Environmental Manifesto Northbourne Park

Northbourne Park School sits in beautiful grounds, surrounded by rolling lawns and woodland. The School aims to give the children a wide range of experience both in the classroom and in the natural world around them. The aim of the Environmental Club is to raise awareness in the children that we all have a social responsibility to look after the beautiful world that we live in.

We raise awareness about the wider implications of pollution and short-term thinking in the world at large, looking at how this impacts on the flora and fauna and their importance in attracting insects and hence food chains, which can in consequence lead to the extinction of diverse species.

On a smaller scale we work proactively to raise awareness amongst children, parents, governors and staff of how small changes in our behaviour can help to improve the world we live in. Our aim is for the children to understand that, whilst we may not be able to change government policies, we can take responsibility in our own lives and that every proactive deed helps. We are committed to the principal of sustainable development.

It is well documented that children learn best when they are engaged in learning through practical experience. In response to this, we have bought bird feeders and food to attract wild birds to the school, all of which was funded using the money from winning the Hampton Court Scarecrow competition. This is a great resource which introduces the children to the many different types of wild birds seen locally, as well as helping in their survival over winter months.

We have also planted 200 bulbs around the School which will attract wildlife in the Spring. Our Groundsman, Dolrick has agreed to scatter seeds around the pond area this Spring and we shall work together to try to develop a wild garden area which will help attract insects and providing practical interest in our Science lessons. Children learn to use sweep nets in these areas to investigate the diversity of insects found compared to those found in the woods and learn the importance of insects to our ecosystems.

We are in the process of creating a ‘sensory garden’ with herbs and flowers between the huts, giving the children a quiet place within the school grounds. This will be designed and created by the children. Apart from an initial expense of making the area rabbit proof using wire and fencing we will recycle and improvise to create flower beds, paths and seating. We want to promote a caring and responsible attitude amongst the children.

In the last two years we have established a Gardening Club growing vegetables and flowers which are used within the school. The pupils are involved in the whole process from cultivating the seeds in the Art hut to planting, weeding and picking the finished produce. Pupils have found this to be a (fruitful!) and rewarding process particularly enhanced by the home-made cake and lemonade provided by the Headmaster’s wife!

Field Trips have included studying habitats and how man can affect an area both positively and negatively. The children understand man’s influence at times to improve the environment or to help with conservation projects. Science lessons incorporate man’s effect on the environment into lessons accordingly.

In both Art and Science lessons, the children study plants and seeds from around the grounds, again building on their awareness of the importance of our immediate environment.
Within the school we also aim to make all classes recycle paper, switch off lights and computers. We would love to see solar panelling installed in the swimming pool area and see environmentally friendly light bulbs installed throughout the school. Some of which we have implemented already.