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Wollongong City Council

Rise & Shine BlueScopeWIN Environmental Schools Program

The Environmental Schools program is part of our Rise & Shine campaign. This competition is open to schools in the City of Wollongong.

The competition aims to:

  • Develop and improve environmental standards in schools
  • Encourage students to play a positive role in the protection and enhancement of their local environment
  • Encourage students to take part in environmental projects
  • Encourage students to show environmental care, concern and pride in their school.

Our major program sponsor, BlueScopeWIN Community Partners, has generously donated cash prizes worth $4000 in total. To help us measure how this prize money makes a difference, we ask winning schools to tell us how they spend this money.

There are three award types for the schools program, which are shown below. Each of these has its own sub-categories. Schools are welcome to apply for multiple award categories.

Applications for 2020 have now closed. Thanks to everyone who entered.

School Environmental Awards

This award recognises the school that has implemented the best Environmental Management Plan.

Entries for this category could include:

  • A copy of your working or draft School Environmental Management Plan (SEMP)
  • A summary of the different types of audits carried out at your school
  • An outline of some of the outcomes from these audits, and copies of any action plans you've created from the issues identified.

Include photos if you have them!

This award is for a primary school that has demonstrated a commitment to ongoing environmental initiatives, and reducing their ecological footprint within the school.

This could include establishing or further developing tree planting, sustainable gardens, reducing and monitoring water use, becoming more energy efficient, and raising awareness of waste.

This award is for a primary school that has demonstrated a commitment to an individual environmental research project.

The research project can focus on local, national or global issues, and could range from research on a local watercourse to a mural or environmental video to raise environmental awareness.

This award aims to integrate curriculum expectations (concerning the environment) that will enhance the environmental knowledge and awareness of students.

Environmental Excellence Awards

This award is for a primary school that has shown a positive commitment to improve their school and local environment by being actively involved in environmental initiatives and programs.

This award is for a primary school that has excelled in implementing a wide range of ongoing environmental initiatives within their school and community that meet the objectives of the Rise & Shine schools program.

Consideration will also be given to:

  • The overall presentation of the school buildings, grounds, landscaping, litter control and promotion of school pride
  • Participation in Council or community environmental programs such as Greenplan, Clean Up Australia Day, World Environment Day, Earth Week, Arbor Day, Heritage Week, Community Cleanup Campaign, etc.

Student Awards

This competition is open to the infants section of primary schools only. Students must draw a picture and colour it in to show 'What the Environment Means to Me'.

Schools can submit the best five entries for each grade (Kindergarten, Year 1 and Year 2) to Council for judging.

Prizes available

First place: $50

Second Place: $20

This competition is for primary students in years 3, 4, 5 and 6. Students must write a poem on the theme 'Why it is important to look after our environment'.

Prizes available

First place: $50

Second Place: $20

This competition is open to any student in the Wollongong area, nominated by teachers. This is an opportunity to honour and celebrate any child who epitomises the values and goals of your Green School initiative, and who cares deeply about the planet.

Factors that would make a student an ideal nominee include:

  • Showing 'naturalist intelligence'.
  • Demonstrating a great interest in nature, the environment, conservation, ecology and / or sustanability and sustainable development.
  • Enthusiasm, energy, initiative and commitment towards the natural environment.
  • Being an inspiration to other students. They may or may not show leadership skills, but evidence of growing leadership skills would be a big plus.
  • Putting their interest into action and raising awareness of environmental issues, or leading environmentally friendly change in their class, school or community. This could be an ongoing campaign or one-off project appropriate to their age or grade.
  • Aligning their environmental beliefs with their actions and behaviours at school and at home.

We encourage teachers to consider nominating not just high-achieving, self-directed students, but also quieter children who may not shine in any way other than caring about their environment. This could be someone who may not be a 'doer', but whose essence and 'being' is an inspiration to fellow students.

Some things teachers and school staff can watch for to identify students to nominate for this competition include:

  • Who takes the lead, or works hardest without the need for recognition, in your school's recycling program.
  • Who is out in the community performing environmental initiatives
  • Who is your most dedicated student gardener
  • Who picks up litter from school grounds at recess or lunch without being asked
  • Who started a student environment club
  • Who is always first to volunteer to help out with an eco-project
  • Who loves to learn about animals and nature, and demonstrates their learning and love of the environment.

The application for this category should include a description of the nominee/s' projects.

Prizes available

First place: $50

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