St Mary's Eco-School

 
 
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Our Eco-Committee Spring 2023 Newsletter
 
 
 

Eco Blog - Laudato Si Day 20th May 2022

Laudato Si Day on the 20th of May was a really fantastic day.

The whole school was buzzing with activity as we all got involved in transforming our outdoor areas by weeding our raised beds and planting vegetable and salad seeds, potato sets and bedding plants to grow this summer. 

Years 3 & 4 were fantastic litter pickers in our school grounds and further afield in Sandringham park.

Year 1 updated our hanging bug hotels by packing them with new pine cones and twigs and created new signs for a dedicated bug hotel area on the field.

We also took part in two epic whole school artwork projects. Vicky Bentley designed a huge plastic waste jellyfish, the idea coming from our Eco Committee and led by Penny in Year 4. Every child in the school took part in creating the plastic sculpture using waste donated by St Mary’s families and plastic that was found washed up on our local beaches. It has been hung from a tree at the front of the school for everyone in the school and wider community to see to help raise awareness of how plastic is polluting our environment and endangering wildlife. It looks amazing!

 

Our Eco Committee has written a new Eco Code for St Mary’s - ‘Treasure our Planet with Peace and Love’. This slogan was written around a beautiful new Eco mural design at our school entrance. Emily Mockeridge-Way sketched the artwork and Mrs Hunns painted the mural incorporating a thumbprint from every child and staff member in the school on the land and sea of the planet. 

We also spent some time learning about the benefits of producing Sustainable Palm Oil for our global community and endangered wildlife. The children researched the countries where Sustainable Palm Oil is produced and created posters about protecting animals that live there. We wrapped up the day with a rousing whole school palm oil conga around the field. A great way to end our Laudato Si Day!

This is what our roving reporters and Eco Committee members Logan and Penny had to say about ‘Laudato Si Day’.

 

Penny:

Laudato Si Day was really fun because we got to make the sculpture that we wanted to. It was my idea in the Eco Committee meeting, I was really proud that my idea was a success. 

It was much bigger than I thought it would be. The jellyfish turned out really well. I helped put the sculpture up. I hung some of the dangly bottles. Parents can see it when they collect their children. Everyone will see it and it will make them think that all of this is made out of plastic and we should respect our world because that rubbish is going onto our beaches and harming our beautiful world.


Logan:

I really liked it. Our class did really fun activities. We went to the park next door and we did some litter picking. Our class also learned what things you should and shouldn’t put down the toilet!

We did a Sustainable Palm Oil conga. The whole school did it on the school field. It was really fun to do because it kept repeating and everybody loved it.  Here are some quotes from the children who spoke about the day.


Wojtek (Year 3)  “I enjoyed planting potatoes”


JB (Year 4) “ I really liked that we spent the day outside”


Freddie (Year 1 made a poster promoting Sustainable Palm Oil) 

“My favourite bit was colouring and making sure animals don’t get sick from the trees cutting down”


Anna (Year 1) “I liked making the jellyfish tentacles out of plastic bottles and string”


Mr Kay (Year 3) “I loved the gardening and working with everyone to make it look lovely”

 
 

We have an energetic new eco committee and we have been meeting to talk about what they would like to do to make our school greener.

 

They are going to reintroduce our bug box to encourage children to study wildlife in our grounds, monitor how much energy we use each week and encourage everyone to reduce the amount we use. They are going to lead a litter project and we have talked about creating a mini pond in the spring.

 

We have 2 new compost bins with easy lift up lids. Violet and Emily are our current compost wardens to encourage us to put the right waste in the right bin.

 

We have many prickly visitors in the grounds of our school, so we have 2 new hedgehog homes tucked away in quiet places in the grounds to house them when it gets cold.

 

 
Kirsten Juniper came to visit from the Waste Partnership and talked to us about waste and recycling, we learned about what can be reused and recycled.
 
The children hunted for bugs and learned about renewable energy. 
 
The school also collaborated to create a huge mural of an eye ahead of the Cop 26 summit in November as part of CAFOD’s ‘eyes of the world’ initiative, to remind the world leaders that we were watching them and encouraging them to agree measures to tackle climate change for the future of our planet.
 
 

Our year group eco bugs have gone up around our classrooms to remind us how to be more eco-friendly every day, by recycling, keeping our pen lids on, turning off the lights when we leave the classroom and using less hand towels - in key stage 1 we learned to say “will one or two do?”

 

 

We have just signed up to be a Sustainable Palm Oil Champion. We hope to become part of the first Sustainable Palm Oil County, helping to protect the rainforest and the wildlife that live there, but also supporting small farmers who produce palm oil sustainably.

Palm oil is in so many products we buy, but many companies are now signing up to only use sustainable palm oil.  ‘Food Links’, our lunch provider, has signed up and we will only buy food products that contain sustainable palm oil in school from now on. 

Many companies are joining the sustainable palm oil community. Tesco and Aldi have signed up, so all their own brand products contain sustainable palm oil and many other companies have signed up too.

Below is a document which lists products that use sustainable palm oil.

 

 

St Mary’s is a Green Flag Award holder!

 

St Mary's is the proud holder of the Green Flag Eco Award. We first achieved this Award in 2016, were reviewed again in 2019 and as current holders have many eco activities happening at St Mary's 

 

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.

 

 

Our Class Eco-Bugs
 
Here are our Class Eco-Bugs drawn by our pupils