Nightcliff Primary School joined the Eco School journey several years ago and has continued to strive towards being an environmentally-conscious school.
Their Eco-Committee, the ‘Eco-Warriors’, is comprised of a dedicated group of over 45 Year 5 and 6 students who strive to make Nightcliff Primary School (NPS) as sustainable as possible. The group, led by a committee, are all passionate about their role in developing sustainable practices within the school and broader community. They meet several times per term to record the progress of current projects, keep records and discuss future projects.
Biodiversity: Habitat and Homes
In 2018 one of the main focusses for the ‘Eco Warriors’ has been to increase biodiversity on the school grounds by improving the quality of existing habitat. This was achieved through the revegetation of the school’s green space, ‘Finch’s Forest’, after the destruction of Cyclone Marcus. The Eco-Warriors are also working on a ‘local fauna species booklet’ to help students, teachers and parents correctly identify and learn about the species that are present at NPS. The Eco Warriors also put up a variety of wooden, hand-painted nest boxes to help encourage a variety of bird species to breed.
At the end of Term 1, 2018, the Upper Primary students put together an exhibition to highlight some of the amazing flora and fauna of the NT, through the medium of lino print. The exhibition, which aimed to increase the community’s understanding of local species, was on display at a local café. Over the years, Nightcliff Primary School has consistently incorporated The Arts into our environmental awareness education programs. In 2017, the Eco-Warriors helped oversee our ‘Birds of a Feather’ art exhibition which aimed to increase awareness of the variety of amazing bird species which are found in the Nightcliff area. The Year 3 and 4 classes participated in an Integrated Unit of Work called “Welcome to the Waders” about the migratory birds to Darwin and their flight pathways.
Environmental Studies is a subject which has been incorporated into learning programs at NPS to ensure that students are learning from an early age about the crucial role we all play in protecting the natural environment. The subject runs one day per week and is led by Miss Costelloe who is qualified and experienced in the field of Environmental Education. Along with Miss Costelloe, students use the natural areas of the school as a classroom and engage in learning focussed on the environment. Students identify and learn about the species present on their school grounds, along with any threats facing those species.
2017: The Year 1/ 2 were excited to win the Be Crocwise Competition with their entry and Nightcliff Market stall informing the community to be Crocwise.
This year, NPS participated in the Aussie Backyard Bird Count once again. This is one of Australia’s largest annual citizen science events and the NPS Eco-Warriors actively participate which helps to fill a knowledge gap on urban bird species and will help ecologists track large-scale biodiversity trends. It also gives the students a fun and exciting way to get involved in a real-life scientific investigation.
Litter and Waste: The Cycle of Stuff
2018 the ‘Eco-Warriors’ made it their goal to ensure that Nightcliff Primary reduces its waste production. They have successfully set up a whole-school composting system which sees every single class within the school collecting their food waste for the compost every day. As there are over 650 students within the school, this has dramatically reduced the amount of general waste that goes to landfill.
NPS recycling program is an ongoing initiative that was implemented several years ago by one of the teachers, Ms. Chan. Ms. Chan and her Year 4 students to manage the recycling of all areas in the school. Each day after lunch they collect and sort the recycling from each class. The school works directly with NTRS (Northern Territory Recycling Scheme) to ensure that the recycling program at NPS is as effective as possible in reducing waste.
In 2016 and 2017, the Eco-Warriors carried out two projects to improve the school community’s understanding of waste. The ‘Lids for a Lesson’ initiative saw the students teaching the school community about the importance of removing bottle lids before recycling containers. The ‘Nude Food Ninjas’ initiative (2017/18) saw the Eco-Warriors educating the school community about the importance of reducing single-use plastic when packing lunches. Both were effective, student-led initiatives that saw the wider school community become more involved in the important topic of waste reduction.
That’s My Water! Program
In Term 3, 2018, NPS took part in Power and Water’s ‘That’s My Water!’ education program. The program, which is mapped to the Australia Curriculum, teaches students about water consumption in a practical and engaging way. The Eco-Warriors will take part in documenting the learning of the Year 5 and 6 students and sharing their learning with the wider school community. The program involves a trip to Ludmilla Water Treatment Facility where students will learn how to identify water leaks and ‘live water smart’.
Lifestyles: Healthy & Active
The ‘Jump Rope 4 Heart’ program has been running for three years at Nightcliff Primary. Training runs occur throughout the year with displays and performances at school assemblies and other school events. All students are encouraged to join in with fitness training at recess and lunch and ropes are always available from the PE shed. Nightcliff Primary’s annual fundraising day is in June each year. This is a great way to promote fitness and a healthy lifestyle. The demonstration team are NT representatives and they perform at other primary schools around the Darwin area.
Historical Projects of the Eco-Warriors:
Biodiversity: Habitats and Homes
-Environmental Studies to learn about habitat of native fauna (2017)
-Birds of a Feather Art Exhibition (2017)
-Aussie Backyard Bird Count (2017, 2018)
-Welcome to the Waders (2016)
-NPS Landscape Implementation Plan (2016)
Energy & Climate: Super Smart Power
-NUON Solar Car Challenge based at NPS (2017)
-NPS Student Sustainability Challenge (2016)
Lifestyles: Healthy and Active
-National Ride2School Program (ongoing)
-Bike Hospital Program (est. 2015, ongoing)
-Jump Rope 4 Heart (2015, 2016, 2017)
-BE CROCWISE Education Program (2017)
Litter & Waste: The Lifecycle of Stuff
-NPS whole-school recycling program (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and in continuation)
-‘Lids for a Lesson’ bottle lid recycling program (2017)
-Nude Food Ninjas Program (2016, 2017)
-Recycling project with Rina Yulia (2015)