Sustainability at GISS

Sustainability at GISS is a initiative of the entire community to actively reduce our environmental footprint in our school and in as many homes of GISS families as possible.  

At GISS we support wellbeing for all, including our community, future generations and the local and global ecology. This commitment is embedded in key themes in the GISS Teaching and Learning Framework: international education, innovative development, wellbeing and community.   

We connect with the GISS aim for international education: to encourage every student to play an active role in developing and expanding their skills and using their creative and critical voices to strive for improving the world around them, both in a local and global nature. This program will, over time, come to life in our homes, our school campus and in the classrooms. We aim to link a series of practical, real-world actions with key elements of the curriculum, all the way from Preschool to the IB.    

We connect with the GISS aim for community: to strengthen relationships within the GISS community and foster feelings of belonging, caring and shared purpose. This initiative brings together students, teachers, school staff, parent representatives and members of the Board representing different cultures, opinions and standpoints while working shoulder-to-shoulder for the good of our school and the good of our planet. 

It is a highly participatory program that provides many opportunities for all students, parents/guardians and staff to be active citizens in our school. We hope that by working and making an impact together, we can  increase our social sustainability as an inclusive and connected community. Tackling environmental issues often seem overwhelming, with change needed in so many areas. We plan to take small steps of positive action that over time have a big impact. We will tackle environmental problems at a level where we can see tangible results, spurring us all on to realise that we really can make a difference.  All of us making many small changes will lead to a more sustainable, less costly and more responsible school environment. We plan to make working on sustainability practical, fun and motivational for students, teachers and families.   

We plan to make working on sustainability practical, fun and motivational for students, teachers and families. 

We would like to acknowledge and thank our community partners Northern Beaches Council, Kimbriki Resource Recovery Centre, Sustainable Schools NSW, Eco-Schools Australia

Our Framework
Our children, teachers and school staff spend the majority of their time in our school. We aim to create a school that is a clean, healthy environment for students and staff and promote ecological and climate sustainability.  This could include anything from recycling and reducing waste, using eco-friendly / non-toxic cleaning products, pursuing green building and maintenance practices, reducing our resource consumption, using renewable energy to offering nutritious, organic food.
We encourage and empower students, staff and their families to be thoughtful stewards of their communities, the earth and its resources both at school and at home.

We will apply these principles:

  1. High engagement in the learning/teaching process
  2. Support for informed decisions and actions on real life sustainability issues
  3. Work together actively in communities and in collaborative solutions
  4. Examine our assumptions, knowledge, and experiences, in order to develop and apply critical thinking, and to be open to change
  5. Be aware of cultural practices as an integral part of sustainability issues
  6. Encourage sharing of inspirational stories of achievements, failures, and values, to learn from them, and to support each other
  7. Continuously explore, test, and share innovative approaches, methodologies, and techniques
  8. Monitoring and evaluation that are ongoing

Starting in our own backyard!
We’re starting right there (or here, if you’re reading this at home).