Community Garden

Stephanie Alexander Kitchen and Garden Project

The introduction of the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen and Garden Project into the Primary School for Years 3 and 4 began in April 2015.

St Mark’s Primary School became one of 824 schools Australia-wide enthusiastically getting their hands dirty and learning how to grow, harvest, prepare and share fresh, seasonal food.

The fundamental philosophy that underpins pleasurable food education is that by setting good examples and engaging children’s curiosity, as well as their energy and their taste buds, we can provide positive and memorable food experiences that will form the basis of positive lifelong eating habits.

Under the guidance of Mrs Tracey Toovey (Co-ordinator), Mrs Melinda Lewis (Gardener) and the Year 3 and 4 teachers we will be endeavouring to deliver regular kitchen and garden classes, enabling skills-based learning that extends across the entire school curriculum.

As participants in the Kitchen and Garden Program, the children will spend structured time in a productive veggie garden and home-style kitchen as part of their everyday school experience. There they learn skills that will last them a lifetime, and discover just how much fun it is to grow and cook their own seasonal vegetables and fruits.

We are very excited about this new initiative and honoured to be one of the last schools in Australia to be offered the opportunity to be part of this valuable program.

One of the off-shoots of the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen and Garden project is the sense of community that can be brought about when students, teachers and parents have a common project on which to work. We are now at the time when we are calling on the assistance of parent volunteers who feel passionately about promoting the project within the school community.

Becoming a Waste Wise Community

As part of the Sustainability project in the Primary School, St Mark's has received valuable funding from Waste Wise Schools a program of the Waste Authority and funded through the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Account.

Through this, the School has been able to implement a number of waste wise projects, including our compost bin, five worm farms, paper, battery and ring pull recycling, promotion of waste wise lunches and more.  Our students have visited Tamala Park Resource Recovery Centre and have also had incurscions from the Water Corporation to look at waterwise gardening and the importance of keeping water ways healthy. Some of the actions undertaken since becoming a Waste Wise School include:

  • Developing whole school waste minimisation action plans
  • Undertaking regular waste audits
  • Recycling and reusing
  • Composting and building worm farms for canteen and garden waste.
  • Developing waste wise gardens
  • Zero waste lunches
  • Reuse art

The Community Garden is a wonderful way to use the schoolyard as a classroom, reconnect students with the natural world and the true source of their food, and teach them valuable gardening and agriculture concepts and skills that integrate with several subjects, such as math, science, art, health and physical education, and social studies, as well as several educational goals, including personal and social responsibility.

In the long term, St Mark's aims to to develop in our students the skills, knowledge, values and motivation required to think critically about resource consumption and waste production and discover how their own choices, now and into the future, can help Western Australia use its resources more wisely

If you are interested in becoming involved please contact Tracey Toovey ttoovey@stmarks.wa.edu.au