Despite all the Covid19 rules, regulations and working in bubbles, the Eco Club kept open for business and members of the Eco Committee and the Eco Club carried on putting environmental concerns at the front of their agenda. We gained our Eco-Schools Silver Award and are now very close to getting our first Green Flag!
In the last two years we have set up a Compost Caddy Crew - each day children from Yr6 and YrS take turns to collect the caddies filled with any uneaten raw fruit and vegetables from breaktime and lunch, and empty them into the compost bay in the Secret Garden. Our goal is to be able to make our own compost one day. In the meantime it is a good feeling knowing that some of our food waste is not going straight into the bin.
We also now do regular litter picks in our local area - the streets closest to school, and the land around the nearby community centre. Different children from YrS and Yr4 take turns to be part of the Litter Picking Posse every term. The children take this very seriously and are often quite shocked by the amount of rubbish that has been thrown onto the ground, especially when they notice rubbish bins nearby. Our litter picking actions came to the attention of Sally Booth, the Environmental Educational Officer for Blackburn with Darwen, which led us to being photographed and featured in the Shuttle, the council's news magazine.
As an Eco School we complete an Environmental Review each year and then a task group of members of the Eco Committee and Eco Club put together an Action Plan, working as a team to decide on which Eco Topics to work on for the year. The topics the children chose for last year were School Grounds, Energy and Waste; whilst for this year we are continuing with Energy as well as adding Healthy Living and Litter.
We have all worked very hard to improve the outside spaces at Sudell and with the help of Lancashire Wildlife Trust's Nature Friendly School project, a grant from the Aldridge Trust, and donations of trees from the Woodland Trust, we now have two wonderful gardens and a native hedgerow. The Peace Garden and the Secret Garden can be used as outdoor classrooms as well as places to grow plants and vegetables or just relax and play, and the hedgerow when established will provide food and habitat for insects and birds and reduce traffic pollution.
We are also a registered public drop-off location for TerraCycle's 'Writing Instruments Recycling Programme' so next time you clear out a drawer or cupboard and find dried up used pens, felt tips and correction fluid, bring them into school and we will send them off to be recycled for you! Every Friday lunchtime the Eco Room is a hive of activity as our Eco Committee members collect and sort empty glue sticks and all the used pens, felttips, drywipe pens and highlighters; take clipboards around the school to check lights and computers are being switched off when classrooms are empty, and make sure the paper recycling bins are being used correctly. They understand and value the message in our school Eco Motto: We can make a difference!