15th June 2020
Click on the link for Sustrans Fareham & Gosport Bike It Plus Spring Newsletter. Lots of great ideas for lockdown activities to do at home including ‘Bike Floor Art’.
Another link for you from Sustrans a guide to adjusting bicycle brakes.
Covid Global Project
Just a quick reminder to keep your Covid Projects up to date! Remember we are looking for Global POSITIVE outcomes from the current crisis. Clean canals and waterways in Venice, Cleaner air in London and other cities, less de-forestation, less food waste, less household waste being generated, fewer car journey’s, animals roaming more freely, clearer skies at night…. What else can you find out about?
ECO COUNCIL HAVE DONE IT AGAIN!
Our coin collection has raised another £148 towards our bike shleter! Although not as successful as last year, we are very pleased with the result. In the coming months we will be collating our school calendar and hope as many of you as possible will purchase one for friends and family as a small Christmas gift or a keepsake from your child’s time at Elson Junior School. The money made from the sale of thees will also go toward the cycle shelter.
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.
THE BIG PEDAL AND SMOOTHIE BIKE 2019
This year’s Big Pedal saw more than 1,682 schools and over 559,000 pupils taking part in the challenge. By cycling, walking or scooting to school, pupils travelled the equivalent of 11.9 million miles – that’s 50 trips to the moon, or 480 trips around the world. In total, a record 2.3 million pupil journeys and close to 1.5 million supporter journets (parents, siblings and teachers) were made by bike, foot or scooter. This year’s Bid Pedal saw the highest number of pupils and parents take part since the competition was first launched back in 2010. This is a fantastic achievement, which tells us that children want to cycle, scoot and walk to school.
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!
And outdoor learning including circuits with games and activities. 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. If anyone would like to volunteer to help or arrange a gift day through your employer, please contact the School Office.