Department of Education

Sustainable Schools WA

Sustainable Schools WA

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Greenmount Primary


Ring Pulls support Maths Skills

Staff and students from years K - 7 have been collecting ring pulls for a number of years as a fundraiser for 'Wheelchairs for Kids' who provide specially designed wheelchairs for victims of landmines.

One of the classrooms is the nominated collection point for the ring pulls, with colourful signs pointing people in the right direction, and students who bring in ring pulls are eligible for a 'Green Machine Award' and winners receive a certificate and a special treat.

When approximately 100,000 ring pulls (about 30kg) have been collected and weighed a representative from the 'Wheelchairs for Kids' organisation is contacted and they come out and pick them up. They always stop by and thank the students and often gives an information session as to who the beneficiaries are and the effects on their lifestyle.

The organisation makes approximately 240 aluminium wheelchairs per month and ships them to developing countries. Greenmount Primary has to date collected over ONE MILLION ring pulls!! That's the equivalent of approximately 9 wheelchairs for landmine victims.

The Deputy Principal (who is also a "Getting It Right Numeracy" teacher) started the project in 2003 as a way of assisting younger students with their maths skills - number sense (counting large numbers, place value). After a short while, the project grew significantly and the Education for Sustainability Coordinator then took it over and organised it on a whole school level in keeping with the school's sustainability ethos.

One of the challenges with the project has been keeping tabs on the amount of ring pulls and finding storage for the large numbers of ring pulls coming into the school, but the highlight has been the huge amount of support received from the school community as well as the way the students have taken on the practice of collecting ring pulls as a part of everyday life. Students see recycling as part of their day-to-day existence which is extremely heartening.

Community Partnerships

Through the project there have been a number of students who have set up partnerships with local businesses through family and friends. For example one student has a family member who owns a hotel and he has arranged for all patrons to collect ring pulls. Another student has a parent who owns a video shop which has now become a collection point for ring pulls on behalf of the school.

Curriculum Links

Maths: Working Mathematically; Measurement; Chance and Data
Science: Acting Responsibly
Society and Environment: Resources; Active Citizenship
Values: Environmental Responsibility; Respect and Concern for Others and their Rights

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Greenmount Primary

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