This year at Parsons Down Partnership, the staff and children at the Infant and Junior Schools have been working hard on their topic actions for Eco-Schools. Out of the 10 Eco-Schools topics, our pupil led Eco-Committee chose Energy, Litter, School Grounds, Waste and Water.
We have started food waste recycling in the hall at lunchtimes. At first we were using one big bin but the bag kept splitting so we have now started using smaller bins that can be emptied more easily. Finn and James have written letters to local shops asking them to donate some compostable bags for our bins. If you can help please contact the school at firstname.lastname@example.org or 01635 866700.
Later this month we will be having a Waste Warrior week and looking at ways to reduce food waste. A lot of vegetables are wasted at lunchtimes! We will also be encouraging Foundation Stage, Year 1 and Year 2 to recycle their fruit waste at snack time and recycle their crisp packets from their packed lunches. We would like to say a big thank you to Year 6 for starting to use the compost bins in the garden.
In the Autumn Term, we collected crisp packets that were then sent off to a charity that makes them into blankets for the homeless. One of our Year 6 Eco-Councillors also wrote to our Finance Manager, Mrs Lewis, to ask for a wider range of recycling bins so that the Partnership can recycle more different types of items. Mrs Lewis responded to say that she was planning for the school to have bins for plastic, metal and food waste, alongside the paper recycling bin that we already have. This will be implemented in September.
Throughout the year, every class has increased the amount of time they spend learning outside. On Thursday 20 May, we took part in Outdoor Classroom Day, where the whole school spent time outdoors taking part in learning activities, including wild reading, observational drawings, World War 2 drama, outdoor measuring and campfire cooking.
We have also spent time developing a shared school garden – our aim is to have a raised bed area for each Year Group to grow things in. To help with this, we have acquired a second-hand compost bin and Mr Vincent, our Site Manager, has set up a water butt to collect rain water. Next year, we will focus on starting to make compost – learning what can and can’t go in the bin as well as the science behind making good compost.
This Term, we have run a competition to encourage each year group to bring in donations for West Berks Food Bank, highlighting the issue of food waste. The winning Year group will be rewarded with extra playtime at the end of term. The Food Bank collections have been very successful so far.
We also started lunchtime litter picks in the Summer Term, with our newly appointed litter monitors taking it in turn to pick litter around the fields and playgrounds each week.
We also hope to team up with local volunteers, Thatcham Litter Pickers, in the next academic year to arrange a family litter pick outside the school. In the meantime, we are encouraging our families to adopt an area near where they live to litter pick over the Summer holidays and beyond.
Next year, we will have a non-curriculum day to teach the children more about the topic of Energy.
Miss Shepherd, Deputy Headteacher at Parsons Down Infant School, said, “Well done to all the classes and adults for the hard work that has gone into making Eco-Schools a big part of life at Parsons Down this year. A special thank you to the Eco-Councillors for doing such an amazing job of leading the school with all the different initiatives.”
Parsons Down Partnership will be applying for their second Eco-Schools Green Flag in the Summer Term next year.