Feedback from Eco School Grants 2014

Almost 20 applications were made by local schools for grant funding support from the SBC eco-grant, administered as part of Stafford Borough Eco-Schools Network.

Each of these schools were able to bid for up to £450 towards their eco projects which are described briefly below. The descriptions are taken from the schools’ feedback reports.

Here is a selection of the projects that the schools have done, along with some photographs.

All Saints CE Primary School, Bednall have cleared an area behind one of their mobile classrooms to create a garden. As the area is over looked by the churchyard and they hope that the garden will benefit people visiting the church, as a place of reflection. As they plan to make it a sensory garden the children are researching which plants would be the best for the garden. Future plans include installing a bench, planting and maintenance jobs, and putting up signs to identify the different plants and senses involved.

All-Saints-Primary-School

At Berkswich Primary all ages have been getting involved with learning about plants. The school used the funding to replace there poly-tunnel cover as it was showing extreme signs of wear and tear. The school have added aluminium strips around the base of the poly-tunnel to protect it from strimming. The school are now able to continue planting as well as getting the children of different age groups to get involved ranging from year 1 to year 6.

Berkswich Polytunnel 1 Berkswich Polytunnel 2

Bishop’s Lonsdale Primary School built a new garden for vegetables to be grown in. They now have new raised beds, plus a tool-shed. The vegetables are going to be used in the school’s lunch time menu. Recently all years of the school have enjoyed getting the garden ready for next year.

Bishops-Lonsdale-Primary-School-1 Bishops-Lonsdale-Primary-School-2

Blessed William Howard Catholic High School have used their funding to grow vegetables and also to create a wildlife area. The students have linked this in with studying Science and Geography. The older students have led the younger ones on activities in the garden.

Blessed William Howard

The year 4 group at Castle Church Primary School have been working alongside other children to encourage them. The school used the funding to create a gardening area so that the whole school can benefit from its produce. Last year’s project ‘The bird hide’ is still an ongoing success. Year four have been measuring and project managing a new fencing project, and this will be put in over the summer.

With the help of a grant for £471 from the SBC schools eco-grant fund, Colwich Primary School has been able to: revitalise the school pond, tidy up the garden area and create a bird feeding station.  All three projects have been a great success and involved staff and children from the Eco-Group, working alongside family members and adult volunteers from the local community.  There have been lots of benefits for the children, the school grounds, wildlife and we have formed lasting relations with the local community.

Cooper Perry Primary School wanted to attract more wildlife to their school garden so with the funds they decided to buy some bird feeders and some plant pots along with flowers. The children were excited to see the first birds arrive on the feeders. They have also been watching several young buzzards in and around the school field!

Cooper-Perry-Primary-School-1 Cooper-Perry-Primary-School-2

From Key Stage 1 to 2 all children from Flash Ley Community Primary have been getting involved in the schools project to create a meadow area with native flowers and seeds. Children involved in the gardening club have been preparing and planting the area. Plans for the future involve planting a hedgerow using native plants such as hawthorn, wild rose.

At Haughton St Giles Primary School children and parents and even grandparents have all made use of their recyclables by making a greenhouse out of recycled plastic bottles, fixed around a solid timber structure. Not only that but they have put in new climbing plants, six hanging baskets and a set of bird feeders. 

Following a visit to an eco-meeting held at Wolseley Bridge wildlife centre Manor Hill First School made the decision to develop their wildlife area further by adding bird feeders and bug hotels.

At Meir Heath Primary School the children were keen to improve the school grounds to make them a more welcoming place to be. After clearing an area in front of the school and laying down bark, the children recycled old plant pots and re-potted old bulbs. Eager to improve their school the children recognised an area of the school that was hardly used and had become overgrown. With help from grown-ups, as well as Elliot the Eco-Bat, they cleared this area and then planted flowers.

Meir-Heath-1  

Sir Graham Balfour School have been encouraging their children to get planting to make their school grounds better. The children have been getting involved by planting in raised beds producing vegetables and flowers - they have also planted a great hedgerow.

Stafford Sports College successfully applied for funds to fit movement sensor light switches in six toilet areas and two cloakrooms in the school. Before these switches were installed, lighting in those areas was usually switched on before 7.00am and remained on for up to twelve hours. 

Since installation, the switches work perfectly and now we estimate that the lighting is only on for about 10% of the day. The switches can be adjusted so that the lights stay on for the appropriate length of time. New light switches are not the kind of thing that get students (or the wider school community) excited, but several students who commented on the waste of energy in the past are delighted by the installation.

Stafford_Sports_College_17_Nov_14

St John’s Primary School plan to bring the birds back to school by erecting a bird table and setting up some feeders. The children wanted to spot different types of birds so they also bought books so that they could tell the different birds apart. However after watching the bird area for a few days they noticed that no birds were turning up. They plan to re-erect the bird table in a different area for the winter season.

With the grant St Lawrence’s Primary School cleared an old garden area to make way for a new one. Once cleared, the children got to design the garden along with measuring it out and also planting the fruit and vegetables in the raised flower beds. Teachers are also planning to make more of the ‘outdoor classroom’ and teach outside more from next year, by taking Forest School Training.

St Lawrence 1 St Lawrence 2

St Leonard’s Primary School applied for their grant money to spend on new recycling bins for their classrooms, offices and staff rooms. The bins they had before were too large for their small classroom and many of the children didn’t know what bin was for what. With the grant money they introduced a set up boxes of the right size, with clear labelling and did lots of promotion too.

St Michael’s First School, Stone bought some raised beds to create a sensory garden and are creating a wild flower area. The parents, children and visitors to school are able to access the areas and discover the different sensual activities we will finish the project this term hopefully with our Gardening/Eco-Club.

St Michaels First School

St Michael’s, Penkridge are eager to build a pond for their school so that they can attract more wildlife. The pond is in its planning and fund raising stages, and children have made lots of designs showing what the pond and the area surrounding it should look like. Fund-raising letters have been sent out from the children of the eco committee to various companies asking for materials to build their pond. Work shall begin in September. 

The Grove Primary School have purchased two picnic benches to add to their outdoor area. This has encouraged children to eat their lunch outside and also offers a great opportunity to take some of their lessons outside. The benches provide a the children with a place to read at lunchtime too.

The-Grove-Picnic-Benches

At Walton High School they have developed a fruit and vegetable garden for each school house. The students have planted fruit and vegetables to sell to the staff to reinvest in eco-projects for the future. School has also installed a water harvesting system.   

Contact
Tel: 01785 619408
Fax: 01785 619119
Email: sd@staffordbc.gov.uk
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