The eco-work of the school supports the children in becoming ‘stewards of the Earth’, as stated in our school motto. The following pictures shows the range of work the school carries out on a permanent basis to support the children’s learning in this area.
Renewable Sustainable Energy
Two wind-save wind turbines have been erected at the back of the school. The output of these is being monitored by the children on a LCD screen located within class 1 and 4. Monthly graphs are produced using Excel. www.windsave.com We have also installed 24 solar photovoltaic panels which will also generate electricity. A large display unit near the school entrance shows everyone how much energy is produced and how much CO2 saved. From Autumn 2008, in conjunction with Paddockhurst Estate, we will be planting 1,700 saplings which will be coppiced and the crop will hopefully be used in a bio-mass boiler. The School is looking at further renewable projects due to the significant education, financial and environmental benefits. If anybody would like to help us to become a greener school we would love to hear from you.
Planting and Growing
Everything we grow we use or will use in the future. At the moment we grow and eat vegetables, soft fruits and rear chickens. In the future we will have hard fruits for eating as well as for making pies and pickles. We have planted hazel trees which will be used for pea sticks and bean poles. Holly trees for Christmas decorations, Horse chestnut for conkers, Willow for weaving as well as some native trees to create shade. We also have wildlife areas for birds and insects and have planted daffodils so that eventually we can take home flowers on Mothering Sunday.
We keep hens for their eggs and for meat. The eggs are incubated by us and the chicks looked after.The new hens are introduced and the older hens, over three years old, are removed. All the cockerels are dispatched or sent to a local farm. We have fresh eggs throughout the year.
We have planted several fruit trees, some of them being old Sussex varieties. Each class looks after one tree in particular and monitors its growth and, eventually, its yield. We realise that all the trees we have are planted for future generations to enjoy.
Using our own produce, we know how delicious fresh food is. Everybody is encouraged to bring at least one piece of fruit to eat at morning play. Most bring more than one piece. We try and make sure our lunch boxes are healthy and that we eat a balanced diet. Fresh water is available all day. We all enjoy being outside and enjoy exercising. We love to cook and use our own produce to make yummy food.
Every class has a big blue box to recycle materials. These are emptied in our big bin outside. We also use boxes e.t.c to make models and use containers for experiments e.t.c.
We use two forms of composting. The first is the traditional way where we empty waste into a big bin and turn the compost. The second is by using worms to help us. All the remains of our fruit at playtime, grass cuttings, chicken manure, plants e.t.c go into the bins. This is then used to enrich the soil for growing plants.
Caring For Our Local Environment
We manage a pond on farm land near to the school. Every few years the willow and ash are coppiced back so that other plants can grow. We have constructed staging points so that we can safely pond dip. We are building up an interesting data base of all the flora and fauna we see here.
Bugs Hotel And Sensory Garden
Bugs HotelThis area is dedicated to providing a place for bugs to grow and thrive. We all know that we must be careful when moving things in the Hotel, and that we put things back .where we found them so as not to disturb the residents. The sensory garden is a place we can go if we want to be quiet and enjoy looking, listening and smelling.
This is an exciting venture in which all classes are involved. Maple Class are our Womblers who grow sunflowers and purchase our seeds and plants. Cherry Class look after the Bees, The Bugs Hotel and sensory garden. Birch Class are the ‘bug busters’ and ‘composters’. Holly Class look after the hens including incubation and daily care. Willow Class are the McGregors and undertake all the heavy work. We all enjoy cooking with the food we produce. Links with the local farms and a scheme of work developed by the school help the children develop the knowledge needed to fully understand how to become stewards of the Earth. We also have links with other organisations such as FACE (Farming and Countryside Education) and High Weald Heroes.