At Manland, we feel it is an important role of our school to look after the environment around us. Therefore, each class have eco-representatives who are voted in to our “Eco-Committee”. The children then work together to decide on initiatives which will monitor, improve and develop the school’s commitment to being eco-friendly. Some of our key successes are detailed below.
This half term the Eco-committee have focused on saving energy, as well as improving our school environment at Manland. The committee have been working in pairs to monitor each class on a weekly basis. Individual classes will be awarded points based on recycling usage, classroom cleanliness, and energy saving. The class with the most points will be awarded the ‘Eco’ award at the end of the term.
The Eco-committee have had an enthusiastic start to the year. We have brainstormed how we can make Manland a more environmentally friendly place. The committee suggested they would like to
- Make the environment cleaner
- Reduce food waste
- Improve recycling
- Save energy
The committee all agreed that first they would like to tackle ‘making the environment cleaner’, so all members took part in a litter pick! The Eco-committee enjoyed cleaning up the playground areas and it was lovely to see the older members of the committee supporting the younger.
This week we discussed ‘reducing food waste’ across the school, and the committee brainstormed the different ways we might achieve this at Manland. They decided that they would like to design their own posters to encourage the children not to waste their food. We also discussed carrying out a catering staff survey and speaking to individual classes about food waste.
The Eco-committee decided that Manland School could improve the way we use our bins. The committee felt that the recycling bins were not being used correctly by some children and wanted to remind everyone what does and does not go into these bins. They designed posters for the school’s recycling bins and each committee member gave a short presentation, to a class or member of staff, on how to use the bin correctly. Later this term they will return to classrooms to monitor how bins are being used.
The committee will also look at saving energy around the school by monitoring which classes are turning off lights, computers etc when they are out. The committee have decided that they would like to present an ‘Eco Award’ in assembly to the class who has been the most environmentally friendly.
This term we have signed up to be part of the sustainable St Albans week from 21st-29th April 2018 https://sustainablestalbans.org . We have had loads of great ideas and have already got lots planned including a book and toy swap, an extreme litter pick and a competition called ‘Weigh the waste’ to see which class can produce the least food waste.
We have also signed up to the RSPB’s, Big Schools’ Birdwatch. We have enjoyed finding out about the birds that visit our school grounds and are looking forward to setting up our own bird café with the bird feeders we are making in our final meeting this half term.
The votes are in and our eco councillors are ready to meet up! Their job is to ensure that Manland Primary School is an eco-friendly place. The government wants every school to be a sustainable school by 2020 and we are working hard to maintain our ‘Green Flag’ status.
The children are very excited about the possibility of joining the Eco-Committee for this academic year. Classes have been discussing the role and children are eagerly awaiting their class votes! Good luck to all of the children who are interested in helping to develop our school environment further.
On Wednesday 29th June we were visited by a designated regional inspector from the Eco Schools of Great Britain. They looked at how proactive the Eco Committee are, how the school recycles and re-uses, how environmental issues are embedded in the curriculum and if we use the school grounds effectively. The inspector was really pleased that Manland showed that all of this was seen to be done and has awarded us with ‘Green Flag’ status. This is an amazing feat as we are one of only a few primary schools nationally to have been awarded this status. Well done to Mr Yeldham and the Eco Committee for all of their work in achieving this accolade!
After a really successful year of assemblies, looking after the quad, growing a range of foods in the grounds, feeding birds, expanding our recycling and using heat seeking cameras, we are now looking forward to our Green Flag visitor who will be assessing our efforts on Wednesday morning.
Eco Poster Competition
To raise awareness of sustainability within the school the Eco Committee organised entry into a poster competition run by National Geographic for Kids. The Committee chose a selection of entries and displayed the rest around school as a reminder to children at Manland!
St Albans and Harpenden Eco Day
Earlier in the year we joined around 50 other children from Harpenden and St Albans schools, for a special ‘Eco Day’ at Annabel’s Farm in Kinsbourne Green. The children shared their work and ideas as well as attending a number of workshops on sustainability and eco-awareness. We hope to participate in a similar event at the start of the next academic year.
The children have enjoyed a number of visits this year from guests who have come to speak passionately about environmental themes. Highlights included members of the Sir John Lawes Eco Committee speaking to the school during assembly time and Mr Godfrey of Godfrey’s Fish and Chip shop coming in to speak to Key Stage 2 to about how to run an ethical and sustainable Fish and Chip restaurant.
Our New Eco Checklist
This Year our Eco Committee have taken greater responsibility for deciding who our weekly Eco class is going to be. The children discussed what each class should be doing on a daily basis to save energy and demonstrate environmental awareness. They created a ‘tick list’ based on these ideas and have been working together in teams to assess each class carefully.