Wesley has a whole-College approach to sustainability. In part 1 we looked at the Junior School. In part 2 we joined the Middle School. Now let’s see what’s happening at the Senior School.
In the Senior School, students are venturing outside the campus to help care for the environment. Over the past four years, Wesley College has been a proud supporter of the Tangaroa Blue Foundation Beach Clean-up. In pairs, students roam beaches for large parts of a day and each piece of rubbish that is collected is documented and logged in fine detail, allowing the Tangaroa Blue Foundation to find waste trends.
The Wesley Bike Rescue Initiative that began in 2018 is another example of Senior School students getting involved in meaningful activities. In support of Bicycles for Humanity WA, 35 Year 10 students gave up an hour of their time per week to salvage and fix bikes to be sent to families in Africa.
After the success of the Wesley Bike Rescue Initiative in the Senior School, the Middle School Bike Rescue Club commenced in Term 1 of this year. The club currently features three Year 6 students and is expected to grow as the year goes on. The bikes salvaged by the club will be sent to local children.
‘The focus of the project is to collect unwanted bikes – many of which would be bound for landfill – to reduce waste and donate to children locally who are either recently arrived refugees or children who are in dire situations related to domestic violence. Hopefully, the students will have a different attitude towards throwing their own stuff out and will realise what they can do for others,’ said Humanities and Social Sciences teacher, Declan Hanley.
Senior School students are also offered the opportunity to venture out to Rottnest Island for snorkelling trips. These trips, organised by Carijoa, highlight what is happening to the seagrass as a result of pollution. Paul Day from the Wesley Maintenance Team, who leads the trips, is also a Marine Biologist, so the knowledge that he passes on is incredibly valuable.
Director of Service Learning and Leadership, Lynette McGivern believes the students have learnt a lot from the experience. ‘I like the idea of those sorts of recreational activities,’ she said. ‘It teaches students that looking after and enjoying the environment, aren’t mutually exclusive. We need to understand that to have those incredible recreational activities in the future, we need to start caring for the environment now.’
As a PK to Year 12 College, it is imperative that sustainability messages are consistently circulating throughout the entire community.
Although it is incredibly difficult to gauge how much of a difference our actions are making when it comes to the environment, the statistics do not lie. The College’s involvement in the Waste Wise Schools program has seen the introduction of compost bins on the campus. Proudly, between May and December of 2018, Wesley College diverted 6.5 tonnes of food waste from landfill. Whether we realise it or not, the small efforts do indeed add up to make a difference.
This article first appeared in the Wesley College magazine, The Wesleyan. To read more articles from our Sustainability-themed edition, please click here.
Subscribe to Wesley College News & Events