We’re proud to share that we are about to submit our Eco-Schools Green Flag Application!
Getting the Eco-Committee up and running and implementing our action plan has been no small feat. We registered to become an Eco-School in January, 2020 when several young people were becoming more aware of the state of the environment and wanted to do something about it. A group of parents wrote a letter to Mrs Bhogal to request that we become an Eco-School. Not only did she agree, she jumped right in and became the staff lead on the initiative.
We had no idea what kind of obstacles and interruptions we would face after that. Soon after we formed an Eco-Committee, Covid arrived and we headed into lockdown. Still, the young people persevered. Evie & Ezra kicked everything off by giving a virtual whole school presentation about a joint Eco-Committee -PTA Tree Planting and Litter Picking initiative and announced that we were registering to become an Eco-School. Together with Mrs Bhogal, and entirely over Zoom, the Eco-Committee completed the Environmental Review and decided on our three topics, Marine, Waste and Energy. Over several more zoom sessions, the committee brainstormed lots of ideas for actions to take in these three topic areas. Our Co-Chairs, Evelyn Gould and Ezra Roberts, took these ideas and from them created an action plan. Towards the end of the school year, when were allowed to, we met, outside, socially distanced to approve that plan. We still couldn’t do activities as a large group, so we took on the first actions at home and independently. (scroll further down the Eco-Board to see the action plan and updates since that time)
When Mrs Bhogal left, and we returned to near-normal in-person learning, it took a little while to get going again. Luckily, Mr. Millen stepped in as our new staff lead on the project this school year. Now, with Josh & Lola in Year 6, they picked up the mantel as co-chairs since Evie and Ezra had moved to Year 7. The committee decided to keep existing members since we got off to such a slow start, and held elections in the younger year groups to ensure all classes were represented. Here’s a summary of what actions the Eco-Committee has led in each of our topics:
- Several Eco-Committee Members documented litter near and in local waterways, and some cleaned up the areas they documented. Several children gave a presentation to the whole school to share what they learned about how our local waterways are treated and to help make the connection between litter and the well being of marine life. (This was during Covid Bubbles, so needed to be done at home and within bubbles). The
- Keep your eyes peeled for a whole-school upcycled art contest! The Eco-Committee has worked with their art teacher to launch a house art-competition. Children will be invited to submit upcycled pictures/sculptures of marine life using non-recyclable plastic waste. We hope this helps the children further understand that our waste has to go somewhere, and when not properly disposed of, it ends up in our rivers, streams and oceans. This is an activity we’ve had in the works for a long time, and we’ll complete it just after we submit our Green Flag application.
- The Eco-Committee discussed how waste is connected to greenhouse gas emissions as well as the consequences of litter for animals.
- They conducted a waste audit of classroom bins and lunchroom bins.
- They discovered that most of the waste was in the lunchroom, and they surveyed students to find out why they were throwing out their food. They discovered that 45% of children didn’t like the meal on the day they conducted the survey and a large portion said they had been served too much.
- The Co-Chairs wrote a letter to Mr Y requesting a review of the menu, and they suggested ways that the Eco-Committee could help gather feedback and reduce waste at lunch time.
- The Committee invited the Energy Heroes programme to conduct a whole-school assembly on energy usage.
- With the Energy Heroes team, the Eco-Committee conducted an energy audit, and learned how to read the energy meters. Year 5 used some of this information to do some energy-related maths lessons.
- With the results of the energy audit, the Eco-Committee asked the teachers if they could conduct a whole-school switch off day. The teachers agreed and on a Friday in May.
- During the Switch Off Day that happened a few weeks ago, the school used 45.6 kwh, as oppose to a usual day, on which we spend about 74.6 kwh, saving us 29 kwh. This also meant that the cost of our energy bills decreased by 38%, or £41!
- The students shared the results with the teachers. They agreed to hold switch off days monthly next school year. The students also recommended that new lights installed with the new roof should be energy efficient, ideally LEDs with sensors.
Thank you to parents, students, teachers and everyone involved in persevering to this moment in which we can submit our application for the Green Flag Award!
Mr Millen – Staff Co-Ordinator
Jen Walper Roberts – Parent Co-Ordinator
And the Whole Eco-Committee
To complete their work on their first Eco-Schools green flag, the children on the Eco-Committee broke into three groups to think about what they learned from working on each topic and what promise they’d like to make on behalf of the whole school. This is their “Eco-Code”. They will share this Eco-Code with the whole school at an upcoming assembly. Here it is:
The Children Conducted a waste audit, and discovered that whilst waste in the classrooms was minimal, lunchroom waste was significant. With their findings, they decided to write a letter to the Deputy Head Teacher, Mr Y.
The letter is below:
Letter to Mr Y from Eco-Committee Chairs:
To Mr Y,
We are writing this letter to tell you about the results from the Eco Committee’s lunchtime investigation. We gathered forty-four different people throughout the lunchtime, and these are our results:
- 44% (19 out of 44) didn’t like the meal, which that day was meat, rice and cake.
- 47% (21 out of 44) thought that there was too much food, and couldn’t eat it.
- 9% (4 out of 44) dropped their food on the floor.
Due to these results, we can deduce that there may need to be a change in the menu as almost 45% of the people we asked did not like it. Furthermore, we are suggesting that the school completes a survey about the school dinners menu as this may help to reduce food waste significantly. However, the survey would have to be checked and verified, as well as proceeding the investigation to a further point to change the school menu to people’s liking.
We will ask the children one by one of what food they would like. We are going to ask the lunch time staff who work in the kitchen to ask how large each child would like their portion, of course moderating the size to each year’s age. The only portion that won’t be changed is the side portions and dessert portions.
Josh and Lola, Co-chairs of the Eco Committee
Minutes – Eco-Committee Meeting 28.6.22
Chairs shared the results of the Waste Audit. (Attached). We learned that there wasn’t too much classroom waste. We learned that the food waste was because children either had too much food or didn’t like their food.
- Action: Josh, Lola and two other committee members will draft and send a letter to Mr Y with questions about current plans to reduce food waste and to share our results and ideas.
Discussed that with the building construction coming up, we’ll have to move the monthly switch off-days to next school year.
- Action: Sophia Gold (Yr 5) and and Ezra (Yr 1) to speak with Mrs Levy and Mr Y about getting a switch off day into next year’s school calendar
Josh and Lola updated us on the Upcycled Art Project. They are going to take our feedback that it will be a house competition making art about marine life using plastic waste that can’t be recycled.
Minutes – Eco-Committee Meeting 7.1.22
Present: Lola and Joshua from Year 6.
John-Lewis, Sophia and Rachel from Year 5.
Asher, Leah and Martha from Year 4.
Harry from Year 3.
We went through our review and our eco action plan and we are behind (but only because of COVID 19). We looked where we are and what our next step is.
. Have a noticeboard reminding everyone about us
. Light monitors to help save energy
. Get experts to come in and help us work out how to read the meter.
. Have Sophia G, Rachel and John Lewis go into year 1 to talk to them about the climate and to help them elect an Eco-Committee member to represent them
. Asher, Martha and Leah do he same in Year 2
. We need to empty the bins more frequently.
. Each class must pick an endangered animal from the ocean/sea and using recycled waste (e.g. cardboard boxes) to make a model
Next week, make sure that we have 2 councilors from year one and two, and one more year 3.
Posters done in two weeks.
Talk to Mr Y about using the empty scouts board for a pinboard. Josh and Lola.
Sophia and Rachel read the meter to find out what a typical energy use for our school is, next week.
Switch off day on the 1st Friday of Summer Term.
When Sophia and Rachel talk to Mrs Hirschstein about what our energy use is for a typical Friday.
Speech about waste.
Possibly collaborate with the School Council
Make LJFS aware of what we’re doing by talking to Mrs Hardacre (Year 5)
25th June – Evie & Ezra Report to the School Governors on Progress of the Brodetsky Eco-Committee.
On behalf of the Eco-Committee, Co-Chairs Evie and Ezra updated the School Governors on how we became an Eco-School, how we achieved our bronze award and how we plan to earn our first Green Flag Award.
The Governors were enthusiastic about our participation in the Eco-Schools program and understood that when we return to post-covid normalcy, the Eco-Committee requires participation from parents, Governors and staff to take a community-wide approach.
Here are the notes from their report:
28th May Eco-Committee Meeting Minutes (recorded by Josh, Year 5)
The Eco-Committee met (safely, distanced, outside) in the forest school area to review the Action Plan that Evie, Ezra & Mrs Roberts put together based on all of their ideas from the past meeting and survey. We discussed the timeline and took volunteer names down to engage in each of the activities for our Marine, Waste and Energy Topics. The first action was to take photos to document litter in and around local streams, as well as to do some research on what happens to litter in local streams and how it affects marine life. Here are the minutes:
28th May – Brodetsky Primary Eco-Action Plan Approved by Eco Schools England and Awarded Bronze Award
Throughout January and February, The Eco Committee met to complete the
11- Feb 2021- Welcome to the Brodetsky Eco-School Virtual Bulletin Board.
Eco-Schools is a global program engaging 19.5 million children across 67 countries, making it the largest educational program on the planet. For over 25 years Eco-Schools has been empowering children to drive change and improve their environmental awareness through the simple Seven-Step framework in order to achieve the international Eco-Schools Green Flag.
We will post all of the Eco-Schools Activities on this Eco-Schools Virtual Bulletin Board.
Our Seven Step Journey
This s where we will keep everyone updated on completing the Seven-Step Framework to achieve our Eco-Schools Green Flag.
Step 1: Form an Eco-Committee:
Here’s a photo of our Eco-Committee as well as everyone’s names.
Step 2: Conduct an Environmental Review.
The Eco-Committee met twice over January and February to conduct the Environmental Review. You can see our review here. ##As a result of the Environmental Review, we have chosen the first three topics that we would like to work on:
Here’s the whole Environmental Assessment:
Step 4: Create an Action Plan.
When we return from half-term, we will create an action plan. We would love to hear your ideas!
Please take a look at what actions other Eco Schools have taken on our three topics:
- Energy – https://www.eco-schools.org.uk/primary-pathway/ten-topics/energy-2/
- Marine – https://www.eco-schools.org.uk/eyfs-pathway/ten-topics/marine/
- Waste – https://www.eco-schools.org.uk/eyfs-pathway/ten-topics/waste/
Do you have ideas about projects we could take on within these three topics? Please let us know by using this form.
Once we create our action plan, we can apply for our Bronze award and we can get to work on earning our first Green Flag!