Promoting ecological conversion and environmental sustainability
At St Thomas Aquinas, our students and staff take an active role in being stewards of creation and 'caring for our common home’.
Inspired by Pope Francis’ environmental encyclical, Laudato Si’, our school community understands that we have to respond to the environmental challenges of the 21st century with creative and thoughtful planning, education and concrete actions that can make a difference to the health of our planet, all people and all creatures.
Our commitment to being responsible members of Planet Earth is evident in our classroom learning and teaching, the prayer and liturgical life of our school, our resource and grounds management, and whole school planning for community initiatives that contribute to the betterment of our environment and our relationships with one another.
Our St Thomas Aquinas school community is involved in a range of initiatives that empower our students to support the ongoing care of creation through:
- Student Garden Club
- Curriculum integration of environmental awareness and sustainability
- Participation in environmental action and awareness initiatives (‘Green Days’) – such as Clean Up Australia Day, Earth Hour, Earth Day, World Environment Day, Tree Day and National Recycling Week
- Outdoor learning spaces
- Maintaining our gardens
- Nude-food lunches
- Worm farming
- Waste management system that includes recycling soft plastics and composting food scraps
- Eco-friendly infrastructure – including water tanks, sub-pods, LED lighting ·
- Green ethical catering
- Dedicated staff environmental committee and/or staff environmental coordinator (WEN contact)
- Staff professional development to support student and school environmental learning and action
- Celebration of the ‘World Day of Prayer of the Care of Creation’ and the ‘Season of Creation’
- Earned Environmental Education Grants to further our environmental projects
- Active members of the Wollongong Environment Network
Our school also has a School Environment Management Plan (SEMP) which identifies and plans for our key environmental actions and projects in response to Laudato Si. These include:
- Each class planting and nurturing their own garden; and
- Our weekly Student Garden Club – run during lunch breaks – to beautify the school
For more information, visit the CEDoW Wollongong Environment Network