School Spotlight aims to highlight each and every one of the unique schools embracing sustainability and energy efficiency around Australia. We recently caught up with Principal Anna Murie to hear about how Solar Schools made a difference for Mossman State High School. located near World Heritage listed Daintree National Park in North Queensland.

How would you describe your school? What makes it different/unique from other schools?
Mossman State High School is the only secondary school in the Douglas Cluster with 7 feeder primary schools. Our school was established in 1955 and we have many aging buildings. Mossman caters for a wide range of academic studies for our diverse ethnic community.

Did your school have Energy & Sustainability measures put in place before joining the Solar Schools program?
Yes – Mossman State High School only used our air conditioners in the summer months of the year – Term 1 and Term 4, prior to having solar. We adapted energy saving lighting, water saving taps and toilet systems. Students and staff are encouraged to use recycling bins as part of the Science Curriculum.

How did you first hear about the Solar Schools program and what prompted your school to want to join?
Through the Weekly Bulletin – Education Queensland, we responded to a survey on our electricity usage and from there we were successful in being part of the Solar Schools scheme. We were prompted to the program for cost saving and for sustainability education for our students.

Does the Solar Schools program help your teaching team achieve education objectives?
In Junior Secondary more suitable. At this stage, have not implemented goals, however, keen to review resource.

Does the Solar Schools program help students achieve energy/sustainability goals at school and home?
The Solar school’s program will help students achieve energy/sustainability goals at school and home once we have incorporated the program fully into our teaching and school culture. It is currently a work in progress, and we are looking at ways to embed this learning across the school.

Has Solar Schools helped your school reduce electricity usage and costs? If so do you know by how much?
Absolutely (see the below stats) –

  • Usage in 2019 – 138,832 (before solar)
  • Usage in 2020 – 137,925 (before solar)
  • Usage in 2021 – 96,485
  • Usage in 2022 – 64,805

What activities has your school/classrooms undertaken that are changing behaviours around energy and energy efficiency? Have you noticed a difference before and after the Solar Schools program was implemented?
Waste reduction in Agriculture classes.

Would you recommend Solar Schools to other schools (or organisations)? If so, what would you tell them about Solar Schools and, want them to get from the program?
Financial benefits – huge saving. Linking the environmental benefits to the curriculum, especially in science.

Every school has its own story, and we love to hear them! Please contact us via theteam@solarschools.net if you’d like to be featured in the future.