A fantastic opportunity was grasped by the hands of our budding Year 8 environmental students recently.
Charlie Carr, Neve Rice, Finn McCann, Hannah Welch and William Gilbert had formed a Naturescape Group in year 7 set up by Mrs Ashby, our science technician. In the wooded area at the front of the school, they had set up cameras to look at wildlife, planted wildflowers and created a pond that contains tadpoles and frogs. They also built hedgehog houses, two bug hotels, bird boxes and bird feeders!
Mrs Lawler, our Assistant Associate Head, had made contact a company called Overbury who had created an interschool competition based around an environmental audit of the school. This competition required a group of pupils to complete an audit, present the results, generate ideas or strategies which could address the environmental issues within the school and then put together a ‘Dragons Den’ style pitch to a panel of experts. The young people would be pitching for a £5,000 prize, which the winning school can then use to put the winning strategy into place.
So Charlie, Neve, Finn, Hannah and William took up the challenge!!
For the audit, they spent two weeks interviewing members of staff about the school, notably our Site Manager Mr Vose, Mr Daly who leads PSHE and the school council, Mrs Ashby who formed the Naturescape group in school, Mr. McCabe our school chaplain and Mrs Jones, our Catering Manager.
They gathered their findings together and decided on two projects.
The first project focused on reducing food waste. The school has a disused garden space and they decided to grow vegetables and herbs for our school kitchen, such as tomatoes, onions, garlic and herbs.Added to this, they intended to create a wormery to create the compost and to use grey water for the garden.
The second project intended to engage our students in litter picking activities. Our grounds are beautiful so they wanted to create a rota of students who would pick litter around the school. But they also wanted to do litter picking in the community so as to make a difference to the local area.
They estimated that this would all cost £2,650 and so, with the help of Mr Daly, learned the art of presenting!!!
The pupils did a presentation via Microsoft Teams to a panel of experts form Overbury. They were really nervous but did an incredible presentation! They were the youngest pupils to present from all the schools that took part in the competition. The experts were really impressed and had nothing but positive comments for our students.
Then came the nervous wait. Would they win? Then the news came through - Overbury had decided that all the schools’ presentations were so good that they would fund all the projects!
The pupils were thrilled. Victoria Dootson, sustainability manager for Overbury, came to the school to congratulate the students on a fantastic achievement and they celebrated with Domino’s Pizza!!
Well done to everyone involved! Now the hard work begins!!