Eco Council

ECO COUNCIL CURRENT FOCUS: HEALTHY LIVING

Did you konw that crisps are designed to be addictive?  We didn't!  They even test the breaking point by the amount of pressure needed.  They label them as 'gourmet' to make us want them more and make them seem healthier by changing the flavours to 'sour cream and chive' instead of cheese and onion.

This must explain why we all LOVE crisps so much.  They are easy to grab a bag and we all know potatoes fill us up, but the chemicals in crisps actually make us want more of them!  They are designed to create an imbalance in our bodies, with a high burst of fat, sugar and salt, which is why we crave more of them (Dr Mozaffarian).

The Eco Council are building up an information base and conducting surveys.  We will report our findings during an assembly in June.  Everyone on the Eco Council hope you will suport this important effort and look forward to healthier options.  Alternatives include carrot or cucumber sticks, seeds, pitta with low fat dips or rice cakes with low-fat cream cheese.

OUTDOOR AND ENVIRONMENTAL LEARNING:

My name is Suzi Hoskins and my role in school is to facilitate our Outdoor and Environmental learning; ‘To enhance the curriculum and grounds by encouraging outdoor learning in line with the Learning Outside The Classroom Manifesto launched October 2010’  Basically, this means I support the teachers to deliver more outside learning at every opportunity.  I am not a seasonal worker!  We have purchased plastic ponchos for children and staff to reduce barriers for outdoor learning.  However, you cannot deliver good lessons in poor grounds, so part of my role is to visualise a plan to develop our grounds for better outdoor learning.

Eco-Schools is a Nationally recognised environmental programme designed to encourage all aspects of environmental participation in schools.  We have recently achieved our Green Flag, the highest award schools can attain!  Part of this involved the pupils and staff producing a detailed review of the school last summer and off the back of that, we produced an Action Plan and Eco-Code.   The Eco Councillors will be producing a newsletter and reports for the school community to promote the work we are doing.   This programme is very pupil led but has to also be supported by the whole school community, including site staff, parents, office, teachers and Head teacher and the non-teaching staff.

We are also a ‘Trailblazing’ school; Trailblazer is a Hampshire initiative to recognise and reward outdoor learning.  They acknowledge three learning strands, Caring for the environment, Discovering the environment and Exploring the environment.  For every hour, or significant part of, that a child is learning outside, a sticker is awarded and for every multiple of 20 hours achieved an award is credited.  Hampshire supports the programme with certificates and awards.  Each individual child is recognised for their outdoor learning and this makes it unique in the field.

In school we have delivered environmental topics including;

Japan topic, we had great fun making Zen Gardens and ‘real’ volcanoes!

japan

 

And outdoor learning including:

Circuits with games and activities.

outdoor

History, Stone Age Man.

Stone Age Axe Making 1    Stone Age Axe Making 2

Along with more traditional use of the grounds!

As a result of all this work, we have developed a programme for grounds improvement.  Some of which will be achieved with volunteer support from SSE Electric, HMS Sultan and other companies.  Part will be done with the help of Community Payback Teams from the Probation Service while the rest of it may involve fund raising, support from groups such as PATCH and other grant giving partners.

Areas we have or are hoping to develop in this way are:

  • Outdoor Classroom
  • A music garden for learning and play.
  • Areas for den building in the trees and bushes surrounding the activity trail.
  • A nature trail along the perimeter of the large field.
  • Creating meadow grassland between the park and the school in the stretch of grass very much underused from the playground to the mound at the front of the school.
  • Developing a more ‘user friendly’ amphitheatre in the mound at the front of the school.

The time scale of these plans are varied and very much dependant on funding as always.  Most of it can be achieved with support of the various groups working with us and will be completed by the end of the school year, such as the nature trail and music garden.  While others may be ongoing whilst we raise funds for the proper materials and support e.g. the Outdoor classroom.

If anyone would like to volunteer to help or arrange a gift day through your employer, please contact the School Office.