Friday, November 26, 2010

A unit of work on Gardens and Gardening

Volume 21, Issue 3, August 2011, of The Literature Base is worth a look! Half the journal is given over to Gardens & Gardening - a unit of work by Kevin Steinberger.
Gardens as Setting, Gardens in Fantasy, The Science of Gardens, Gardens in Other Cultures and Cross-Curriculum Activities. There is a selection of Gardening-Themed Books and a Reference list of books and websites. The Learning Exchange has a copy of this issue and some schools already subscribe to the journal.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Anna and the Sheep

Anna and the Sheep

On an extremely cold windy day in October 2008, Anna who was in Kindergarten, chose to leave the warmth of Nano Cottage where the Language Group students were working and ventured out to see the sheep, in the adjoining paddock at Nagle College farm.The sheep usually run off when the students come near but this one particular, recently shorn sheep, was drawn to Anna's gentle and kind manner. Anna was oblivious to being filmed and it seemed a shame to interrupt the special moment, but as it was freezing cold, she was encouraged inside, much to the disappointment of Anna and the sheep!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Planting trees at St Michael's Primary Blacktown South

Planting 200 trees and shrubs at St Michael’s Primary Blacktown South with Greening Australia

David Warren – Technical Specialist – Seed from Greening Australia visited St Michael’s on 25 August to complete Part 2 of a project which began on 21 July with a visit and barbeque to Ropes Creek Nursery at Oxley Park. St Michael’s was one of five schools chosen to participate in the opportunity and receive the 200 plus plants.

Students from the Nano Cottage Language Groups along with 3G – Miss Charlotte Gourlie’s class and some Year 6 volunteers, enthusiastically found the holes which David had dug with the auger, planted trees and shrubs, placed cardboard protection at the base of the plants and placed guards around them.

Now the fun part of watering them regularly has begun, using watering cans and a very long hose! This project enables students to improve their practical language skills, through following instructions and problem solving. Oral language skills which enhance memory and vocabulary are also developed in a natural setting and all the while the school is being beautified! As Opia expressed, “I love helping to save the environment!”

Charlotte Goulie – 3G & Clare Maloney: Itinerant Teacher – Communication



Wednesday, November 17, 2010

How to Succeed with ... Education for Sustainability-little Books of Big Ideas

This book focuses on building capacity within the school community to work, live and learn together to create a sustainable future. The book provides school communities with a framework to succeed in implementing education for sustainability.

Care for Creation-Ilia Delio, o.s.f Keith Douglass Warner, o.f.m. Pamela Wood

"In this thoughtful book and inspiring book the authors provide a great service to the earth and all its inhabitants. They show how a contemporary Franciscan spirituality of creation, following the footprints of Jesus with the guidance of St Francis of Assisi, can help renew the face of the earth in our time" John F. Haught, PH.D., senior fellow,science and religion, Woodstock Theological Center

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Last Tree in the City - Peter Carnavas

This is the story of a boy who lives in the city. Edward's city is a place of concrete and cars, a world without colour, so every day he visits the last tree in the city and forgets the dull world around him.Then one day the tree is gone. Edward thinks of a clever way to revive his fallen tree, inspiring the entire city to follow his lead and understand that life is better with trees!

Last Child in the Woods - Richard Louv

This book shows how children have become increasingly alienated from nature, why this matters and how we can make a difference. It also offers practical advice on how to help children to enjoy the natural world -starting in parks, gardens, homes and schools!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Nano Chefs celebrate Halloween!

The Nano Chefs from the NCKG language groups, celebrated Halloween early in Nagle College Junior Kitchen by making Carrot Pasta and Jack-O-Lanterns with the help of volunteers. Students followed the 7 steps necessary to create the lanterns and read the ingredients and method needed to make the pasta. A party like atmosphere ensured as students enjoyed the food and the lights were turned out as the lanterns were lit!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

St Pat's Kitchen Garden

St Pat's Kitchen Garden is flourishing with recent rain .... tomatoes, strawberries, celery and parsley have all had a growth spurt and students have even discovered a baby pumpkin, which appears to have come from nowhere ..... maybe a left-over from Halloween!

St Francis Kitchen Garden

Six new garden beds have been constructed at the rear of the new hall at St Francis of Assisi Primary Glendenning. Students have helped to spread composted soil in the beds, a result of collecting scraps from "Fruit Break", which happens each day at 10am. Worm farms are also producing juice which is being used to nourish the original Kitchen Garden!

Nano's Nature Nurturers

Nano’s Nature Nurturers
Meeting held at Nano Cottage - St Michael’s Primary Blacktown South
                                         1 November 2010  

Present:       Charlotte Gourlie, Sandra Russo, Gai Clark, Michael Siciliano:            St Michael’s      
                   Carol Hawkes:       St Patrick’s Primary Blacktown  
                    Zhan Patterson:     Sustainable Resources Engagement Officer - BCC
                    Clare Maloney:      Itinerant Teacher: Communication – CEO
                        Peter Blanch:         Science Teacher: Oakhill College, Castle Hill
Apologies:    John Laffan, Paula Murphy: St Michael’s          
Reflection   The DaffodilsWilliam Wordsworth

  1. Planting of trees and grasses was successfully carried out on 25 August. Students recently observed the progress of the plantings and at least 85% are doing well!

  1. Charlotte reported that potato bags (see instructions); netting and packets of seeds were received as a result of the McCain’s Veggie Patch promotion. Gloves from the Telegraph give away, will also be used by NCKG students … well done Charlotte!

  1. Sandra continues to encourage all students to have name labels on hats and jackets to minimise wastage of students’ uniforms and to save money for parents … Keep up the challenge Sandra!

  1. “Green Zone” has become a regular in the school newsletter … Thank you Sandra and best wishes! A new contributer will be needed to replace Sandra in 2011?
  2. Waste Free Wednesday was again discussed … suggestions that it commence with primary students only and all other students encouraged to bring their lunch in “Nudie” containers or something similar, which makes cling wrap unnecessary. A “No Rubbish Day” was also discussed …. On this day all bins would be removed from the playground and all rubbish taken home. Parents would need to be informed in advance.

  1. Zhan is able to give session on Waste Management, to nominated grades, in December …. Charlotte to organise dates. Thank you Zhan!

  1. Charlotte will represent St Michael’s at the Parramatta Learning Community for Sustainability meeting, to be held at St Bernadette’s Lalor Park on Wednesday 24 November. Kevin Mills (principal) will represent St Patrick’s Blacktown and Clare will represent CEO.

  1. Charlotte and Clare are preparing an application for a Student Sustainability Leadership grant, on offer from Westpac Junior Landcare. This will involve Years Five and Six students and needs to be completed by 10 December 2010. John is supporting this project and Zhan hopes to be able to endorse it. A “One World Garden” concept has been floated which would involve all families contributing a brick, to build a garden bed in the vicinity of the new Learning Centre. Planting may include native/edible species, from diverse cultural backgrounds …. Watch this space!

  1. Zhan shared the following names as reference for “Deep Ecology”. Google: John Seed, Joanna Macy and Arne Naess – known as the father of Deep Ecology. Worth a look … thank you Zhan!

  1. Peter’s talk about Oakhill College was both informative and inspiring. He spoke of the steps taken to declare the college, Carbon Neutral and the ongoing challenge to reach Carbon Sustainability! Small steps include:
       turning off lights and computer monitors
        recycling paper and anything with a recycling symbol
        researching the story of rubbish
        joining the Sustainable Schools Network (Charlotte will revisit)
        encouraging the school leadership team, students and parents to come on board
        embedding a “Care for the Environment” into four levels of school life: Faith, Service Sport and Academia
        introducing all staff to“On Holy Ground” see
        keeping “All things Green” on the agenda, e.g. Green Awards at assemblies, posters around the school, mention at staff meetings, etc.

            Peter may be available to speak at staff meetings in 2011, if requested!

          Next Meeting: 3.15pm Thursday 3 March -Term 1 at NCKG
                                        ALL WELCOME

                       Old Indian saying: “Better to know one mountain, than climbed many”

NNN meeting 1/11/10