Hallam Fields Junior School have successfully achieved their Green Flag award for the tenth year. The ECO Schools initiative is run by Keep Britain Tidy and requires schools to work on up to 9 different ECO topics. In their recent assessment the school’s ECO team, made up entirely of children aged 7 to 11, were praised for their ‘outstanding effort’ and ‘passion for the ECO topics covered.’
The first Hallam Fields Junior School ECO Council was set up by teacher Sharon Sutton in 2004 and the school gained their first Bronze ECO Flag award in 2005. Initiatives over the years have included the establishment of a school garden and orchard which now grows crops that are harvested and used in the school kitchens. The year 3 block has been fitted with solar panels in order to save energy. Habitat hotels have been built to house wildlife over the winter. Large willow domes now grow in the school grounds alongside three outdoor classrooms. Leaves and waste are collected daily from the playground and dinner hall to be recycled in the compost bins and water is collected in several water butts. An ECO friendly IT suite was recently built complete with a living roof and ECO heating system. Each year the school contributes to the RSPB Bird Watch and takes part in Switch Off Fortnight where children monitor energy use at school and at home. A variety of items are collected and recycled by the school including batteries, foil and ink cartridges. The school has a Gardening Club and a Cookery Club. It also sponsors a child in Gambia and takes part in the shoebox appeal every year.
However, this year the Hallam Fields ECO Warriors really had to pull out all the stops and impress the Green Flag Assessors. In order to gain their fourth Green Flag all 9 topics needed to be covered: Water, Transport, School Grounds, Litter, Healthy Living, Waste, Energy, Bio-diversity and Global Citizenship. Amongst other things a healthy tuck shop was set up and run by the ECO Warriors where children can buy healthy snacks during break time. An Up-cycling Club was set up where unwanted clothes are up-cycled into new items. The school became a Sun Safe school during the summer. A butterfly garden was established and butterflies released there, and the whole curriculum really embedded children’s understanding of Energy across each year group as they investigated alternative sources of energy. The school is very proud of their new Green Flag and are looking forward to another year helping to save the planet.