St Marys RC Primary School and Eco-Schools
The Eco-Schools Programme
Eco-Schools is an international award programme that guides schools on their sustainable journey, providing a simple framework to help make sustainability an integral part of school life. Eco-Schools can help enhance the curriculum and get the whole school united behind something important.
Our mission is to help make every school in the country sustainable and to bring about behaviour change in young people and those connected to them so that good habits learned in schools are followed through into homes and communities.
What’s more, by addressing environmental issues in school and reducing waste, they'll save money, which can be reinvested elsewhere.
Eco-Schools and the Curriculum
The Eco-Schools programme is focused on nine key topics. Schools are required to work on each topic to raise awareness in school develop good habits which can be followed through into homes and communities.
Click here to see an overview of the nine topic areas.
In March 2016 St Marys were awarded the 'Bronze' Eco-Schools Award.
St Marys RC Primary Eco-Council
At St Marys we have established an Eco-Council made up of six Year 5 children and four Year 4 children. The Eco-Council is lead by Miss Middleton and Mrs Williams.
This year the children on the Eco-Council are:
The children come together every half term to discuss current eco-projects that are ongoing within the school and to also discuss ideas for future eco-projects. Minutes for the 2015-16 school year meetings can be found here:
St Marys RC Primary Eco-Code
The children have been responsible for writing and promoting the eco-code which sets out the rules and ideology that our school needs to follow in order to be eco-friendly. Have a look at our code here.
St Marys RC Primary Eco-Projects
The initial project that the Eco-Council worked on was creating a piece of outdoor artwork of our school name using reclaimed bricks and rubble from the adjacent wasteland. The children used their maths skills to measure out each of the letters in the school's name and then, using the reclaimed rubble, the filled each letter in. The Eco-Council worked really hard on this project which looked fantastic upon completion.
The Eco-Council have also implemented a paper recycling initiative. Each class has been given a blue paper recycling sack and every week the Eco-Council collect in the bags and empty them into our large paper recycling bin ready for our weekly recycling collection every Thursday morning.
The most recent Eco-Council project has been to renovate our rooftop garden. Working alongside 'Forest Phil', our Forest Schools Liaison, they have created a roof garden comprised on herbs, vegetables and flowers. The Eco-Council have also worked hard to create some sustainable seating for the garden using reclaimed wood from old pallettes which can be used for learning outside of the classroom opportunities.
The school also commissioned Sue Aggarwal to paint a mural on the roof garden wall to make the area feel more inviting and stimulating as an outside classroom. The Eco-Council met with Sue to discuss their ideas for the mural which Sue then put into practise.
From the 14th - 28th November 2016, St Marys took part in 'Switch Off Fortnight'. This was a two week period where the children were given the opportunity to carry out a range of activities to explore how we use energy in and around our school and our homes. Years 1 and 5 produced some informative posters to display around school to promote reducing the amount of energy we use, Years 4 and 6 investigated how big our carbon footprints currently are and explored how these can be reduced, Year 3 researched alternative energy sources and made their own miniature wind turbines and Year 2 designed t-shirts to help to promote 'switching on to switching off'. All of the children had a wonderful time learning about energy and are now on the look out to switch off wherever they go!
On the 10th/11th January 2017, the Eco Council arranged for Key Stage 2 children from St Marys to take part in a water workshop provided by United Utilities and Kingfisher Education.
As part of our Eco Schools work it is important that we learn about water, it's uses and how we can reduce the amount we use to reduce our carbon footprint.
The children were taught all about the water cycle, how our water is cleaned, what we can do to save water and how people in developing countries survive without clean local water.
All of the children enjoyed the workshop and are now going to be extra careful that they don't waste water at school or at home!
On the 27th February 2017, the Eco Council visited Longley Lane Materials Recycling Facility in Manchester.
As we are now keen recyclers, we wanted to see what happens to our rubbish when it reaches the recycling plant. We met with Jess, one of the centres Education Officers, and she took us on a tour of the plant as well as explaining to us all about how, what and why we should recycle.
We all enjoyed it and passed on what we learned to the rest of the school.