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Marlow Church of England Infant School

Eco School

Environment and Climate Emergency Declaration

In September 2019, the Eco Warriors at Marlow C of E Infant School asked the Governors of the school to declare an environmental and climate emergency on their behalf. The Eco Warriors and the rest of the children were concerned about the planet, and they wanted to share in the responsibility of making a difference to the Earth and its future. This work has been continued by school Eco Warriors since this declaration.

As a Green Flag school, we have undertaken to find any means we can to learn how to save the planet and take action accordingly.

We will do this by:

  • Looking for different ways to save, recycle and reuse the Earth’s precious resources
  • Being courageous advocates for the preservation of the environment and particularly habitats
  • Finding alternative ways to save energy

The children will work with school staff, parents and members of the local community to ensure the respect we believe the planet deserves is shown by all.

As part of our school Christian vision, we aim to:

Be good citizens of the planet

Eco Warriors

The Eco Warriors are made up of two elected representatives from each of the four KS1 classes. They meet regularly each term to decide on the topics they wish the school to focus on. They have developed the following Eco Code:

 

The Eco Warriors have spearheaded several campaigns within the school over the last 4 years to promote the need to protect the planet.

Here are just a few:

  • They have held Waste Weeks, where the focus has been reducing the amount of toys that are sent to landfill. They have encouraged people to donate toys that they no longer play with to a friend, relative or to a charity shop
  • The school milk used to be delivered in individual cartons with plastic straws. The Eco Warriors approached the suppliers and as a result of their request, the milk is now delivered in glass bottles which are reused daily
  • They have held recycling drives for batteries, e-waste and plastic toys
  • We now back our display boards with fabric that can be reused over and over rather than with paper which is used once and then thrown away
  • We are working to reduce the use of laminating and using cardboard or reusable plastic pockets to protect work that needs to be durable

As a school, we are committed to working on the UN Sustainable Development Goals and details of this can be found here.

Outdoor Learning

We are lucky to have a large amount of outdoor space at our school and, over the past few years, a group of dedicated parents have worked very hard to improve and enhance this space to provide varied habitats and great opportunities for learning outside. We try to spend as much time as we can learning outside the classroom. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Each class in school has access to a covered outdoor area which is used as an extension to the classroom, with children able to access resources outside as well as inside for many lessons. In addition, we have several covered outdoor areas which can be used for learning: The Eco-Barn which has light and power; the Canopy, which has seating for a class and a firepit, and the Cocoon, which is a covered gazebo.

Read more about Outdoor Learning at our school here.

Wild World

There has been a Wild World at Marlow C of E Infant School for many years, but it had been neglected and underused, so it wasn't safe nor very pretty to look at. Over the past few years, a group of dedicated parents has helped us regenerate this area of our school. 

We wanted to provide an environment that the children could use and enjoy for their learning and also one that created habitats for wildlife and mini-beasts.

The theme of the 'Wild World' has changed and the focus is now on different areas which are named after the classes in the school. The idea for each class area was developed with the children and giving an area to each class encourages ownership.  All the children in school, over a 12-month period, had the chance to be involved in the planting of different areas. The 'Wild World' team have worked on creating an environment that focusses on sustainability and biodiversity, and they have created a peaceful haven for all.

The areas include:

  • Dragonfly Ponds (a series of reused sinks with water-loving plants)
  • Grasshopper Meadow (which is linked to the Eco-Schools BLUE Campaign - Rewilding Britain school by school)
  • Butterfly Garden (tyres in the shape of butterfly wings with planting to encourage butterflies)
  • Ladybird Bug Hotel (reused materials stacked to encourage over-wintering bugs)
  • Ant Hill (interactive area with microhabitats for minibeasts)
  • Bee Hive (not real, but with planting to encourage bees)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The regeneration of the Wild World has formed part of the whole school development plan which involves improving, and learning about, our outside environment. We are very proud and thankful for what has been created. It is now a space which encourages outdoor learning across the curriculum. For example, in art (sketching), English (observing plants and developing vocabulary banks for use in their story writing -adverbs and adjectives), science (observing and recording types of minibeasts), maths(counting - tallies).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Additional learning from the 'Wild World' comes in the form of learning about our school values, specifically respect and thankfulness -respect and thankfulness for creation and wildlife.

Nature Corridor

As well as the Wild World, and in line with the BLUE campaign, we have set aside a nature corridor around the edge of our school field. This tract of land has been planted with native fruit trees and hedging and the grass is left uncut, except in winter. As the trees and hedging mature, they will provide cover and food for a number of species and the grass provides cover for small mammals and a habitat for a number of native insects. 

We look forward to seeing what species use the wildlife corridor over the coming years. 

Walk to School

We encourage all our school families to not use their cars when travelling to and from school. We use the Walk once a Week travel tracker to record our journeys to school and walk, scoot or cycle whenever we can. Each child who walks at least three times each week receives a badge at the end of the month.

The pupil-led challenge enables children to self-report how they get to school every day. If they travel actively (walk/wheel, cycle, scoot or Park and Stride) at least once a week for a month, they get rewarded with a badge. It’s that simple!

What are the benefits of walking to school?

  • Children feel happier and healthier
  • They arrive at school refreshed and ready to learn
  • Helps reduce congestion and pollution at the school gates

What if we can’t walk to school?

Children can 'Park and Stride' to help them earn their WOW badges. Parents/carers can park or hop off public transport at least ten minutes away from the school and walk the remaining journey.

What is a WOW badge?

There are 11 badges to be earned from September 2023 – July 2024. Each badge has been designed by a pupil from across the UK as part of  an annual WOW Badge Design Competition. A new badge can be earned every month if pupils walk/wheel, cycle, scoot or park and stride at least once a week.

To teach children to travel to school safely, we run annual Scootability sessions for all children. 

 

Tidy Up Team

The Tidy Up Team are a very keen group of Year 2 children who spend one lunchtime each week picking up litter in our school grounds or the streets nearby to our school.  We also educate all our children not to drop litter in line with our school value of respect.