Senior School Environmental Responsibility
At St Andrew’s we believe it is important to instill 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.
Our school is a ‘diamond’ member of the Foundation for Environmental Education’s Eco-Schools programme. Locally administered by the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa, the initiative is active in 67 countries. The programme was developed to support environmental learning in the classroom and aims to create awareness and action around environmental sustainability in schools and their surrounding communities.
Every year, task teams made up of junior and senior girls implement environmental projects and share what they have learned about sustainability-related issues.
We aim to collect at least 3,500kgs of recyclable material every month and use a ‘green bin’ system that has been extended to the local community. Learners, teachers and parents are encouraged to deliver recyclables, including plastic, paper, cardboard, milk and juice cartons, cans and glass to our drop-off facilities.
Bekabee is the new onsite company employed on our campus. They have improved our existing recycling services with their dedicated onsite staff that sort through all waste, separating recyclables from non-recyclables. This new system will successfully reduce the amount of waste and make the waste/recycling process more cost effective. Mixed recycling bins are located at the preschool, behind the senior school arch, at the Johnson Road entrance and near the St Andrew’s Avenue gate.
Owl release programme
Three pairs of barn owls and a further two pairs of spotted eagle owls have been released onto the school grounds as part of a project run by EcoSolutions Urban Ecology. This involves the fostering of young rescued owls which are housed in an enclosure and fed by staff and students before their release. All of our owls have taken up residence in owl boxes installed at private residences situated adjacent to the school grounds. One pair of spotted eagle owls has remained on site and is regularly spotted flying over the lower tea lawns in the early evenings.
The kitchens make use of an on-site waste composting system that turns waste food into valuable nutrients for the soil in our gardens.
Girls in our Eco-Schools task team of 2018/2019 put their weight behind 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 presents they can give to 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.
Tops and Tags
We have teamed up with the Sweethearts Wheelchair Foundation, a volunteer-run organisation that provides wheelchairs for those in need. For every 450kgs of plastic tops collected, one person receives a wheelchair. The same applies for each 50kg-batch of bread tags collected. Tops come from milk, water, cold drink, fabric softener, cooking oil and mayonnaise bottles.
The Senior School offers Eco club, which incorporates activities and learning around key sub themes of bird club; gardening club and waste wise. Additional current/topical issues are discussed around global warming, meat free Mondays, mruelty free beauty products and makeup etc. Vegan cooking classes, eco-friendly beeswax wraps and wooden bird feeder assembly and painting are some of the exciting activities completed during eco club.
St Andrew’s school for Girls is a proud member of WESSA, and are currently at Green Flag Diamond Decade Status. The Eco Schools Programme is an international programme, which is active in over 70 countries around the world. The programme’s aim is 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 relate to aspects of the ‘environment in nature’, and the Eco Schools Programme engages the learner and creates a practical learning space which will hopefully translate to a better understanding and love for our beautiful country.