Sevenoaks Senior College is a Government school that draws most of its students from lower-socio economic suburbs in Perth’s south - east corridor. Some of these suburbs exhibit very discouraging socio-economic indicators, as in: high unemployment rates, high crime rates, high youth unemployment.
Sevenoaks Senior College teaching staff, at the prompting of Mr Fettes Falconer, voted to join the Western Australian Sustainable Schools Initiative Project from Term 2, 2005. It is presently the only Senior College embarking on this project.
It was explained to the staff that this meant that the teaching of and for Sustainability was the responsibility of all Learning Areas. Sustainable Development is impossible without a balance between Economic Sustainability, Social Sustainability, Political/Cultural Sustainability and, of course, Ecological Sustainability. A working group of teachers agreed to a definition of sustainability: Sustainability is defined as meeting the needs of current and future generations through integration of environmental protection, social advancement, and economic prosperity through democratic processes.
An analogy was used; ‘The Chair of Sustainable Development’…. a seat being held in balance by four legs:
Political/Cultural Sustainability (the democratic process)
The collapsing chairs symbolise the effects that could be felt should one of the ‘legs’ be neglected, or emphasised at the expense of the others.
We have used these four factors as a convenient way of categorising our initiatives, though it is often difficult to separate them.
In 2006, we were national finalists in the Sustainable Living Challenge in the sustainable schools project section. To view the shortlisted project poster click here.
Sustainability initiatives across the curriculum