A more recent element of our environmental work has been to submit our environmental work for national environmental awards. Applying for such awards help us to plan our work in a creative, innovative and exciting manner forging links with charities, communities and other educational organisations.
After our national success of 2015 we felt it was time to enter our environmental work once again for this prestigious award. This year’s project will be entitled ‘There’s an orangutan in my packed lunch!’ Once again, it will be a multi-faceted project with 2 main topic streams. The first will tie in with our FFL journey where we will be helping our children make informed decisions about the virtues/faults of pre-packaged and processed food. We will be learning about the negative impact that some pre- packaged food can have on the environment but, in particular, the impact of palm oil on the declining orangutan population. The second stream will be comparing the decline of animals in our local environment (in particular the hazel dormouse) with that of a region in Indonesia. We will be linking with a school to share information about our local and shared environmental problems and we will be debating the pros and cons of palm oil production.
To tie in with the dormouse element, we are particularly excited that we will be working with our Artist in Residence, Luna Redhead. She will be helping some of our pupils to create artwork that will illustrate a book previously written by pupils for a previous Total Green School Award application.
Once again, the prize for the national award is £5000 and the opportunity to take 30 children to London Zoo. Who knows if we can be successful champions again, but we will really enjoy learning about orangutans, rain forests, dormice, pied wagtails, sustainable palm oil production, reduced packaging and much more!
The following are some of our previous environmental successes;
Total Green School Award – National Champions 2015 – Thinking Globally, Acting Locally
We were delighted and extremely proud to be chosen from the 4 regional winners as last year’s national winners for this prestigious environmental award. Our project consisted of 9 strands that all inter-connected and also incorporated elements from our previous TGSA project. We were particularly delighted to highlight the work of 2 lovely charities: Send a Cow and The Kambeng Trust. Both charities enabled us to learn in more detail about the lives of children in African villages and how different gardening techniques can be beneficial to us as well as children in Africa. Please see the link below for further details of our project.
John Muir Award - Summer 2015
A selection of pupils from our Year 4 and 5 classes were chosen to take part in a trial John Muir Discovery Award. With funding provided by The Woodland Trust, pupils visited a local woodland setting, Fingle Wood, and enjoyed den building, cooking on an open fire, discovering the sights and sounds of the woodland, measured the heights of trees and peered under stones for mini beasts. Two further sessions were then enjoyed back in our school grounds learning about dormice, writing Haiku poems reflecting the children’s woodland experiences and cooking pizza on our cob oven. We are hopeful that The Woodland Trust will be able to obtain further funding so that we can give similar opportunities to more children in school.
WWF Green Ambassadors 2015 – short-listed
We also submitted some elements of the Total Green School Award project along with other gardening projects in school and were delighted to be in the top 8 schools to be short-listed. This success has inspired us to submit this year’s gardening and Food for Life projects to the WWF Green Ambassadors Award again.
Devon Environmental Business Award 2014 – Environmental Award Finalist
Our second visit to the DEBI Awards at The Met Office in Exeter gave us the opportunity to meet a variety of wonderful environmentalists from Devon with their innovative green projects. Our entry was based around the work that we had undertaken learning about marine pollution and our efforts to raise the awareness of the negative impact that plastic has on our environment.
Total Green School Award – Regional Champion 2014 – Ban the Plastic Bag
An extensive year long project investigated the negative impact that plastic has on the world’s marine ecology. In particular, we learnt about the damage that plastic bags have on the turtle population. We worked with the local community to encourage less dependency on plastic bags and were extremely proud to support the grass routes work undertaken by a turtle charity called Akazul who are based in Guatemala. When a freak storm flooded the low-lying village of La Barona where Akazul are based, our pupils were keen to raise funds that were sent directly to the villagers to help them re-build their homes.
Food for Life Bronze Award – July 2014
Having successfully completed our Bronze Food for Life Award, we are currently working towards obtaining our Silver and Gold Awards. We are utilising the Food for Life programme as a valuable toolkit to make challenging and long-lasting changes to our food culture in school with particular emphasis on improving the Dining Hall ‘experience,’ encouraging more children to enjoy a hot school dinner and to encourage the wider community to develop a greater love for cooking with some of the wonderful local produce that our doorstep farmers can supply us with.
Okehampton Town Council special Mayoral Award - 2014
Following the work carried out initially by Kes Tor relating to recycling, litter picking and learning about plastic pollution, we were awarded a unique award from the Okehampton Town Mayor. This award was primarily the result of Kes Tor writing to the Mayor inviting him to help with their efforts to tidy up the streets and public areas of Okehampton. The result of these letters was that The Mayor organised a twice-yearly community litter pick that still continues in April and November of each year. Families, members of the general public, and other voluntary organisations all meet and put on their bright green “Keep Britain Tidy’ tabards and can be seen dotted all over the town collecting rubbish.
Total Green School Award – Regional Champion 2013 – Eco Man Returns
Great excitement ensued when we were told that our application to the Total Green School Award had been successful and we were the South West Regional Champions. This meant that 30 pupils were able to spend an expenses paid day at The Science Museum where they presented their project work on energy savings in school. Little did we know that this would be the start of a regular date in our diary with 2 subsequent award ceremonies to attend at The London Zoo in 2014 and 2015.