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Eco Schools

The children and staff at Bretforton First School work hard to be eco friendly citizens and to consider our environment and sustainability issues within the curriculum. We have been part of the Eco Schools programme for many years and have seen first-hand the benefits this gives our pupils. We have an active Eco Committee made up of pupils from Year 1 to Year 5. We hold elections each year where children who are interested in joining share their ideas and the whole school then votes for the new members. We work with Worcestershire County Council’s Sustainability Team to act as a mentor school, to offer support and advice to other schools in our district.

Green Flag Award

 

We have successfully gained four Green Flag awards since we started our eco journey. This is the highest award that can be gained through the Eco Schools programme. At our last inspection in Spring 2017 the assessor said:

“It was an absolute pleasure to complete the Green Flag assessment at Bretforton. The school has an outstanding, enthusiastic and creative approach to covering the Eco-School Topics and the Eco Committee are truly amazing”

 

We are very proud of the children in our Eco Committee for leading our eco work and of all the children and staff in the school for putting in their hard work.

Picture 1 Our third Green Flag

Eco Challenges

 

Every year we set each class Eco Challenges on a particular environmental theme. These challenges feed into the curriculum to fully embed their environmental education throughout their time at Bretforton school. This year our theme is ‘our school environment’. We would like the children to improve the eco projects we have worked on in school over the years. We are doing many things that help our environment but we need to evaluate if they are still working as well as they should be. We recycle paper but are people putting the right things in the right bins? Is litter now a problem in our playground? Are the ‘switch off’ posters really making people think and switch lights off? Our Year 3, 4 & 5 children will learn first hand where our recycling goes with a trip to Envirosort, a recycling plant that runs educational visits for children. Our Year 1 & 2 children will focus on litter in and around our school and our village. Many members of the community came to support the children at our Eco presentation in November and were keen to work with us on litter initiatives in the village. Our Reception children will also be very busy improving our pond area which they are very excited about. We also help the children to not just thing locally but also globally on environmental issues. The Eco Team are planning to lead a big fundraising event in the summer term. The pupils of Bretforton First School know our planet is important so they get great satisfaction from taking on the challenges set.

 

The Peace Garden

The Eco Committee finished an amazing year long garden project in the summer term 2016. The Eco Committee were given a donation from the Bretforton Gardening Club to create a new Eco area within the school grounds. We had a meeting and we knew that we needed to make it an inviting habitat for wildlife. The decision was made to link our garden to Remembrance as a way of commemorating all those who had lost their lives during war. From this the Peace Garden was created. Every class was asked to produce designs and ideas of what to incorporate and the Eco Committee met to decide on a final design. A focal point was a large cross shaped planter which has been planted with lavender and Peace roses.

Work started in the Summer Term 2015 and everyone in the school was involved in planting, digging, pruning etc. By the end of the term the new garden was taking shape. Work continued during the Autumn term when a Hornbeam hedge was planted by members of Class 3 in the pouring rain!

This was a long term project and as the school year continued more things were added to the Peace Garden such as arches, pathways, seating and a whole wild area. All of which were carried out by the children and kind adults that gave their time and materials.

 

Once the garden was complete the children created art work, to hang on the fences, of the different types of birds and wildlife that would hopefully visit our new garden. We held a grand opening of the Peace Garden in July 2016 where all the children, parents, staff, and the many people that had given their time or donations of materials and funding came together to celebrate our success. Father Phillip officially cut the ribbon and the Eco Team excitedly showed our many guests the garden.

 

The garden is used by the children at play times and we also held our Remembrance service with the children in the Peace Garden. We look forward to seeing the impact our hard work has to the amount of wildlife that now visits our grounds.

Environmental Detective Day

 

As part of last year’s challenges based on the theme of Waste an Environmental Detective Day was held where a “disaster” had taken place in the school grounds. All the fish were dying and we couldn't find out why. The children took on the role of being a detective using the clues to piece together the evidence to help come up with a possible cause of the disaster and then ways to prevent further contamination in the future. Lots of higher level thinking took place and team work in order to solve the mystery.
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