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
March – June 2017
We have been very busy this last term ensuring Colindale is as eco-friendly as possible, with a continued focus on waste. The children and staff are reusing as much paper as possible and then recycling. Each class have their own weekly Eco Monitor, who empties the class recycling bin daily into the larger recycling bins, to be collected every Thursday. To broaden our look on waste and how we can make a change for the better, the Eco Committee and other children in the school recognised the abundance of throw away plastic bottles being used once and then recycled. After some research, we discovered our world is over polluted with plastic bottles and the effect of this is damaging to the land and to animals. 50% of the plastic we use, we use just once and throw away; enough plastic is thrown away each year to circle the earth four times! We have to put a stop to it! This is when the ‘Bottle Challenge’ was conceived. The children, staff and parents of Colindale were shown the horrifying photos of plastic bottles overflowing our environment and were encouraged to purchase only reusable water bottles and bring them into school daily. The Eco Committee then set the whole school a challenge to see which class could bring in the most reusable bottles. The Eco Trophy was rewarded to the best class. We went from most classes having half the children bringing in a reusable water bottle, to one class – 4M in May and 2KC in June – having every child and adult with a reusable bottle! AMAZING effort and what an impact we have all made on the environment.
There has also been an Eco Warriors group set up during Widening Horizons to help the Eco Committee tackle eco issues. They took part in Litter Pick Day for The Great British Spring Clean, a UK based event. The children picked litter up around our school grounds (which there wasn’t much of) and ventured into neighboring streets to pick up litter. They then created litter posters to encourage our community to not drop litter.
With the weather becoming lighter and sunnier, the Eco Committee decided to revisit energy as they were noticing lights being left on when really there was enough sunlight in the classrooms. An energy survey was carried out daily by Eco Councilors and again the Eco Trophy was rewarded to the best energy saving class. 3T and 4N in KS2 during the survey, EVERY DAY, had their lights and board off when not needed. The same for 2CC in KS1! Fantastic!
Mrs. Andreou has joined forces with the Eco Committee to ensure children at Colindale Primary School know how to lead a healthy lifestyle. She has been leading healthy living sessions with all year groups and also venturing into the children’s PE lesson to discuss exercise and how to stay fit. During the session all children took part in 1 minute stations to test their fitness. Mrs. Andreou will revisit the children in PE later on this term to check their progress. Mrs. Andreou has also held parent workshops and had a healthy living stall during parents’ evenings for parents to visit with their children. A Dental hygienist was also organised to visit all year groups to discuss dental hygiene and what foods can be good and bad for our teeth.
Our new topic has been chosen! The Eco Committee announced this during a whole school assembly, explaining what it is and our actions for the future. For biodiversity we want to focus on making our outdoor environment more welcoming and safe for wildlife to visit. We want everyone to get involved in planting and learn how to look after our local wildlife.
Mr. Mastrovich has been running Gardening Club with the Year 1 and 2 children which has been an excellent start to our topic. They have planted new flowering plants to attract insects and other wildlife. They have also been making good use of our greenhouse.
The Eco Committee have asked all children to create an Eco Code that we will all learn as a school to chant/sing/rap our eco values. This was set up as a competition and the winning Eco Code will be learned by everyone at Colindale. We can’t wait to see what the children produce!
Eco Committee Trip
The Eco Committee were overjoyed and very excited to receive an invitation to City Hall. They were invited to be a part of The Youth Summit Sustainability Day. We travelled by coach and were escorted into City Hall, first being given a quick tour. The children then joined another eco committee from a secondary school to take part in the ‘WE Take Charge’ campaign. This was led by Amelia, a representative from WE which is a charity which aims to make the world a better place and encourage young people to take charge and make a difference. The Eco Committee took great pride in discussing the changes they have made in our school and our on-going efforts to make Colindale Primary more sustainable. After an empowering morning with Amelia and the other committee, we had lunch at the top of City Hall with a view of Tower Bridge. It was breath taking!
In the afternoon, the children created an action plan for their new topic Biodiversity and then had to present it to all the schools taking part in WE day. Colindale Eco Committee were first to do their presentation and in front of over 100 people, they did a fantastic job! They spoke very passionately about their actions for biodiversity and their plans to improve our environment and empower our school and community to welcome and protect wildlife. The Eco Committee are now very excited about sharing their action plan with the rest of the school and begin their biodiversity topic.
Amelia will, from now on, be our WE representative; she will continue to support us in our journey to making a change at Colindale Primary, she and the Eco Committee are very excited about what’s to come. Watch this space!
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.