Phoenix Eco- Committee
We have several projects either in progress or in the pipeline, which will improve the environment. At the beginning of the year, we conducted an in-depth environmental review, which consisted of completing a checklist against different eco-topics. The results showed that our three main areas to improve on as a school were ‘energy’, ‘litter’ and ‘marine’. We wrote up the result of our review and each read it out to our class to inform them of our findings and our plans so that we could have their support.
(photo 2- environmental review- 6 pics)
We completed an action plan against these eco topics to plan how we could improve over the course of the year. We, as Eco-councillors, appointed ourselves as energy monitors, to check that in each of our classrooms, whiteboards, lights and other electronics were switched off when not in use.
We explained to our classes how we needed to ensure that all litter was put into bins and how we needed to make sure that recycling went into the correct bin. This year we have completed litter picks both in the local community and in our school grounds and encouraged other children in school to join in to help with this. We hope to buy more bins for the school because some of them are really far apart.
All classes have been learning about the environment this year and how we can look after the planet. Year 3 have been learning about plastic pollution and how it can harm the environment and marine life. They read a book called ‘One Plastic Bag’ and learnt how to reduce our plastic use or recycle plastic bags by making them into something else to re-use. We saw a video of how a lady wove together lots of used plastic bags to make a new, stronger bag which could be used over and over. We created posters about how to look after marine life by taking care with how plastic os used and disposed of.
(photo 5- Year 3 English work- 5 pics)
The Eco-council are leading an assembly on 6th July for ‘Plastic Free Month’ where we can make sure the whole school are aware of how and why it is so important it is to reduce plastic waste and to give tips on how to do this. We are taking steps to reduce the amount of single use plastic bought to use in lessons, such as balloons, glitter and straws- opting to ensure that we use eco-friendly alternatives instead.
Our focus is always on reducing, reusing and recycling wherever we can. We try to reduce the amount of paper we use as a school and made a poster to go behind the printer to make adults in school think about whether they need to print as much as they are. We have suggested that printing should be double sided, shared between children and in black and white, if possible.
We aim to plant a wild flower meadow on the grass bank beside the school building. This will help pollinators including butterflies, moths and bees and will help insects that pollinate our food crops. We have got several bug hotels around the school grounds. Bug hotels benefit lots of different types of minibeast and insects such as ladybirds, bees, spiders and woodlice. Minibeasts can then use the bug hotel as a safe space to shelter, lay their eggs, raise their young, and seek refuge from predators. Many animals start looking for safe spaces in autumn in preparation to hibernate. We have a lovely pond in our forest school area, which encourages frogs, newts, dragonflies, water boatman, pond skaters and other marine life. We do pond dipping to look more closely at these creatures and learn about them. Our field is very big and so we plan to use the section at the end to plant wild flowers and fruit trees so that we can encourage more insects, butterflies and birds.
We have bought a poly-tunnel to help us to grow things in. Next year, classes will again be responsible for weeding and maintaining the planters on the field. We will encourage them to plant flowers and crops to help pollinators and to provide foods which can be used by the school. We plan to install compost bins outside the school hall for the lunch staff to put any vegetable waste into when they are preparing lunches. We also plan to put a compost bucket in the school hall for children to place their compostable waste into from their packed lunches. Eco councillors will be responsible for putting this into the main compost bin at the end of lunch times and will sort through to ensure that there is nothing in the buckets which cannot be composted.
We are collecting empty crisp packets in the hall to recycle and send to Terracyle. A box has been put in the school hall and staff room for crisp packets to be placed into and they are then taken to be recycled at the local supermarket in their soft plastics bin. Terracycle sort the packets by plastic type and extrude them into plastic pellets to make new recycled products. The pellets are then sold as a raw material to manufacturing companies who complete the recycling journey by producing end-products like outdoor furniture and decking, plastic shipping pallets, watering cans, storage containers, flooring tiles, playground surfacing and much more.
Our Eco-Committee have discussed and decided on an Eco-Code which is a whole school promise to protect the planet that reflects the topic work and action plan of our Eco-Committee during this school year.