Eco Committee

 

eco-schools-logoEco-Schools

Swallowfield School Eco-Committee were first formed in 2011 as part of our involvement in the Eco-Schools scheme run by the Keep Britain Tidy Campaign

“Eco-Schools is an international award programme that guides schools on their sustainable journey, providing a framework to help embed these principles into the heart of school life.”

Schools work towards gaining one of three internationally recognised awards – Bronze, Silver and the Green Flag award, which symbolises excellence in the field of environmental activity

Benefits of joining Eco-Schools include: saving money, recognition and publicity, links to the curriculum, links to the community, school improvements.

The Eco-Schools programme is focused on nine key topics. These are: Energy, Water, Biodiversity, School grounds, Healthy Living, Transport, Litter, Waste, Global Citizenship.

Children are the driving force behind Eco-Schools – they lead the Eco-Committee and help to carry out an audit to assess the environmental performance of the school.

In conjunction with the rest of the school and the wider community, it’s the pupils who decide the environmental themes they want to address and how they’re going to do it.

The committee members are elected by their classes and take part in a wide range of activities in addition to regular meetings, developing many of their own ideas.

To date this has included; carrying out an environmental audit and developing an action plan for the school, tree, bulb and shrub planting, sowing a flower meadow, clearing areas for growing, Waste Week and Switch Off Fortnight campaigns, assemblies, regular recycling collections, composting, designing and planting competition entries for local garden centres.

Eco Schools link This tells you more about the Eco-Schools scheme.

Join the Pod link This takes you to the Pod website, where you can find out about the different activities we get involved in, Waste Week, Switch Off Fortnight, Bumble Bee Discovery. If you log in using a pupil code that you can get from Mrs Thomas, you can also find some of the work we have done, photos and blogs. You can add your won blog and have a go at some of the activities.

2016-2017

Well Done to all Eco-Committee members past and present for your contribution to the school gaining a CPRE Mark in the Living Countryside Awards 2016.

Inspiration for all new members – many of the ideas you see that have happened around the school grounds have come from past members, so keep those ideas coming!

September 2016

 Minutes of First Meeting – 3rd October 2016

Present

Asmarah Hussain (FD) Bethany Whiting               (FP)    Callum Brookes (1WR)  Violet Farmer   (Y1H)

Bella Reeves     (Y2P)         Dylan Canning-Matthews   (Y2H)   Jacob Beecher             Oran Millett    (Y4M)                                                                         Leilani James           Preston Frith                   (Y4W)   Mrs Thomas

Apologies – Eliza Bennett (Y3C)       Aaron Thomas (Y3D)

 

1) Members of the committee introduced themselves. Mrs Thomas explained her role in supporting the group, helping to make things happen and following their ideas up. The members will then gradually take on more of the roles themselves, with support and guidance. Hopefully there will be opportunities for others in the school including other adults to become involved too at different times.

 

2) The main purpose of the group is to help the school become more ecologically and environmentally aware and responsible. Thus playing an important part in the wider environment of the world, as well as improving our own. It is hoped this may also help the school save money that can then be spent on other things in school.

 

3) Some of the activities will be outdoors; taking care of the grounds, looking after the wildlife area, planting trees, sowing seeds, planting containers, taking care of the vegetable plots and polytunnel, weeding and watering. This may include working with a new gardening club. Some will be regular responsibilities such as collecting some of the schools recycling and composting and keeping those tidy, also feeding the birds. There may be special projects such as Switch Off Fortnight and other energy saving activities, recycling projects such as Waste Week, and generally activities that encourage the rest of the school to be environmentally friendly. Some of the meetings will discuss wider issues, ideas and plans for future activities. Meetings may not be regular, but as and when needed. Some may be discussions, some may be carrying out tasks.

 

4) Previous committee’s activities; – developing the wildlife area by planting trees, shrubs and bulbs. Planting fruit trees, designing and creating a new bug hotel, planting sunflowers in the grounds. Clearing grass and sowing seeds for the wildlife meadow. Clearing growing beds for planting vegetables. Designing and planting entries into competitions for planting tubs, Waste Week, assemblies, Earth Day and Switch Off Fortnight. Planting seeds and preparing school grown vegetables to sell. The whole school audit for Eco schools needs regularly updating and a new action plan drawing up. We achieved the Bronze Eco Schools award and are trying for the Silver.

 

5) Lots of the things we have done have come from ideas the committee had; more flowers, saving electricity, recycling, growing vegetables, bug hotels, bird boxes, seating areas, the polytunnel. We shared some initial ideas of things this eco-committee would like to do to be continued at our next meeting.

 

6) Future activities include areas of the Eco-Schools Awards from Keep Britain Tidy. We will look at the year planner, join the pod website details, the audit and action plan. Year 4 will begin the recycling and composting jobs this week.

 

7) Photos of each member of the committee will be placed on the eco-committee board in the main corridor. When we carry out activities around school, we will wear Environmental Squad bibs or green bands, photos and information about our activities will appear on the board.

 

8) Future meetings will look at past suggestions to see which we have achieved and which we can still work towards, including new ideas.  There will be more about the Eco-Schools Award and how we can achieve the next level. Growing/gardening awards with the RHS, medals and certificates with “Join the Pod” from EDF Energy

 

9) We will be reporting back to the rest of the school all we have discussed so far and using our class folders for new ideas and keeping notes of meetings and activities.

Next meeting date and time will be posted on the Eco-Committee board.

 

September 2015

Minutes of First Meeting – 28th September 2015

Present

TBA             (FWG)     TBA              (FP)    Jessica Elliot (1D)              Olivia Buteux (1MK)

Elissa Omar (2M)     Ava Doherty(2H)    Martha Barnes (3C)           Angelin Nickson-Mathew (3C)

Evan Coles                 Evie Hayler              Bethan Woodcock (4W)     Tina Hope   Jack Elliot  (Y4P)

Mrs Thomas              Ms Doherty

1) Members of the committee introduced themselves. Mrs Thomas explained her role in supporting the group, helping to make things happen and following their ideas up. The members will then gradually take on more of the roles themselves, with support and guidance. Hopefully there will be opportunities for others in the school including other adults to become involved too at different times.

2) The main purpose of the group is to help the school become more ecologically and environmentally aware and responsible. Thus playing an important part in the wider environment of the world, as well as improving our own. It is hoped this may also help the school save money that can then be spent on other things in school.

3) Some of the activities will be outdoors; taking care of the grounds, looking after the wildlife area, planting trees, sowing seeds, planting containers, taking care of the vegetable plots, weeding and watering. Some will be regular responsibilities such as collecting some of the schools recycling and composting and keeping those tidy, also feeding the birds. There may be special projects such as Switch Off Fortnight and other energy saving activities, recycling projects such as Waste Week, and generally activities that encourage the rest of the school to be environmentally friendly. Some of the meetings will discuss wider issues, ideas and plans for future activities. Meetings may not be regular, but as and when needed. Some may be discussions, some may be carrying out tasks.

4) Previous committee’s activities; – developing the wildlife area by planting trees, shrubs and bulbs. Planting fruit trees, designing and creating a new bug hotel, planting sunflowers in the grounds. Clearing grass and sowing seeds for the wildlife meadow. Clearing growing beds for planting vegetables. Designing and planting entries into competitions for planting tubs, Waste Week, assemblies, Earth Day and Switch Off Fortnight. Planting seeds and preparing school grown vegetables to sell. Last year they reviewed an audit into the whole school and it’s eco activities and came up with an action plan, which we will share at a future meeting. We achieved the Bronze Eco Schools award.

5) Lots of the things we have done have come from ideas the committee had, eg, more flowers, saving electricity, growing vegetables. We shared some initial ideas of things this eco-committee would like to do to be continued at our next meeting. See attached note of previous suggestions and what has been achieved added in green, to give more thoughts about what else we could do.

6) Future activities include areas of the Eco-Schools Awards from Keep Britain Tidy, We will look at the year planner and join the pod website details in the next meeting. We will follow up the audit and action plan, possibly with surveys and interviews. Year 4 will begin the recycling and composting jobs this week.

7) Photos of each member of the committee will be placed on the eco-committee board in the main corridor. When we carry out activities around school, we will wear Environmental Squad bibs or green bands, photos and information about our activities will appear on the board.

8) Ms Doherty talked about how the Eco-Committee can help to develop science in the school, as this links in well with eco activities, especially the development of a polytunnel for growing activities.

9) Future meetings will look at past suggestions to see which we have achieved and which we can still work towards, including new ideas.  There will be more about the Eco-Schools Award and how we can achieve the next level. Growing/gardening awards with the RHS, medals and certificates with “Join the Pod” from EDF Energy

10) We will be reporting back to the rest of the school all we have discussed so far and using our class folders for new ideas and keeping notes of meetings and activities.

Next meeting date and time will be posted on the Eco-Committee board

We look forward to hearing more of your ideas.

Past Suggestions and Actions

2011-2012

  • Save money by switching off lights. – Switch Off Fortnight in November, class energy Monitors.
  • More buildings as we are running out of space – make these energy efficient. – Learning Lodges
  • Collect rubbish, litter picking, posters to stop litter
  • Recycling improve, have different types of bins and types of recycling in the bin area, recycle more and sort rubbish better. Recycle, Reduce and Re-use boxes. Somewhere to put glass, plastic bag bins. – Better recycling boxes in each class, extra recycling skip in bin area. Year 4 Eco Committee collect office and staff recycling. New contract more regular collections of main bins.
  • Compost bins for fruit. –  Two bins in playground better emptying school kitchen to have better way of using this.
  • Fruit trees. –  Two apples planted, funding for 3 other trees.
  • Make sure people don’t pick the flowers that are growing. Science using area more
  • Have solar panels, talk to the manufacturers and Mrs Brewer.
  • Make a building from recycled bottles. Explored this and found better use for bottles, and better greenhouses-
  • Plant more trees because of deforestation and they will help to make oxygen. Grow more trees and flowers for animals, butterflies and insects – Trees, bulbs and flowers planted in wildlife area by Foundation, Busy Bees, and Eco Committee. Whole school sowed seeds for a meadow area.
  • Grow more vegetables, perhaps to use in the schools hot dinners – Foundation grow, prepare, cook and eat their own vegetables. All classes have a planting bed. Food given to kitchen, Grow and Sell with Waitrose being used.
  • Lots of outside activities. – Different classes have outside activities in the wildlife area, Empty Classroom Day.
  • School pets or other animals. – Foundation  had two guinea pigs, hard to organise care
  • Places for animals – Hedgehog dens, insect hotel built by Foundation in wildlife area. New bug hotel built and lots of insect homes added around the grounds.
  • 2012-13
  • Raise money for solar panels to save electricity.
  • Grow a pumpkin for Halloween. Project for whole school last summer to autumn.
  • Use the rubbish from fruit to make compost. Now using composted fruit on our beds.
  • Plant more things for mini creatures –See above
  • Grow daffodils and trees. See above
  • Have a class competition for the highest sunflower. Completed in autumn 2015
  • Have a farm on the school. Farm visits take place.
  • Use spades to make holes to plant vegetables in.
  • 2013-14
  • Planting, growing vegetables.
  • having jobs for carrying out watering.
  • Finding out what makes plants grow best.
  • Recycling, making things from litter.
  • Having animals to look after in school such as pigs and cows, looking after animals such as frogs
  • See above and Waste Week/Day
  •  2014-15
  • Make plant pots that look like different things, like an apple.
  • Combine the tree houses and bird watching with an area with books and guides to find things out.
  • Use a corner of the field to make habitats like little houses for different creatures. See above
  • Find out about growing things. Find out about plants and their roots, how do they work, and be strong and delicate at the same time? Find out about things underground. More Science activities undertaken on growing and using outdoors 
  • Harvesting vegetables. See above
  • Build gadgets.
  • Have a bird watching area. Tree houses near the little houses.

 

October 2014

                                     BronzeAwardHighRes

Bug Hotel

Amongst the many ideas from this years committee, was the suggestion to increase the amount of places for creatures to live in the grounds. As part of future science activities the school have placed a number of insect habitats around the grounds. The RHS also had a competition running for building bug hotels, which fitted nicely with our ideas. The committee discussed how to do this, made their own designs and came back together to begin work on it. They brought in various materials from home, then collected materials from around the grounds (including a shower curtain from a past Foundation activity) and various natural resources. This was then put together to create a new bug hotel that will form part of a wildlife corridor from the pond to the wildlife area.

Meanwhile, Foundation classes created their own mini habitats using recycled (mini milk bottles, card and tubes) and natural (leaves, twigs etc) resources. These were then placed into both then new and the existing bug hotels.

There are a few finishing touches to put onto each one, but hopefully the new residents will move in soon!

Eco- Schools Award

Due to the hard work by previous years Eco-Committees, we have achieved the Bronze Eco- Schools award. With our new committee now elected and eager to get involved, we are hoping to achieve the Silver award, moving towards the Green Flag. The next level involves more new ideas, changes, curriculum activities, and whole school involvement!

 

Pumpkin News

Thank you to all those who have been sending in photos of pumpkins and other plants sent home to go on the website. We would love to see more. Hopefully now the pumpkins are starting to ripen and change to a lovely orange. They should be lifted off the ground and given as much sun as possible to help them ripen and harden off. Watch out for slugs! Many will be ready for picking. Cut them off with a few centimetres of stalk, this helps to stop them rotting. Put them indoors to harden off if you want to keep them for longer or use them to carve later.

We would love to see how they have grown, so if you can bring them (and any extra photos) in on Monday 13th October, (with label on to show who grew it!) we will have a display of the final results!

If you do carve it later in the month, don’t forget to take photos to send in.

 

Morrisons Vouchers

Despite not having a store close, thanks to friends and relatives, in the past couple of years we have managed to save for some very useful outdoor equipment. We look forward to more this year. The store is no longer issuing these, so any you have, please bring in so that we can place our order. Thank you.

September 2014

After class elections to find our new committee, we held our first meeting  on Tuesday 30th September.

Minutes of First Meeting – 30th September 2014

George Higgins (FW)             Ciaran Smith (FP)                 Archie Harvard (1D)          Sam Brookes (1G)

Abbie Mander (2M)               Jude Thompson (2H)           Edie White (3P)                   Aidan Perry (3C)

Emily Willans,                        Aliyah Chapman (4W)          Joe Townend,                       Kasey Griffiths  (Y4P)

Mrs Thomas                       Ms Doherty

1) Members of the committee introduced themselves. Mrs Thomas explained her role in supporting the group, helping to make things happen and following their ideas up. The members will then gradually take on more of the roles themselves, with support and guidance. Hopefully there will be opportunities for others in the school including other adults to become involved too at different times.

2) The main purpose of the group is to help the school become more ecologically and environmentally aware and responsible. Thus playing an important part in the wider environment of the world, as well as improving our own. It is hoped this may also help the school save money that can then be spent on other things in school.

3) Some of the activities will be outdoors; taking care of the grounds, looking after the wildlife area, planting trees, sowing seeds, planting containers, taking care of the vegetable plots, weeding and watering. Some will be regular responsibilities such as collecting some of the schools recycling and composting and keeping those tidy, also feeding the birds. There may be special projects such as Switch Off Fortnight and other energy saving activities, recycling projects such as Waste Week, and generally activities that encourage the rest of the school to be environmentally friendly. Meetings may not be regular, but as and when needed. Some may be to discuss ideas, some may be to carry out tasks.

4) Previous committees activities; – developing the wildlife area by planting trees, shrubs and bulbs. Clearing grass and sowing seeds for the wildlife meadow. Clearing growing beds for planting vegetables and flowers. Designing and planting entries into competitions for planting tubs, waste week, assemblies, Earth Day and Switch Off Fortnight. Planting for the Picnic in the Playground to sell. Last year they carried out an audit into the whole school and it’s eco activities and came up with an action plan, which we will share at a future meeting. We achieved the Bronze Eco Schools award.

5) Lots of the things we have done have come from ideas the committee had. We shared initial ideas of things this eco-committee would like to do. (See separate sheet)

6) Future activities include areas of the Eco-Schools Awards from Keep Britain Tidy, We looked at the year planner and join the pod website details. We will follow up the audit and action plan, possibly with surveys and interviews. Year 4 will begin the recycling and composting jobs this week.

7) Photos of each member of the committee will be placed on the eco-committee board in the main corridor. When we carry out activities around school, we will wear Environmental Squad bibs or green bands, photos and information about our activities will appear on the board.

8) Ms Doherty talked about how the Eco-Committee can help to report back on science in the school, what they would like to see and do. Lots of the ideas linked nicely to the eco themes too.

9) Future meetings will look at past suggestions to see which we have achieved and which we can still work towards, including new ideas.  There will be more about the Eco-Schools Award and how we can achieve the next level. Growing/gardening awards with the RHS, medals and certificates with “Join the Pod” from EDF Energy

10) We will be reporting back to the rest of the school all we have discussed so far.

We look forward to hearing more of your ideas.

Ideas From Eco-Committee September 2014

Make plant pots that look like different things, like an apple.

Have a bird watching area.

Build gadgets.

Use a corner of the field to make habitats like little houses for different creatures.

Tree houses near the little houses.

Combine the tree houses and bird watching with an area with books and guides to find things out.

Find out about growing things.

Find out about plants and their roots, how do they work, and be strong and delicate at the same time?

Find out about things underground.

Harvesting vegetables.

 

Some of these things could be combined, for example making things like the plant pots to sell, making containers to grow different plants, where you can see underground to see how roots work. These could combine well with some of the school science activities. The gadgets could be ways of making homes for creatures. There is also a competition to make a bug hotel we could take part in by extending and improving the one we have that Foundation add to each year.

Garden of the Year Container Competition -Results

Thanks to all your great ideas and designs and the previous Year Four Eco-Committee members turning a combination of these into real planting, we won the competition and have the Roy Mason Cup in our trophy cabinet!

Take a look on the photo gallery to see how these were turned into our final “swallow”Field  container and the presentation ceremony that took place at Frosts in September.

The container and it’s partner made from spare plants, are still going strong at the lodge entrance to the school.

Busy Bees also won a runners up prize for their container, and we both won runners up prizes for our gardens! Expect to see more gardening activities to get involved in over the coming year!

 

 

 

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