At St Andrew’s, we believe it is important to instil in our girls a sense of responsibility for the environment and a personal commitment to protect it. We participate in a variety of projects that promote these aims.
As a WESSA Eco-School, we believe in developing habits in our students that will encourage a resilient awareness of the impact of their actions on the environment, both negative and positive. Our hands-on approach focuses on active engagement to develop a conscience that drives constructive change through learned habits. This approach is propagated by a team of representatives from different sections across our school (Preschool, Foundation Phase, Intersen Phase and Senior School). This cross-school involvement has proven effective in ensuring positive engagement throughout all spheres of our school. Our school’s ongoing efforts are underpinned by our desire to encourage young South Africans to continue highlighting and hopefully implementing initiatives that will improve the general wellbeing of our natural resources and ecosystems at both a local and international level.
Learners, teachers and parents are encouraged to deliver recyclables (plastic, paper, cardboard, milk and juice cartons, cans and glass) to our drop-off facilities. Bekabee is the onsite company employed on our campus. Their staff sort through all waste, separating recyclables from non-recyclables, reducing the amount of waste and making the waste/recycling process more cost-effective. Mixed recycling drop-off bins are located at the Preschool, at the Johnson Road entrance and near the St Andrew’s Avenue gate.
Nine barn owls and two pairs of spotted eagle owls have been released onto the school grounds as part of a project run by EcoSolutions. This involves the fostering of young, rescued owls, which are housed in an enclosure and fed by staff and students before their release. Many of our owls take up residence in owl boxes installed at private residences situated adjacent to the school grounds.
The kitchen and ground staff make use of an on-site waste composting system that turns waste food into valuable nutrients for the soil in our gardens.
Students in our environmental task team support the global Send a Cow initiative in support of poverty-stricken families in several African countries. The initiative enables community-spirited members of the public to either buy gifts for friends or family, or contribute towards gifts that go to subsistence farmers to help them care for their families. Funding goes towards anything from education and water security to livestock and seeds.
The Senior and Junior Schools offer Eco Club, which incorporates activities and learning around key sub-themes such as birds, recycling, the climate crisis, special environmental days, waste wise, gardening and sustainability.
St Andrew’s School for Girls is a proud member of WESSA and currently holds Platinum 1 Decade Status. The international Eco-Schools Programme is active in over 70 countries around the world. The programme aims to create awareness and action around social and environmental sustainability within schools such as St Andrew’s, and support education for sustainable development in the national curriculum. Over 50% of the content in certain CAPS subjects relates to aspects of the ‘environment in nature’. The Eco-Schools Programme engages the learner and creates a practical learning space, which will hopefully translate into a better understanding of and love for our beautiful country.