It’s natural curiosity
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.