing en­vi­ron­ment. This means ex­plor­ing op­tions for ef­fec­tive wa­ter and power re­source man­age­ment, lead­er­ship in the ar­eas of con­ser­va­tion and sus­tain­abil­ity, and cre­at­ing a unique in­te­gra­tion of the phys­i­cal as­sets and en­vi­ron­ment of the school to en­hance sus­tain­abil­ity of food, gar­dens, power, wa­ter and waste.

Last year, Year 9 stu­dents helped the school’s grounds team in build­ing a num­ber of raised gar­den beds on the green roof of the Mu­sic School as part of Fa­han’s sus­tain­abil­ity ini­tia­tive.

Each class has its own gar­den and girls look for­ward to con­tin­u­ing to look after and har­vest their own gar­dens beds when they re­turn to school.

The sus­tain­abil­ity ini­tia­tive at Fa­han was fur­ther en­hanced by the open­ing of the Food and Dig­i­tal Tech­nol­ogy Hub.

This new build­ing has been de­signed to house spe­cialty les­sons in Dig­i­tal Tech­nolo­gies and Food Tech­nolo­gies.

The com­mer­cial kitchen hosts an ar­ray of classes in­clud­ing cook­ing classes, mini cour­ses, sci­ence les­sons, lan­guage classes, barista classes, and food prepa­ra­tion for school fundrais­ing ac­tiv­i­ties and events. The vi­sion for the Hub is for it to com­plete the cir­cle of sus­tain­abil­ity across the school.

Stu­dents have their own kitchen gar­dens to grow pro­duce in con­junc­tion with their com­post­ing and re­cy­cling pro­grams. They will then be able to sell the pro­duce they grow, or cook it to raise money to fund the plant­ing of new seeds.

In time, the veg­etable gar­dens will be nour­ished us­ing the com­post pro­duced as a by-prod­uct.

Prin­ci­pal Tony Free­man said teach­ing young peo­ple about sus­tain­abil­ity has never been more im­por­tant.

“It de­vel­ops the knowl­edge, val­ues and cul­ture to en­sure re­sources are shared eq­ui­tably,” he said.

“There is great merit in the goal of cre­at­ing an eco­log­i­cally bal­anced sys­tem through in­formed prac­ti­cal ac­tion.”

The aim is for sus­tain­abil­ity to be­come a link across all ar­eas of learn­ing, build­ing on the in­nate in­ter­est the girls have in think­ing crit­i­cally, de­bat­ing vig­or­ously, and act­ing cre­atively to dis­cover bet­ter ways of us­ing re­sources.

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