11 January - 31 March 2017
18 April - 30 June 2017
24 July - 29 September 2017
9 October - 6 December 2017

Events Calendar

February 2019
27 28 29 30 31 1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 1 2

WASTE  MANAGEMENT  at The Birches !

RecyclingDriving past or into this school one cannot help notice numerous projects underway in an effort to restore the environment.  There is a large Recycling station in the car park for Glass paper and Can receptacles for the community to use.  The roof of the station harvests rainwater which in turn flows into the ‘Fruit Forest’.  Closer to the school you will see the attractive blue trolleys used by the children to collect toilet rolls, polystyrene trays, bottle tops, egg boxes, corks, cereal boxes, deodorant tops, yoghurt cups, Purity jars, used flower pots and lots more!  Most of these items are used again for creative activities or making small gifts before being recycled.  Since 1992 the list has grown and a determined effort has been made to add more every year. 

At any time of the day there will be children or friends of the school dropping off items they no longer need or would like to have recycled.  There are also two worm farms where potato peels, egg shells, carrot tops and other green waste are collected for composting.  Any leftovers or scraps from snack or lunch time are fed to the chickens!  It does not stop there – the school takes recycling water very seriously!  At present we collect rainwater in four tanks to be used for gardens and wash basins … and one is used exclusively to flush toilets!  A grey water diversion has been installed in the senior bathroom to channel hand basin water to wash garden tools and another machine has been installed behind the kitchen to purify water from the washing machine.  This water is then pumped over the school vegetable garden!

Wall decorated with recycled itemsRecycling has become a way of life for The Birches and the community.  There is very little that is not recycled.  As state aided school receiving limited funding, the school relies on other means to meet our needs.  Old calendars and cardboard off cuts are used for painting and art; and A4 paper - already been used on one side - is used for drawing.  It is also the proceeds of paper, cans and computer cartridges that pay for library books and greening of the school grounds.  Recycling monies has also paid for our grounds man to attend a gardening course and to subsidize environmental excursions.  The first trip made is to The Marianhill Landfill Site; then to Collect-a-can, Paradise Valley and then to other local nature reserves.    

Visits to Us

If you would like some ideas on practical ways of ‘Going Green’  we are happy to offer tours around the school to see methods of recycling, worm farming, food gardening;  the ‘no dig’ garden or ‘Fruit Forest’, water harvesting, solar heating , senso-pathic indigenous gardens, herb spiral gardening or curriculum ideas.  The Principal has written and published four true children’s stories in photographs intended to inspire new practice.

Some of our visitors have been   SASRI (The South African Sugar Research Institute) to do a staff enrichment day on practical bio-control and permaculture, a Diet and Nutrition group, Girl Guides, Scouts, matric Geography students from Kloof High, Durban Girls High Eco-club, Eden College Eco-club and St Benedict’s Eco- group.  Beehive Montessori, Weaver’s Nest (Highbury) and Seaview Montessori have also been as groups for a day’s programme.


 PremaculturePermaculture Courses (three per term) for teachers  and the community  are available on Saturday mornings  at The Birches.   These courses are run by Mrs Doorkie Livingston, an experienced Permaculture trainer who has established the ‘no dig’ garden and ‘Fruit Forest’.  She is a real inspiration who can introduce you to practical ways of using your own environment (at home, work or school) to it’s best advantage.  A group of very enthusiastic ladies now meet regularly for Seed Swap evenings and to see latest DvD’s.   Click here www.sowtolive.com for more details.


My School Card

Click here to go to www.myschool.co.za to apply for or update your My School Card
Community Outreach

Through the year we run various community projects eg: Feed the Babies, The Monkey Helpline, Save the Crane Foundation, Embabaleni  Aged Home, Little Lambs, Phila Day Care, The Ark, SPCA and Robin Hood Foundation. These projects range from collecting appropriate donations to sharing of programs and other assistance.