1st Sep 2016
At Sacred Heart, we believe that everyone can help make a difference to our environment by making just a few small changes to our lifestyles. We registered to become an Eco-school and achieved the Bronze and Silver awards last year. We are now working towards the final award - The Green Flag. This award covers many different environmental topics and we need the support of all our pupils, parents and staff to achieve the Green Flag status.
Our Eco-committee is made up of pupils from the School Council (who will act as ambassadors for their classes), Mrs Philomena Cordwell (School Governor), Ms Jane Howard (Gardening Bug) and members of staff and other volunteers. We will be concerned with environmental issues such as saving energy, reducing litter and recycling throughout the school. In this current term our eco-committee will be undertaking an environmental review of all the eco-topics to see how we are presently performing, and what improvements can be made.
Some of our ‘Energy Monitors’ will be making random visits to the classrooms during the lunch breaks to make note of any electrical equipment not turned off, i.e. computers, interactive whiteboards, heaters, etc. This will be reported back to the Head teacher and the results will be given in assembly. We hope that this, along with posters will remind teachers to ‘switch off’, especially at the end of the day.
Switch-Off–Fortnight is something that we will arrange in the near future to make everyone take responsibility for turning off their apparatus.
Solar Heating - a teacher from CNS is making enquiries on behalf of the Diocese regarding the cost of installation of solar panels for the Catholic Schools.
Our ‘Water Monitors’ will be checking our cloakrooms to see if taps are being left running, or if they are dripping so wasting water. One very good suggestion has already been made, to reduce the temperature of the hot water which in turn will cut down on heating costs.
We are very proud of our school grounds and its welcoming feel. Our Gardening Clubs have done a great job maintaining neat borders and flower beds around the school. They have created a Wildlife Area and planted trees, creating habitat for small bugs and animals and an area for the children to investigate. There is a class rota for the Prayer Garden and each class takes pride in tending and decorating the garden in accordance with the liturgical calendar.
During the spring, children at KS1 develop and tend their own vegetable patches. The playgrounds are brightly decorated with art work projects that have been created from recycled wood, seats, benches and totems poles.
Our ‘Grounds Monitors’ will be walking our site and make recommendations of any areas that need improving.
This topic covers all aspects of health and well-being. Eating healthy food and getting enough exercise and plenty of sleep is good for us, but also is having a healthy mind and being happy. We are lucky to have a strong ABC anti-bullying committee, Play Leaders and ‘Buddies’. We also have groups running throughout the school at various times such as S.E.A.L, Rainbows, Personal Development Courses, Transition and Social Skills Groups. We have ‘Healthy Schools’ accreditation and our parents support our Healthy Lunchbox Policy. There is a Weekly Health Walk around our local area for adults on a Thursday morning, and several of our parents enjoy this exercise.
Getting children to school by walking, cycling or using a scooter is healthier than travelling by car and is a great form of exercise. This way also reduces air pollution and climate change. We try to encourage cycling by holding many events – Bike-it, Cycle & Scoot Breakfast, Cycle Training, Saturday Cycle Event and Dr Bike Day. The Care club promotes cycling as part of their daily activities and have many bikes donated by Sustrans, who have also trained up pupils in basic cycle maintenance as ‘Bike-Buddies’.
At Sacred Heart we are proud of our clean and tidy environment. We have an enthusiastic Site-Agent who checks our grounds daily and regularly empties the bins, and we have a good number of bins in both playgrounds. Last year we held a Litter Picking Event when we borrowed grabbers from Luton Borough Council and cleared a large amount of rubbish at bottom of our field from the adjoining housing estate. We will repeat this exercise in the spring when the weather improves, meanwhile, our ‘Litter Monitors’ will report back on any potential problems
We need to review the way in which we recycle in school and our ‘Waste Monitors’ will be checking how we currently process paper, plastics etc. We have ordered different coloured rubbish bins for the different types of waste and through meetings with teachers and Midday staff; we need to devise a system for separating these items, and then make sure they are deposited in the correct trade waste bin for collection by the council.
We have ordered a Compost Bin and hope that fruit and vegetable waste can be recycled for our Gardening Club to use for their planting projects.
We have registered with www.moneytoschools.com and will be appealing to parents for their empty ink cartridges, used mobile phones and old batteries. We had a very good response to our Cash for Clothes appeal and raised £103.20 for charity. Last year we worked with a local school, to build a recycled plastic bottle greenhouse for Lady Zia Wernher Special School.
Our families are always very supportive in our fundraising and events to help disadvantaged children around the world; Shoes for Africa, the Shoebox Appeal, Knitting for Ugandan babies.
As part of the curriculum, some of our pupils have been looking at Fair Trade; how some foods are produced abroad and the impact low wages have on the worker’s families and their standards of living. In both staff rooms we try where possible to purchase goods that have the Fair Trade logo.
OUR GREEN RULES
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle