Colindale Primary School have embarked on an exciting new venture this year to become an Eco School. This involves the pupils, staff, parents, carers and the wider school community, becoming more environmentally aware and taking positive action to protect and preserve our planet.
The school has elected an Eco Committee which includes children from very class from years 1 to 6. Every child interested in the position had to fill in an application form explaining why they wanted to be an Eco Councillor and what skills they could offer to the committee. There was a fantastic response from the children who wanted to be an Eco Councillor, over 100 pupils applied; this shows how many of our children want to be a positive influence on our school, environment and world. Twelve children were then chosen to represent their year groups and now meet every fortnight to discuss the changes we can make in our school to be more eco-friendly.
Meet our Eco Committee councillors
Eco Committee News
Amazingly, 335 children entered the Upcycling Competition! Every creation was fantastic, from piggy banks made of water bottles, card board boxes turned into dolls’ houses and old wellie boots into planters; there really was an abundance of outstanding ideas and creations. We celebrated all of the children’s efforts by having an Upcycled Exhibition during Waste Week. This was held after school for all the children to bring their parents and families to explore and be amazed by all the upcycled products created by the children and their families. Ms Rodgers and Mrs Franks (Chair Of Governors) had a very difficult job judging all of the products in order to choose the winners and runners up. The decisions were made and then announced the following week during a whole school assembly where the children were awarded with Eco medals (bronze, silver or gold) and the winners also received an upcycling ideas and sketch book, along with a sketching pencil made entirely from recycled card board.
Nursery and Reception
All the children who participated in the Upcycling Competition received a very deserving certificate of participation.
The Eco Committee now hope that this will make children and adults more aware of reusing materials before they recycle.
During Waste Week we also had a Zero Waste Week Challenge. Every class was set the challenge to try and not throw anything away, even into the recycling bin. This was a huge challenge and every time something was put in the bin or into recycling they were to ask themselves: Do I need to throw this away? Could I reuse it? Throughout the whole school there was lots of paper being reused and in some classes upcycling continued with more junk modelling going on to reduce the amount of materials thrown away. The children and the teachers were taught to be resourceful and really think about what and how much they throw away. 2CC and 5A were two classes who really stood out as classes who tried their very hardest during the challenge and showed innovative ways of reusing and reducing the materials they use. These classes were therefore presented with the weekly Eco Trophy.
The Eco Trophy will now be given out weekly to the class who are being the most eco-friendly with regards to reducing, reusing and recycling materials AND being the best energy saving class by turning off lights etc when not in use.
Due to all our efforts as a whole school we are delighted to announce we have achieved our Bronze Eco Schools Award! Well done to everyone at Colindale Primary school! Now let’s go for Silver!
We are well and truly on our way to becoming a fantastic Eco School and gaining our Bronze Award. Switch off Day was a HUGE success with us saving over 25% of the energy we usually use! The children and staff achieved this by switching off all their classroom lights and not using their smart boards, laptops etc. We are now trying every day to switch our lights and electrical goods off when we do not need them to save the amount of energy we use.
Our next action on our Action Plan was to increase the amount of recycling we do and join in on Waste Week. From our Environmental Review we felt a lot of classrooms were not recycling and many of our children did not know how or why they were recycling. The Eco Committee came up with having a more prominent recycling bin within every classroom so that children were drawn to using it. We have therefore purchased new recycling bins for every room in the school. The children will be encouraged to recycle paper, card, bottles and any other recyclable material. However, we also noticed a lot of the materials being recycled could be reused. This is where we came up with our Upcyling competition! To upcycle something means to take something that is not of use anymore and turn it into something useful again. The children have been set the challenge to upcycle something they are not using any more at home into something new. The Eco Committee will be looking for the most creative and useful upcycled product. The children have half term to create their upcycled object; we cannot wait to see the different creations!
We look forward to working as a school and community to make our world a healthier and more sustainable place.
For more information on the Eco School programme we are following, please visit www.eco-schools.org.uk.
Switch Off Day was on Tuesday 15th November and along with hundreds of other schools around the United Kingdom, the aim was to save electricity and go about our days reducing the amount of energy we use. On that Tuesday there was no electricity used in classrooms, no lights, no computers etc. The children were very excited about this and we, the Eco Committee, were excited to find out how much energy and money we saved. We had this day to hopefully change our actions towards energy, i.e. turning lights off when we leave the classroom, switching off computers when we are not using them and so on.
The first action the Eco Committee took was to carry out an Environmental Review of the school, this was to check what we were doing well, what we needed to improve and what our next steps should be. The Environmental Review covered nine topics:
Litter, Waste, Energy, Water, Transport, School Grounds, Biodiversity, Global Citizenship and Healthy Living.
Once we had done our Environmental Review, the Eco Committee created an Action Plan for the year ahead, which was shared with the whole school and on our website..
All our work towards being an Eco School will be rewarded, firstly with the Bronze Award, which signifies our contribution as a whole school and community to becoming more environmentally friendly in our actions and making positive changes for the future.