7th October 2016

Eco – schools news

St Mary’s is a Green Flag Award holder!

July 2016 saw the culmination of two years’ hard work when the school was awarded its Eco-Schools Green Flag. This prestigious award is given to schools who have proved a commitment to environmental issues and embedded green ideals within the curriculum and the life of the school.

An inspector came to visit us from Eco-Schools England, and talked extensively to the members of the eco-team, who also gave her a tour of the school. Evidence of our green-ness had to be everywhere! All classes and staff were involved (one of the requirements!) in topic work in lessons, initiatives such as composting and energy saving, and out of school work such as Gardening Club and putting up the polytunnel. The eco-team were key in raising awareness of green issues and keeping the whole school ‘on message’. We had to have an ‘eco-code’ and prove that we always try to ‘buy green’ in all areas of school life, right down to our office supplies.    

We were thrilled to receive our flag (now proudly pinned to the Eco-schools notice board), as well as a certificate which is also displayed.

This year we have a new eco-team ready to go, and keen to keep spreading the green message. In order to keep our Green Flag we have to continue and expand on our eco-schools work, so we can be re-inspected in two years time.



Eco-Schools Celebration Day at Cerne Abbas Tuesday 22nd March

Mrs Tucker took seven members of the eco-team to a special eco-celebration day with other participating schools, at Cerne Abbas village school. The school groups were mixed up together so we could all get to know one another, and each school took part in three workshops.

St Mary’s first workshop was Eco-Anthems with a musician called Martin. He got our toes tapping with a warm-up song, and then the children worked in small groups to create an eco-song. It was great fun!

Next we did an activity called ‘Talking Rubbish’, which involved a giant gameboard outside on the grass. Each team had a lunchbox from which they had to dispose of each item correctly (Reduce, Re-use, Recycle). Then we found out about how people in other countries make useful items like shoes and bags from waste materials. We all liked the plastic bag chickens!

At lunch time there was a competition to see who had the least waste from their lunch. We didn’t win but we did manage a very respectable score. We then all had some of the special celebration cake that the organisers Alison and Max had had made for the occasion. It was very popular!

After lunch, our final activity was finding out about owls and we got to dissect owl pellets to find out what the owls had been eating. This was a fascinating activity, matching the bones to a guide that told us which animal they were from. It was a bit messy though!

All in all we had a great day, and came back full of ideas for making our school a greener, more wildlife friendly place.      

Competition to make a Christmas decoration out of recycled materials.

Here are the results of our Christmas competition to make a decoration from recycled materials.

I’m sure you’ll agree that all the children made a super effort, and they were so good we couldn’t choose just one winner! Well done!

Mrs Tucker and the Eco-Team  

Wednesday 25th April 2018
Today some of the eco club were invited to take part in a radio broadcast! Claire, from BBC Radio Solent came to St Mary's to talk to the children about wildlife.  The children talked about being Wildlife Wardens, the things they do in the eco club and why they enjoy being outside.  It was a great experience for them and they were great ambassadors for the school.  
Please have a listen to the interview at the following link and if you scroll through to 50 minutes into the programme you will hear our children being interviewed.

 Alternatively, go onto the BBC Radio Solent site and search for ‘The Lost Words’ and the programme will also come up, it is with conservationist Richard Bradford from 26th April.

Eco-Schools News - 8th June 2018
This week the eco committee were out in the grounds on a litter pick! Our grounds have very little litter, but we found a few items for the litter bin or recycling bin.
Don't forget to enter the eco poster competition by Monday 18th June.
Week 18-22nd June 2018
On Monday Alison Jay visited our school to do a workshop with our eco club and eco committee members.
The workshop was about butterflies and their importance to wildlife.
We played some games outside and then made some butterfly feeders.
We had a great time!
Friday 12th October 2018
Kirsten from Dorset Waste Partnership came to tell us about composting our greens and browns! Greens - things that grow like fruits and vegetables, but not citrus fruits (as they are too acidic) and browns - cardboard, wood shavings and old egg boxes to help create air pockets for the creatures that live and in and help to create great compost! 
Week 20th-24th January 2020
Today we met at Eco Club for the first time. We learned how to make fat balls for our empty bird feeder. It is very easy. Here's the recipe if you want to make it at home.
Bird seed
Dried fruit 
Chopped apple
Cut a block of lard into 4 
Place one quarter of the block in a mixing bowl. 
Next, mix in a small handful of oats, chopped apple and dried fruit and add a large handful of bird seed. 
Then squish it together and shape it into a ball. 
Hey presto a lovely seed ball! 
We filled up the bird feeders and watched to see if any birds were interested. We saw a beautiful robin, who came to eat a nice bird treat!
Week 27th-31st January 2020
In Eco Club we went bug hunting and found a lot of worms! We could see that some birds had been eating our fat balls and we started to think about new signs for our compost bins and came up with some ideas for the designs.
Week 3rd-7th February 2020
The eco club made bug hotels this week using bamboo and pine cones!
Year 2 won the class eco award and Emily Dunlop (Year 4)  got to take Bike it Bear home for the weekend.
Week 10th-14th February 2020
This week we have been making signs for our new bug hotel area in the school grounds.  The children decided what they wanted on the signs and we shall finish them after half term. We think they look great!
This week's Bike it Bear winner was Samuel
Week 25th-28th February 2020
In eco club this week we were finishing off our bug hotel signs.  We added a couple of smaller bug hotels and decided where the signs should go when the paint is dry and they are sealed.
We think they look really good!
Week 2nd-6th March 2020
At eco club this week we were learning about worms and how to make a wormery.  We made 2! The worms look right at home.
On Friday we had an amazing turn out for the bike it breakfast and lots of children and parents cycled and biked to school. We were blessed with fine, sunny weather. A massive thank you to Sharon Conway and the fantastic PTA who helped to set this up and provided a scrummy continental breakfast!