GREEN FLAG AWARD
We are delighted to inform you that Rickleton Primary School has once again been awarded the Eco-Schools Green Flag Award! Despite the current situation, the eco council has led the school in ensuring that we are always caring for our environment, both locally and further afield.
Well done everyone!
Here is a summary of what actions the Eco Council have been involved with in each topic.
Topic 1: School Grounds
The Eco Council planted flowers around the KS1 yard and school entrance. The colourful daffodils improved the look of our outdoor spaces and encouraged wildlife. They even came back again this spring!
The Eco Council were delighted to see the vegetables that they planted in the autumn had grown successfully. They had fun harvesting the carrots and potatoes in the allotment garden.
With the help of a fantastic design from the School Council, the Eco Council enjoyed planting a flowerbed on the school field. The design was a rainbow linked to the Rainbow Flag Award the school has achieved. Unfortunately, it has not been possible to plant the flowerbed this year due to the lockdown but the Eco Council are keen to do this again next year.
Year 6 have been out in the allotment garden this summer keeping on top of the tidying and clearing of the allotment beds while other year groups are not in school. They have done a great job!
Topic 2: Litter
The Eco Council think it is important to keep the school grounds tidy and litter free. They have made a rota for litter picking on the school yards. Thank you to FORPS for kindly paying for new litter pickers for the Eco Council.
They have also taken part in the Great Big School Clean 2019 where they collected over 3kg of litter from the local area! Unfortunately, the 2020 event had to be cancelled but the Eco Council are looking forward to taking part in more litter picking as soon as they can.
Topic 3: Biodiversity
The Eco Council took part in the ‘What’s Under Your Feet’ survey to discover the types of wildlife living in our school garden. They found the most common insects were slugs and woodlice. The bug hotel has helped to attract more creatures to our outdoor spaces. They plan to plant a wild ‘Blue Heart’ area in the school grounds to attract more insects and wildlife. The bug hotel has also helped to attract many more creatures to our school grounds.
The children in school during the lockdown took part in an Eco Warrior week where they had fun taking part in a nature hunt around the school grounds. They photographed the wildlife living there and used their computing skills to produce fantastic PicCollages. Back in the classroom, the children created some beautiful nature collages using recycled materials inspired by the wildlife they saw outside.
Topic 4: Marine
The Eco Council asked all children in years 1 – 6 to complete a plastic questionnaire to find out what they understood about plastic waste. They discovered that children did not know what a single-use plastic was or which types could be recycled. The Eco Council gave each classroom a plastic collection box and asked each class to put any plastic waste in the box instead of the bin for one week. The Eco Council had a big task of sorting the plastic into different types. They were shocked by the amount of plastic we throw away each week as a school! They used their maths and computing skills to create bar charts of their findings.
Then came the task of sorting which plastics could and could not be recycled. Sadly, they found that most of the plastic could not be recycled in our recycling bins. So what happens to the rest? The children researched the effects of plastic pollution on marine environments. They learnt about plastic islands in the world’s oceans, how plastic is harmful to sea creature and how it can end up in the food chain. They made a fantastic video about this project to share what they had learnt with the rest of the school.
The Eco Council wrote to FORPS to ask for their help in funding a special plastic recycling box that recycles plastic items such as glue sticks and pens. This will reduce our plastic waste as a school and help to look after our marine habitats.
Topic 5: Transport
The Eco Council learnt about the effects of air pollution from vehicles. They wrote to the parents of Rickleton Primary School to share their concerns and ask for their help in the newsletter.
Sadly, the Big Pedal Event 2020 was cancelled but the Eco Council are keen to do a similar project very soon. In the meantime, children in school during the closure learnt about air pollution and carried out a traffic survey. They found cars were the most common mode of transport around our school.
PLASTIC RECYCLING CAMPAIGN
Plastic recycling has been a focus for the Eco Council this year. We are very grateful to FORPS for funding a plastic recycling bin. This is an area we have highlighted as a way in which the school can help improve our support for the environment and so, by having a recycling bin in school, we hope to improve an area in which the council had highlighted as a problem. A link to a video explaining the problem can be found in the 'Our Videos' section here https://rickleton-primary-school.primarysite.media/ and a letter of thanks to FORPS can be viewed below.
Eco Council Activities 2021/22
The Eco Council have been working with the Change For Life Roots and Shoots Project run by Sunderland City Council. The children had fun decorating plant pots, planting cress seeds and learning about who plants need to grow.
The children in the Eco Council have also planted over 20 trees as part of the Queen’s Green Canopy project run by the Woodland Trust to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022. The children enjoyed planting the silver birch and rowan saplings on the school field and look forward to seeing them grow in the coming months.