Eco Council

WINTER WELLBEING WALKS WITH GOSPORT COMMUNITY BIKE IT

This year, Sustran and Bike It are putting more focus on walknig.  This will lead up to the Big Pedal which we are taking part in on Friday 29th March.  This is our annual push for sustainable travel, encouraging pupils, staff and parents to choose 'people power' for their school journey.   As part of the focus, they will be offering a number of Winter Wellbeing Walks on Wednesdays from 6th February, until the end of March.  These walks will be social and fun, whilst offering participants the opportunity to build in regular, light physical activity to their daily lives.  These will be a morning walk aimed at parents, after the school drop off; a lunch time walk open to everyone at Alver Valley Country Park and an afternoon family walk home following the end of the school day.  They are also organising a family treasure hunt in Alver Valley Country Park during half term, on Wednesday 20th February.  s  All these events are FREE of charge and full details will be available nearer the time.  If you are interested in any of these events, please contat BikeIt Andy, directly, on 07786 525402 or email andy.dickson@sustrans.org.uk and make a difference to your usual school run.

SEE BIN SEA CHANGE EVENT

On Friday 30th November, four Year 6 Eco Councillors attended a STEM event in Portsmouth Mayor's chambers with Portsmouth University.  There were twelve schools attending with three awards up for grabs - Teamwork, Construction and a Quiz.  After lunch, we had a talk from the 'See Bin Sea Change' team about plasitc waste in our oceans.  The Mayor gave us all pictures of seals in Langstone Harbour and told us about how they travel up Southampton Water for food.  Then it was time to pit our wits against the other schools with a multiple-choice quiz.  Despite getting quite a few questions correct, we unfortunately did not win.  We were then set a challenge to create something from waste plastic to reflect a marine environment in 30 minutes.  Our team created clams from plastic bottle tops, squid and jellyfish from plastic bags and bottles, coral and rocks from plastic binding and a coral branch from polystyrene packing nuts.  The children were delighted to win the Construction Challenge and were awarded a wooden trophy from the STEM team.  We then had to think of a solution to all the waste plastic, what could it be used for?  Who would it benefit? and could it be achievable?  Our team came up with the idea of repurposing the plastics by moulding them into car chassis for electric cars and calling them Crab Chassis - the shell for your car.  Lightweight, colourful and saving the crabs and other marine wildlife from the damage plastics in the oceans cause.  The children worked really well as a team and put all the resources to good use but unfortunately did not win this challenge.  Every student left the event with a wooden lanyard card, their pictures and a pencil.  They also had their prize of a 'Red Spider Climbing Voucher' each.  Well done to our Eco-Team.

ELSON'S ECO EFFORT - COINS FOR CONSERVATION COLLECTION

After a mammoth counting session and an even bigger task of getting it all to the bank, we can report that we raised £575 in the milk bottles. We are so very pleased with this result, as we had predicted around £300 at best - so to raise nearly double that was AMAZING!

The Eco Council also ran a 'Bake to Bike' cake sale and raised a further £44.61.

So far, our grand total is a whopping £619.61!

PATCH have agreed to allow the Eco-Council to run a small stall a the Summer Fayre and we will be asking people to guess the number pebbles in a pickle jar.  The prize will be a selection of cycle accessories, kindly donated by SUSTRANS, who will also be runnig some fun cycle sessions and promoting a programme of summer cycling activities for families.

The cost of a new, secure bike sotrage shelter, including installation, is approximately £5,000 and we have made a great start towards this.  If anyone has any ideas they would be prepared to help run, or any events you could gain funds from on our behalf please contact Mrs Hoskins.  Thank you all for your continued support.

CONGRATULATIONS!

After School Eco-Club meet every Friday, they plant vegetables and help to look after the pond and environmental areas in school.  Every year we enter the Gosport in Bloom competition and this year we won Silver for our Wildlife Garden and were presented with Certificates of Excellence for Decorative Area and Edible Garden.  We were also given a butterfuly feeding station for the school ground.  Well done to the Eco-Club, you all worked really hard to make these awards possible.

ECO COUNCIL TRAVEL PLAN

As part of our Eco-School programme we are encouraging active travel.  We have recently had Scooter Pods installed and have new guidelines to access our main traffic gate.  This is all part of our effort to encourage sustainable travel to school.  To this end, we have been asked to get involved in an air quality monitoring project.  There are 5 small scientific air tubes installed around the school.  These tubes are the property fo the Science Lab who have loaned them to us.  The air they collect over a two-week period will be analysed and the data will be reported back to us to use for educational purposes and to enable us to make informed decisions regarding our travel plan.

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.