Queensland Sustainable Schools

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Department of Education and Training

SEMP Component Overview

SEMP steps

The following information will assist you to complete your SEMP. 
  1. Planning period:
    • your SEMP start and end dates
    • brief description of your SEMP
    • authors – all those involved with the development of the SEMP.
  2. Principal's Statement:
    • an opportunity for the principal to reflect upon the school and its achievements and challenges
  3. About your school:
    • current school mission or vision statement
    • a school environmental vision statement (eg to reduce the current environmental impact of the school's activities)
    • school profile/ background (can also include resource use base data prior to the implementation of any energy, water and waste management practices)
    • school logo and photo (jpeg).
  4. About your local area:
    • description of the local environment - information can be obtained from local government websites
    • description of the local community  
    • photo of the local area (jpeg).
  5. School management:
    • priorities within the current school plan (NB school sustainability priorities)
    • how your SEMP will be integrated into the whole-school planning process –
      • the school's strategic management plan
      • part of the school annual plan
      • reported on in the school annual report
      • integrated with relevant school policies
      • integrated with school administration and management procedures
      • integrated with curriculum programs
      • information provided in the school prospectus
      • consultation with student representative body
      • consultation with parents and citizens or friends organisations
      • links to regional education and local government planning
      • links to extra-curricular activities for students
      • other, please specify.
  6. School Team:
    • name of the school environmental planning/ management team
    • number of team members
    • people involved –
      • teachers
      • parents
      • parents and citizens/friends association
      • administration and support staff
      • grounds staff
      • school principal
      • students
      • community groups
      • community members
      • neighbours
      • council staff
      • elected student representative body
      • executive staff
      • other
      • team's focus, structure and meeting information (optional)
      • describe the school's main environmental achievements (include sustainability projects/ programs which have been implemented).
  7. Goals for five focus areas:
    • Curriculum teaching and learning (eg to ensure sustainability values and principles are embedded into all KLA's ensure that units of work around sustainability are included in all year level programs)
    • Resource management goals: energy efficiency, waste minimization, water conservation (eg to reduce water and energy consumption by 10% within one year, to reduce carbon produced and offset carbon by planting trees)
    • Management of school grounds including biodiversity (eg to maintain native bushland and biodiversity, to increase school participation in the community garden, to reduce waste from lunches and recycle all organic waste)
    • Integrated whole-school planning goals (eg ensure that all school planning documents reflect the vision and goals of the SEMP, review sustainability progress as part of the annual school reporting cycle)
    • School and community partnerships (eg invite community members to be involved with the school garden program).
  8. Plan issues and topics:

    For each issue / topic you are asked to document:

    • Topic / issue name
    • Brief description
    • Priority (concern) rating
      • high
      • medium
      • low
    • What are the desired outcomes?
    • What will be the indicators of success?
    • What is the timeframe for undertaking action?
    • What category of action -
      • Curriculum
      • Environmental citizenship
      • Sponsorship
      • Energy management
      • Waste management
      • Water use
      • Transport
      • Purchase of materials
      • Grounds management
      • Grounds planning
      • Biodiversity
      • Grounds usage
      • Gardening
      • Whole-school planning
      • Student participation
      • School community participation
      • Other
  9. Strategies and actions:

    For all issues identified in Step 8, strategies and actions for each of the relevant focus areas need to be documented.

    • What actions will be undertaken?
    • What is the timeframe for the completion of the project?
    • What resources will be required?
    • What monitoring process will be put in place?
    • Who has the responsibility for managing/implementing the action?
  10. Celebrate progress:

    List ways that you will communicate the school's achievements:

    • reported in school annual report
    • regular updates in school newspaper
    • stories for local media: newspapers, television and radio
    • relevant displays and events at school
    • relevant displays and events at locations outside the school
    • showcased on the school website
    • awards and badges for those involved
    • promoted at school assemblies
    • grants and competitions applied for
    • Other.

    Some thought should be given to how to involve students in documenting and reporting the progress of projects and initiatives as part of their curriculum related work (e.g. through photography, media, multi-literacies).

  11. Community and environment network:
    • name of assisting organisation
    • type of organisation
    • contact details
    • type of assistance
  12. Evaluation

    An evaluation plan identifies the progress towards what you set out to achieve (the goals).

    • Focus area – choose from the drop down menu
    • Goal – taken from the schools curriculum goals in section 6
    • Strategy – selected from a menu of strategies related
    • Issues/topic – identified in Section 7 and linked to preferred outcomes as identified by the school community
    • Achievement – what will the school look for as an indication of success?

SEMP steps

The following information will assist you to complete your SEMP. 
  1. Planning period:
    • your SEMP start and end dates
    • brief description of your SEMP
    • authors – all those involved with the development of the SEMP.
  2. Principal's Statement:
    • an opportunity for the principal to reflect upon the school and its achievements and challenges
  3. About your school:
    • current school mission or vision statement
    • a school environmental vision statement (eg to reduce the current environmental impact of the school's activities)
    • school profile/ background (can also include resource use base data prior to the implementation of any energy, water and waste management practices)
    • school logo and photo (jpeg).
  4. About your local area:
    • description of the local environment - information can be obtained from local government websites
    • description of the local community  
    • photo of the local area (jpeg).
  5. School management:
    • priorities within the current school plan (NB school sustainability priorities)
    • how your SEMP will be integrated into the whole-school planning process –
      • the school's strategic management plan
      • part of the school annual plan
      • reported on in the school annual report
      • integrated with relevant school policies
      • integrated with school administration and management procedures
      • integrated with curriculum programs
      • information provided in the school prospectus
      • consultation with student representative body
      • consultation with parents and citizens or friends organisations
      • links to regional education and local government planning
      • links to extra-curricular activities for students
      • other, please specify.
  6. School Team:
    • name of the school environmental planning/ management team
    • number of team members
    • people involved –
      • teachers
      • parents
      • parents and citizens/friends association
      • administration and support staff
      • grounds staff
      • school principal
      • students
      • community groups
      • community members
      • neighbours
      • council staff
      • elected student representative body
      • executive staff
      • other
      • team's focus, structure and meeting information (optional)
      • describe the school's main environmental achievements (include sustainability projects/ programs which have been implemented).
  7. Goals for five focus areas:
    • Curriculum teaching and learning (eg to ensure sustainability values and principles are embedded into all KLA's ensure that units of work around sustainability are included in all year level programs)
    • Resource management goals: energy efficiency, waste minimization, water conservation (eg to reduce water and energy consumption by 10% within one year, to reduce carbon produced and offset carbon by planting trees)
    • Management of school grounds including biodiversity (eg to maintain native bushland and biodiversity, to increase school participation in the community garden, to reduce waste from lunches and recycle all organic waste)
    • Integrated whole-school planning goals (eg ensure that all school planning documents reflect the vision and goals of the SEMP, review sustainability progress as part of the annual school reporting cycle)
    • School and community partnerships (eg invite community members to be involved with the school garden program).
  8. Plan issues and topics:

    For each issue / topic you are asked to document:

    • Topic / issue name
    • Brief description
    • Priority (concern) rating
      • high
      • medium
      • low
    • What are the desired outcomes?
    • What will be the indicators of success?
    • What is the timeframe for undertaking action?
    • What category of action -
      • Curriculum
      • Environmental citizenship
      • Sponsorship
      • Energy management
      • Waste management
      • Water use
      • Transport
      • Purchase of materials
      • Grounds management
      • Grounds planning
      • Biodiversity
      • Grounds usage
      • Gardening
      • Whole-school planning
      • Student participation
      • School community participation
      • Other
  9. Strategies and actions:

    For all issues identified in Step 8, strategies and actions for each of the relevant focus areas need to be documented.

    • What actions will be undertaken?
    • What is the timeframe for the completion of the project?
    • What resources will be required?
    • What monitoring process will be put in place?
    • Who has the responsibility for managing/implementing the action?
  10. Celebrate progress:

    List ways that you will communicate the school's achievements:

    • reported in school annual report
    • regular updates in school newspaper
    • stories for local media: newspapers, television and radio
    • relevant displays and events at school
    • relevant displays and events at locations outside the school
    • showcased on the school website
    • awards and badges for those involved
    • promoted at school assemblies
    • grants and competitions applied for
    • Other.

    Some thought should be given to how to involve students in documenting and reporting the progress of projects and initiatives as part of their curriculum related work (e.g. through photography, media, multi-literacies).

  11. Community and environment network:
    • name of assisting organisation
    • type of organisation
    • contact details
    • type of assistance
  12. Evaluation

    An evaluation plan identifies the progress towards what you set out to achieve (the goals).

    • Focus area – choose from the drop down menu
    • Goal – taken from the schools curriculum goals in section 6
    • Strategy – selected from a menu of strategies related
    • Issues/topic – identified in Section 7 and linked to preferred outcomes as identified by the school community
    • Achievement – what will the school look for as an indication of success?

Ensuring that the plan is relevant

A finished plan is only useful if there is ownership and willingness by the school community to implement it. In developing the plan it is useful to consider the following:
1.
Consult with the school community
 
Knowing peoples' concerns and priorities can help guide the first steps towards a more sustainable school. Use the school council or teachers' meetings, or student and community forums to develop a picture of the needs and wants of the school community. Get a team together to decide on how best to use this information and start your plan.
2.
Learn more about your place
 
Through curriculum and programs, students can investigate their school or local environments. They can research how materials and resources are used. Investigating your school's water use through audits and studying  your catchment through stormwater studies, for example, enables students to transfer these skills to monitoring water use at home.
3.
Plan your action
 
Students and teachers can bring the research information together with the consultation and develop action plans. Your water action plan may include changes to the schools plumbing systems, water capture systems and changing patterns of water use at school and at home.
4.
Measure, record and describe
 
Integrating these steps into teaching programs will give students important skills across all curriculum areas. The SEMP online tool helps you by keeping a record of your goals and how you achieved them. Your results can then be communicated to the school, to parents and to the community.
5.
Celebrate
 
Reflecting on the process and the outcome of each of your action plans is an important step. These celebrations will motivate your school community to take on the next challenge and motivate others along the way.
A finished plan is only useful if there is ownership and willingness by the school community to implement it. In developing the plan it is useful to consider the following:
1.
Consult with the school community
 
Knowing peoples' concerns and priorities can help guide the first steps towards a more sustainable school. Use the school council or teachers' meetings, or student and community forums to develop a picture of the needs and wants of the school community. Get a team together to decide on how best to use this information and start your plan.
2.
Learn more about your place
 
Through curriculum and programs, students can investigate their school or local environments. They can research how materials and resources are used. Investigating your school's water use through audits and studying  your catchment through stormwater studies, for example, enables students to transfer these skills to monitoring water use at home.
3.
Plan your action
 
Students and teachers can bring the research information together with the consultation and develop action plans. Your water action plan may include changes to the schools plumbing systems, water capture systems and changing patterns of water use at school and at home.
4.
Measure, record and describe
 
Integrating these steps into teaching programs will give students important skills across all curriculum areas. The SEMP online tool helps you by keeping a record of your goals and how you achieved them. Your results can then be communicated to the school, to parents and to the community.
5.
Celebrate
 
Reflecting on the process and the outcome of each of your action plans is an important step. These celebrations will motivate your school community to take on the next challenge and motivate others along the way.