Pupils are partners with us in considering how the school can continue to grow and develop. The school council plays an important part in this, with elected representatives from each class who meet with Mrs French and other invited members of staff each fortnight.
The Eco-council has representatives from every year group as well as staff, and they discuss what we would like to do as a school, (both towards our Green Flag Award and extra things,) what has been done since the last meeting and what we are going to think about ready for the next meeting. Everyone is equal and can speak and make comments or suggestions. Sometimes we vote as a group, sometimes the reps take suggestions back to the rest of the class/school and bring back feedback on what they think. Sometimes we need to speak to the bursar if there is something we would like to buy, (like the energy display meter.)
They constantly review our school with regard to the 9 Eco-Schools topics: Energy, Waste, Biodiversity, Water, Litter, School Grounds, Global Citizenship, Transport and Healthy Living.
Curriculum Links – Science, Maths, Literacy, DT, Art, PE, Healthy Living, Computing
All year groups have been growing plants and all classes visited Tesco as part of the Farm to Fork project to link to knowing where our food comes from. Reception and Year 4 entered a local community competition to plant a garden for the Queen’s 90th Birthday; Years R, 1,2 & 3 and 4 and the SEND group grew beans, sunflowers and herbs pumpkins and vegetables and prepared, planted and maintained their area of the garden. The Eco-Council have been part of the RHS national project – growing rocket seeds from Tim Peake and the International Space Station! Year 2 also created maps of the school grounds using IT programmes linked to Geography.
We also collected data from the whole school every day to compare how many children in KS1 and KS2 bike or scoot to school each day and entered onto a giant bar-chart. In reception they collected tallies comparing different types of vehicles around our school and their homes. They also visited the aviation museum and Year 3 studied how The International Space station is powered by energy from solar panels compared to the fuel used by space shuttles and rocket boosters.
Reception and Year 4 built and repaired the bug hotels in order to continue to attract and encourage wildlife to stay in our field. They also been studied life-cycles by watching frogspawn/tadpoles/ frogs in the classroom. They compared baby blue tits in the bird-cam nest box outside our window and the Peregrine falcon chicks on the live web-link from a clock tower in Bournemouth. Reception also studied the life-cycles of ducklings by watching them hatch in an incubator in the classroom and then measuring them each day in maths to see how much they were growing. They also learned about bees and had a visit from a local beekeeper who also relocated a nest in our school grounds so that we could keep it rather than taking it away completely. The children wrote about bees and ducks and designed posters. All classes also went pond dipping and Year 4 took part in the Big School’s Birdwatch and created bar-charts in maths, took part in a local field trip studying the Birds around Brownsea Island and wrote poems when they came back which won them 1st prize of £200 towards a trail camera – trap for the school.
We have also taken part in the Sustrans/ Big Pedal, encouraging children and adults and parents to bike or scoot to school. We did so well, we came first in our area and won a bike stunt show for the whole school as well as some free bike workshops for some Year 4s. We have also had visits from Doctor Bike helping children to maintain and repair their bikes and also had a morning where we rode to school and had a go at generating enough energy by pedalling a special bike to make smoothies which we all tasted.
Monitors check that interactive/smart boards are switched off during lunch and playtimes and teachers have been made aware not to leave them on standby overnight. Class monitors also check that lights are turned off manually even though they are sensor lights as sometimes they take a long time to go off. The monitors also ensure that thermostats in winter are kept at around 15 degrees which is enough to keep the classrooms warm and that external doors are kept shut especially at playtime and lunchtime when children are in and out. As our electricity meter was inaccessible to children, we have now installed an energy display meter which has a wireless connection from the sensor to the display so children can now monitor how much electricity we are using/wasting! The younger children monitor the colours at various times of the day, (red, amber or green,) and the older children monitor the actual usage at different times of the day and feedback to children (and staff!) about what they can do to help. They are also keeping a record of the data as a line graph to show usage over different times of the day.
We are still collecting ring-pulls for the PCF (Philippines Community Fund,) who make them into gifts, bags, jewellery etc. to help raise money to send children to school so that they don’t have to scavenge on the rubbish dumps in the Philippines. They have now extended the collection to empty toothpaste tubes and labels from plastic bottles. Each ring pull is worth 4p to them.
Every year we collect too many boxes to post, so the lady comes to collect them – (it’s nearly a car full!) and at the same time she does a whole school assembly to raise awareness for the new intake. We receive a certificate from her and she leaves us some of the products made out of the recycled items for us to use as prizes within school for things which also helps to further raise awareness.