WWF(World Wildlife Fund) invited Australians to walk, bounce or hop back into the wildlife spirit this June, with the much-anticipated return of Wild Onesie Week 2018. WWF challenged Australians to head off to work and school and go about their day dressed head-to-toe as an animal during WILD ONESIE WEEK (which included World Environment Day on June 5). MWPS Senior Environment Team challenged our school to participate in this event by holding a WILD ONESIE DAY on TUESDAY 5th JUNE. Students dressed in a wild onesies, or dressed like an animal on the day. A GOLD COIN donation was requested and we raised $705.50. The funds raised will go towards our sponsored animals (which include koalas, a bilby, an orang-utan, a Tasmanian devil and a now critically endangered Leadbeater’s possum to name a few.) See our sponsored animals page on the Sustainability Blog http://sustainabilityatmwps.global2.vic.edu.au/our-animals/ for more details of our animals.

Working Bee

On Saturday we had a very productive Working Bee. We weeded, pruned, swept and painted. Lunch was lovely and the weather was sunny for most of the day.

A special thanks to the staff that helped out:

Ms Rodda-Winden, Sue P, Peter A, Mr Paine, Mr Saywaker, Mrs Bailey, Mr Rooks for all of their hard work and Ms Evans for setting up lunch.

A very special thanks to the following families:

The D’Silva Family, the Harradine Family, the Linden Family, the Goble family, the De Petra Family, the Rowsell Family, the Wang Family, the Desa/Bruce family.

We now have sea creatures on some of our drains to remind people that our litter can end u in our waterways and harm our marine life so DON’T LITTER and TAKE 3 FOR THE SEA!


On Friday 2nd March the school helped out with Clean Up Australia Day for the 15th year! The whole school gathered a total amount of 19.5kg kg of rubbish. That is an increase of last year’s 15kg total. Next year let’s try to reduce our rubbish in the school yard; simply by picking up rubbish when found on the ground and making sure that EVERY DAY IS A RUBBISH FREE LUNCH DAY.

Cleaning up regularly is very important. We need to make sure that we don’t let rubbish get into our drains because it then ends up in our waterways and kills our marine animals. If you see rubbish, please pick it up, especially near waterways like the beach. You can also join  Take 3 For The Sea at https://www.take3.org/ . Simply Take 3 pieces of rubbish with you when you leave the beach, waterway. 

Thank you to everyone who contributed on the day.

Eadie and Olivia

Sustainability Captains


How Being In The Forest Actually Boosts Immunity, According To Science

Clemens G. Arvay, MSc

Photo: Michelle Spencer

New research, like the Journal of Adolescent Health study that found that teens who have more access to green space tend to be happier, continues to reinforce the idea that humans are intricately connected to the natural environment. Our entire body is constantly communicating and acting in tandem with our surroundings. But how can something as simple as spending time outside possibly make us healthier? Let’s dive into the science.

The real reason being outside is so healing.

The Japanese tradition of Shinrin-yoku, “taking in the forest atmosphere” or “forest bathing,” is proof of concept. In this case, the term “bathing” does not mean swimming in some sort of wooded lake. Instead, it’s about diving into a forest with all of our senses. In 1982, the National Forest Authorities of Japan suggested advertising Shinrin-yoku to the public and promoting its immune-boosting powers. And today, taking in the forest atmosphere is officially a recognized method of preventing disease and supplementing treatment in the country. The National Institute of Public Health of Japan promotes Shinrin-yoku, universities study it, and hospitals use it as an Rx.

When you breathe in the woods, you are inhaling a cocktail of bioactive substances released by plants. One of these groups of substances is called terpenes. They’re usually emitted from leaves, pine needles, tree trunks, and the thick bark of some trees. We absorb these gaseous terpenes partially through our skin, but especially through the lungs. Terpenes also flow out of bushes, herbs, and shrubs among the understory, along with mushrooms, mosses, and ferns, too. Even thin layers of foliage on the forest floor emit them. So, safe to say, if you’re outside and can see any sort of tree material, you’re getting a dose of terpenes.

While forest medicine is under no circumstances a replacement for conventional medical check-ups, scientific studies have discovered the forest air is like an old friend to our bodies. Some of these terpenes have been found to have anti-inflammatory, anti-tumorigenic, and neuroprotective activities, making forest air like a healing elixir we inhale. Even though terpenes come from trees, mushrooms, and herbs that are communicating with one another, our immune system can also decode them. Like other plants, we respond to terpenes by strengthening our body’s defenses. Doctors of forest medicine know that anti-cancer terpenes have a direct impact on the immune system as well as an indirect impact on the endocrine system. For example, they help us deal with stress by lowering our cortisol levels.

Forest bathing has also been found to enhance something called natural killer cells, another defense against diseases like cancer. Those who spend merely one day in the forest will have more natural killer cells in their blood for seven days thereafter. Those who are in the woods for two or three days have elevated levels for another 30 days. It’s incredible to think that we get these long-lasting health benefits simply by existing in the woods. We don’t have to go on a trail run or rigorous hike (though those things are great too); just breathing and being in communion with trees is enough.

This knowledge totally changed the way I look at nature. Now, when I walk through the woods, I feel like I’m diving into an enormous living organism. I’m becoming a part of it, and we’re breathing and communicating together.

Practical ways to make your next trip into the forest even more fulfilling:

1. The content of the anti-cancer terpenes in the forest air changes over the seasons. The highest concentration is in summer, and the lowest is in winter. They increase rapidly in April and May and reach their peak in June and August. Try to go out during these months if you can!

2. You can find the highest concentration of terpenes in the middle of the forest since tree population is the densest there. This dense canopy prevents gaseous terpenes from escaping too. Try to go farther into the woods instead of lingering on the edges when you can.

3. When the air is moist—after rain or during fog, for example—a particularly large amount of healthy terpenes will be swirling around the atmosphere. So if you’ve ever felt especially great during a walk in the woods after a rain shower, you’re not alone!

Save Our Oak Trees

Well the new decking has been completed and everyone is now able to enjoy some shady seating under our magnificent oak trees. These trees are very special to us and have even inspired some poetry:

Save Our Trees

Poor animals,

Their habitats getting cut down,

Like their rivals

They’re fighting for survival.

All you think about is money,

That’s an act of selfishness.

Does it give you happiness?

So you go ahead,

Limit our little furry ones,

We’re going to be here to stop this madness,

And save everyone’s happiness.


By Summer D 5LE



We held yet another successful Tree Planting Day Colouring Competition this year with lots of entries. The winning entries will be on display in the Sustainability noticeboard outside Mr Paine’s office. The winners were chosen by the Yr 5 Senior Environment Team.

The prizes this year for the student winners are an assortment of things such as:  calico bag, gloves, a koala wrist band, a keyring, a bag tag, a stationery set, shape bands, stickers, tattoos and an owl banadana.

The winning adults get a seed greenhouse, a collapsible bucket and some seeds.

The winners are: Hinako PAW, Ashane PAW, Allycia 1KI, Desi 1KO, Hilda 2TS, Ethan 2MS, Imeth 3PN, Morgan 3BA, Liliana 4JE, Hayden 4LW, Thisumi 5BA, Lauren 5LE, Medeline 6TH and Julie 6NR.

The winning adults were Kathy Rintoul, mother of Lucy 5LE, Chris D’Silva, mother of Riley 2MSFui-Yin Yap, mother of Megan 1KI

A special mention and a small prize goes to Avani Mavani, mother of Reva 3BA.

The winning teachers are Miss Willcox, Mr Barraclough and Miss Bonacci.










Prize packs (junior, senior and adult) and winning entries (junior, senior and adult).



Kids need to get gritty and get their hands dirty

This year we held our 17th Annual MWPS Tree Planting Day on Monday July 31st 2017. We planted 400 new native trees and shrubs around the school. The Year 6 Enviro KTK team ran the day by themselves and must be commended for their hard work. Well done Julie, Jazmin, Max, Amir, Jenny, John, Arian, Nudara, Mirae and our Year 5 Enviro Team members Eadie, Olivia, Kenneth, Gianna and Sarina. Also a big thanks to Mr Rooks and our groundsman Peter for helping out all day too. Mulch will be laid around the new plants and students will maintain the gardens during their class gardening sessions. Over the last 17 years we have planted approximately six and a half thousand (6,500) plants. Quite an achievement! Classes also did tree themed activities in their rooms.




Kids need to get gritty and get their hands dirty!

Getting outside – beyond our four walls – and experiencing the natural world helps children grow grit, resilience, critical thinking, problem solving and emotional intelligence. Research also shows that outdoor learning and nature time fosters cognitive, emotional and physical development in children.

These key findings have been released in our 2017 research report, sponsored by Toyota Australia, titled Learning from Trees – Life Lessons for Future Generations. 200 teachers across Australia were asked to identify the key skills children need to learn now, to be prepared to tackle global challenges such as climate change, in the future. 60 per cent of teachers cited problem solving and critical thinking, ‘grit’ or resilience, and emotional intelligence as the most important skills for facing future challenges; teachers also ranked these same skills as their students’ weakest.

Parents, schools and the wider community all have an important role to play to ensure the next generation develops a strong connection to nature. Simple actions like teaching a class outdoors or getting your hands dirty on National Tree Day ticks a lot of boxes.

That is why we will be holding our 17th Annual MWPS Tree Planting Day on Monday July 31st 2017. We will plant 400 new native trees and shrubs around the school. Mulch will be laid around the new plants and students will maintain the gardens during their class gardening sessions. Over the last 16 years we have planted approximately six and a half thousand (6,500) plants. Quite an achievement! If you would like to volunteer some time to help on the day, please contact Ms Leary (you must have a current WWC check).

Just like every year, there will be a colouring competition held to celebrate Tree Planting Day. Entry forms can be downloaded from the Sustainability Competitions page: http://sustainabilityatmwps.global2.vic.edu.au/competitions/

There are entry forms for Juniors P-2, Seniors 3-6 and Adults so the whole family can get involved and of course there will be FABULOUS PRIZES to be won! The colouring competition closes on Friday 4th August 2017.

For more information on Tree Planting Day go to http://treeday.planetark.org/ You can host your own tree planting day or join a community one!

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