Outdoor Learning and Eco school
Forest school is committed to our outdoor learning which takes place in our woodland, pond area and throughout our school grounds to support the development of a relationship between our children and the natural world. Our belief is that being outdoors has huge benefit for our children, both physically and mentally, and our forest school taps into those benefits by educating children in the fresh air.
Within our Forest School lessons we aim to:
· Build confidence, independence and learn about our world around us
· Feel empathy for others and nature
· Improve physical fitness
· Provide health benefits
· Improve mental health
· Learn by experience
· Expose ourselves to manageable risk
· Improve sleep and mood
· Learn about spiritual meaning
Euxton Primrose Hill are very proud to be part of Eco-Schools which recognises our commitment to developing strategies that sustain and enhance resources for the environment. Our aim is to create an environmental awareness amongst our pupils, parents and neighbourhood community by promoting learning and strategies to improve our world; this enables the pupils to be create strategies to tackle environmental problems. Fifteen Eco warriors formed from year groups 1-6 meet up every week providing an opportunity for the pupils to develop leadership skills, improve well-being, confidence, knowledge and environmental awareness.
Throughout the year we;
· share ideas
· complete an annual environment audit
· make recycle crafts
· plant around our school grounds and in our gardens
· monitor our energy and waste
· encourage wildlife
· learn about our amazing world
· arrange visitors to talk to the whole school
· monitor and recycle our plastic and paper waste
Eco topics across the school
At the beginning of the year, we spoke to Mr Caunce about donating our old unused school furniture to a charity that delivers furniture to help and support schools in Gambia. The furniture was collected and started its journey in September to Gambia which arrived on the 6th May, shipped in a container by boat and truck.
Throughout the year, we have entered two competitions: one was to produce our own jingle to raise awareness of recycling plastic from Lancashire County Council; the other the Little Garden Competition with Marks and Spencer.
After discussion, Eco club decided that they would like their jingle to be the same tune as their favourite song at the moment ‘Old Town Road’ so together that’s what we created. It was so impressive it was one of the runners up! This was announced to the children in assembly and the £50.00 garden centre voucher presented. Due to the lockdown, the second competition couldn’t be completed, however Marks and Spencer, after it was explained what we had discussed and agreed upon, very kindly donated lots of seeds which are being looked after and grown at home until they can be planted in school.
A further competition was organised in school to raise the issue of Climate Change. The winning entry was a very impressive video by a year 3 pupil.
Think! 2019 - Small.mov
Eco club prepared for birdwatch, and introducing more birds and wildlife to our school grounds, by making their own bird suet cakes following the recipe on RSPB and then hanging them up in our woods. In addition, a thank you must go to our reception class for making their bird suet cakes for our bird watch; they looked amazing with ours. Very lucky birds indeed. Many thanks to parents as well for their contribution of donating bird seed to Eco Club; this is very much appreciated throughout the year and enables us to keep encouraging birds to our school grounds. Eco club, and members from each class during the day, conducted their own bird watch survey - hopefully even more birds will be seen next year!
New School Jetty
Thank you to the PTFA for amazing fundraising that has now allowed us to buy our new school jetty for our pond area. Our children have already begun using this fantastic resource for pond dipping and learning about the wildlife around the pond.
This year our science week topic for the whole school was Our Diverse World.
Miss McKinley delivered a whole school assembly talking about the diversity of plants, animals and environments. We’re all human, but the conditions we live in across the planet vary so much. We explored different climates and environments around our world as well as applying this within our science throughout the week in class. For example, Year 1 Ash Class created their own animal using their knowledge of different animals, naming the animal and thinking about where this animal would live and why. In addition, Miss McKinley set a competition within school which was displayed in our reception area as you come into school.
Thank you to the PTFA for the pots and flowers for every class around school. It has been a wonderful contribution to our classrooms for the children to watch their plants grow, attract wildlife and change throughout the seasons, increasing the biodiversity of our school grounds.
As we closed for Christmas, we thought it would nice to recycle some of our old books that we have read and turn them into a hedgehog whilst listening to Christmas songs and chatting. A lovely way to end Eco Club before we returned in the New Year.
Eco Club are very excited about introducing their new recycling bins this year: KS2 Plastic, Dental and Pens. Within school now, we recycle batteries, clothes, paper, plastic, dental and all forms of pens, helping to reduce waste.
As an alternative to simply recycling, Eco club decided that, before the spring and our planting begins, we would uprecycle by make woodland animals from recycled milk bottles and paper. We first designed our animal and then we got to work making our animal - one way to encourage reusing household items!
Thank you to Mr Pratt our guest faith speaker who has shown myself (Mrs Swires) how to make and work with willow and then very kindly donated willow to Eco club. Then Eco club had lots of fun and made our willow tunnel. I was so proud of my Eco warriors as it was very muddy but we just all got on with it and made an amazing tunnel. We look forward to making other things around our school grounds from willow.
It’s the start of the year and Eco Warriors' first job is a big tidy up of our Eco area. After we had tidied up our area, we discussed what we would like to plant in this area throughout the year. Our first plant was spring daffodil bulbs and hyathis bulbs for Christmas.