Present: Miss Belcher, Joseph, Adham, Joe, Oliver, Daniel, Jahaan, April, Pippa, Laila, Sophie, Demi-Leigh, Tia and Sarah.
Absent: Ben, Chloe and Jamie.
Date – Wednesday 9th November during assembly.
In today’s meeting we completed our environmental review. We were asked to discuss a number of different questions which related to our school grounds and our job as eco-councillors. We discussed the following areas during our meeting: biodiversity, energy, global citizenship, healthy living, litter, the school grounds, transportation, water and waste.
During our discussion on biodiversity we discussed that as a school we look after a number of different animals and have encouraged wildlife into our school during IPC lessons (for example year 3 created a bug hotel!). It was clear that as a school we enjoyed this area and we have already expressed an interest at doing more to improve this!
Our discussion on energy highlighted that we were turning off switches when they were not being used and as eco-councillors we were checking that this was done every time we left the classroom. We did discuss that children were not allowed to turn off computers or monitors but the teachers should be ensuring that they turn them off at the switch before they go home. We also discussed that the teachers cannot control the heating and so there are times when windows need to be opened when it is to warm. Miss Belcher has said that she will discuss this with the school’s caretaker as well as the energy meter.
As a school we have recently started a new scheme of global learning, this is where we discuss important issues which affect our country or lives. During these sessions we learn about different countries and discuss issues such as global warming. We also have a green day which focuses on Fair-trade at the start of the year.
We spoke about our school’s healthy eating policy during break times and lunchtimes. We discussed that not all children were following the rules and Miss Belcher said she would bring this to Mrs Thorne’s attention. Miss Belcher explained that during the new year we would be learning all about healthy living as a part of our PSHE topic – healthy me. She also discussed that we would be learning about being food smart (this is a Change for Life initiative).
We felt as eco-councillors that we could do more in terms of eliminating litter in our school grounds mainly to do with the amount of outside bins we have – Miss Belcher said that our next meeting will be focusing on litter as we need to start doing litter picks regularly. We also discussed that our school grounds are used every day by children and we would love to have more lessons outside (Miss Belcher explained that at this time of year it may not be possible due to the weather but in the spring and summer term she will remind teachers of our outdoor learning space!).
As eco-councillors we have noticed that although a number of children have now started to walk or ride their bike to school there is starting to be an issue with the cars that park across the road in the garage and down side-roads. As our school is on a main road we do not have an issue with cars directly outside but there is starting to become a problem with parking in these places – Miss Belcher said that Mrs Thorne is already aware of this and a letter will be going out about this to remind parents.
Water and waste were two areas where Miss Belcher had to discuss with the children why our school is unfortunately unable to say yes to some questions. Although we have a water butt and reuse our water bottles, we have installed water hippos previously and due to how old our school’s piping system is, they flooded our toilets and so they had to be removed. Miss Belcher explained our next green day focuses on water and said that we are having a lady from Severn Trent Water come in to speak to the whole school. Miss Belcher suggested that she may be able to speak to this lady about anything else we could do as a school to reduce our water consumption. We are very good with our recycling and we would like to recycle more! We cannot however, have a compost bin as our last attempt at this attracted rats into the school grounds and had to be removed immediately.
Miss Belcher thanked the children for their participation and discussed that these were valuable insights into what the children thought about how we could improve our school. That was the end of our meeting.
Peterbrook Primary School, High Street, Solihull Lodge, Shirley, Solihull, West Midlands, B90 1HR
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