The Bible story of the world’s creation is as old as the world itself. We are God’s stewards and it is our responsibility and privilege to protect and take care of His precious creation.
Congratulations to the successful candidates in our school council elections and here are our new council members. We have held our first meeting together and talked about our ideas and plans for the coming year. The council are being very ambitious and will need the help of the whole school community; children and their families. These are our initial ideas.
create a new bee friendly garden at the front of school.
Save energy in school by cutting our electricity usage
Improve the numbers of children who walk, cycle or scoot to school and find ways to stop traffic coming onto Broomfield Drive at the beginning and end of the school day.
Litter pick in the school grounds and in the wider community.
Look out here for the completion of our environmental review and our new action plan
School Street Pilot June 2022
Thank you to everyone in our community; parents, children, friends and neighbours who have made the start of our school street such a success. The children tell us they feel much safer and it definitely feels much calmer at the start and end of the school day. We hope that once the pilot has been evaluated it will continue permanently.
The Big Spring Clean
The Eco councillors from Violet class encouraged the rest of the class to join in with ‘The Big Spring Clean 2022.’ We picked up all the bits of snack papers and the rest of the litter that had blown onto our school grounds. We agreed we didn’t want any wildlife to be hurt or damaged by the litter that has collected around our area. Well done Violet class!
Marple Hydro Presentation March 2022
The Eco council put in a bid to Stockport Hydro’s environmental challenge fund for funding for resources for our bee garden. We were delighted to hear that we had been awarded £350 towards plants, seeds, tools, compost and a bench.
The Eco council travelled by minibus to The Hydro on the River Goyt to accept our cheque. They did a great job of explaining to the assembled crowd all about our bee garden and our work on bio diversity. We were also shown around the Hydro by one of the members, Patricia, who explained how the Archimedes screws worked to generate electricity and how the electricity is sold to the National grid giving profits to the members. Luckily for us the members give back the money they earn to the community for environmental projects. We are very grateful to all the Hydro members for their generosity. It is lovely for the children to be working with fellow Eco minded people who are so encouraging of the next generation.
Funky Feet Walk to School February 2022
The Eco council organised a ‘Funky Feet’ walk to school for the first week back after half term. Everyone was encouraged to meet at our park and stride location- The Carousel- in their favourite footwear, to park and stride, walk or scoot into school. Thank you to everyone who joined in. We waved our walk to school flags and banners to show everyone how important we think walking to school is for our health and well being and for our safety.
The Bee garden
We have now started work on our new bee garden. Our first job was to remove the old, woody shrubs. We were lucky that a group of children, parents and grandparents came to help one Saturday. It was hard work but we showed real perseverance.
Mr Stephenson came to our help to take out the stubborn roots. He had a tool called a mattock which got right into the soil to get out the roots. The Eco council were very grateful for his help.
We have managed to beat the cold weather and plant a small apple tree a few perennial plants and lots of bulbs. We will be able to continue our work in the Spring.
Switch it off Fortnight
The whole school has taken part in ‘switch it off fortnight’ which ran from 8th-19th November 2021. This year it fell at the same time as the COP 26 meeting of world leaders so it made it very topical and we were able to link lots of our classroom work with our Eco work. Violet class worked together to create their own rap which they entered into a competition by the energy saving trust. You can look at it here.
switch it off rap
The Eco Councillors were also busy monitoring electricity use and making sure that computers, projectors and lights were all switched off when not in use.
Past Years Achievements and Successes
Despite all the pandemic challenges, with the help of Eco schools, we continued to keep our activities and programme of events for the whole school. The Y6 councillors Eilidh and Lukas completed an environmental review and wrote a new action plan which included challenges for each class to complete whilst in their own bubbles. There were walk to school challenges, switch it off challenges, meat free meals challenges as well as litter pick challenges.
Blue Peter Green Badge
Some of our classes have been working towards their ‘Green’ Blue Peter badge by making both a personal pledge and a class pledge. Pledges include switching off your digital equipment at home and playing outside instead, packing a plastic free lunchbox and switching off the tap when brushing your teeth. In school classes have been making sure that they switch off their lights and projectors in breaks and at lunchtimes. Violet class created a piece of Artwork to send to Blue Peter which highlights their commitment to our planet.
Walk to school and The Big Pedal
The whole school have been involved in walking, scooting and cycling as much as they can. We continue to reward the class with the most active trips with their walk to school badges and with Parker Bear. Parker has been spending a lot of time in Violet class this year but we hope other classes might challenge to top the ‘walk to school’ leaderboard.
STOCKPORT HYDRO We are very lucky to have been awarded another grant from Stockport Hydro. Stockport Hydro is a renewable energy scheme at Otterspool weir in Marple. It is a community owned hydro electric project. From the sale of electricity the members are able to give back to the community in the form of their Environmental Challenge fund We have been awarded £300 to purchase new vegetable beds which we will site just outside the classrooms giving easier access for the children. We are very grateful to Stockport Hydro members for their generosity.
WOW Competition winners
We are still working hard to make Broomfield Drive a safe place for all and are continuing to ask parents to park away using park and stride locations instead. Three lucky winners have had their badge designs sent to Living Streets. One of the entries won a runners up prize which we were very proud to learn about.
Thank you to all parents who signed up to the St Mary’s parking promise, we value your support as the children tell us they don’t feel safe when cars are turning outside school.
CLEAN AIR PROJECT We have been taking part in a clean air project in conjunction with Global Action, Manchester University and Phillips trust. Air purifiers have been installed around school in classrooms and shared areas such as the library and entrance hall. The air is being monitored as well as purified. This will help us understand how to make school air cleaner and safer for everyone here. We put together a clean air action plan to run alongside our Eco action plan and will developed some existing actions.
Youth Climate Summit at Manchester University
A group of our eldest Eco councillors attended a Youth Climate Summit at Manchester University. They joined with other schools to present on topics that mean something to them. Our councillors talked about how we can all make ‘simple swaps’ in our life to make a difference to our planet. It was a very inspiring event and it gave us new ideas that we could bring back to our school. Well done to the children who attended and represented our children of the future planet they want to see.
Congratulations to the Eco council who have led the school in retaining our Green Flag award. The assessor who visited was very impressed with the childrens’ knowledge of green issues and their enthusiasm to make a difference. Well Done St Mary’s!
Andrew Gwynne M.P visits St Mary’s
The Eco Council were very honoured to give our M.P Andrew Gwynne a tour of our outdoor area when he came to visit in May. He was very impressed with the enthusiastic way the children articulated the benefits of St Mary’s being an Eco school, the projects we have worked on and the learning which goes on in our woodland area. He was able to tell the children about the work that happens in Parliament to tackle Eco issues.
Premier League Reading Stars
As part of waste week Year Four entered a competition which the Premier League were running in association with Sky Ocean Rescue. They made a pledge to make simple swaps in lunchboxes that would reduce single use plastic. We were very happy to hear that they liked our entry and sent us a class set of reusable water bottles. Well Done Blue Class
The Eco council were very pleased with the outcomes and impact of Waste Week. Across the school we focused on raising awareness of the problems of single use plastics and the whole school looked at ways in which we could all help by making simple swaps. The Eco Council ran a competition to design a poster aimed at raising awareness about plastic use and each class worked with their teachers to find out about the issues involved. We finished the week with a ‘Big Spring Clean,’ clearing up some of the rubbish and plastic waste which blows down onto our school field. The Eco council has some further issues to discuss as a result of waste week including how plastic is used in the school kitchen and in lunchboxes and how the teachers use the laminator. It’s been a very thought provoking week for the whole school community!
Walk to school
Thank you to everybody who supported our latest walk to school morning. The Eco council are committed to making the area around school safer and healthier for everybody. Please help by supporting our Parking Promise:
Our family promises to walk, scoot or bike to school as much as we can to build exercise into our daily routine. Our family promise to park and stride if we need to use our car to make the entrance to school safer and healthier. Our family promise to NOT bring our car up Broomfield Drive to make the area around school safer, healthier and happier for everyone.
Switch it off Fortnight
The Eco council have been meeting to look at the use of energy across the school. They have been making signs and labels to remind us all to switch off electrical devices and keep doors shut to save heat. They led an assembly during the fortnight and told the school all about NO ELECTRICITY DAY. We used as little as possible on this day and everybody joined in from the cook to the office to the children and teachers. The council worked with Mr Massey to read the meter and see how much we had saved. We were amazed at the difference and plan to have more No electricity days during the year.
CITY OF TREES
We worked with Beth and Trianna from City of Trees. Their aim is to plant three million trees across Greater Manchester in the next few years. We have planted three he saplings which will improve our forest school area and provide hedging along some of the hard fencing. Indigo and Violet class helped as well as Green and Yellow classes helping during their Forest school sessions. Well done everybody. At St Mary’s WE LOVE TREES!
A group of volunteer parents and Y6 worked with Phil Harris to clear an area of woodland which the children wanted to make into a new ‘den’ area. The section was overgrown with brambles, full of old logs and fence posts and altogether a bit neglected. In just a few hours of hard work we managed to cut back the brambles,move the logs and fence posts and cut down some saplings to make room for a new log circle. We are very grateful to the mums and dads who came to help, to the Y6 children and to Phil for helping bring our vision for the area to fruition.
We continue to be committed to encouraging as many children as possible to walk to school. Our aim is to keep all cars off Broomfield Drive to make the area around school safer and more healthy for all children. The Eco council have also been meeting to discuss their Environmental review and are busy deciding what will go into their new action plan.
Purchase of Cloth Bags Members of the Eco council became concerned about children taking their packed lunches on trips in a plastic carrier bag. We feel very strongly about the dangers of plastic and the pollution it is causing so we have investigated other options. The friends of St Mary’s have kindly purchased a set of cloth bags for us to use on trips now so we don’t need to rely on plastic bags.
Councillor Ganotis visits St Mary’s
After seeing the film that the school council made for the Mayor’s Green Summit, Councillor Ganotis came to visit so that the Eco council could show him all the work that they do to tackle the Green issues that matter to them. He was very impressed with the children’s enthusiasm and the way they articulated the issues that matter to them.
THE PARKING PROMISE BADGE LAUNCH
We gave out car stickers today to all families who have signed our parking promise. To help us launch our badge we invited ‘Strider’ the mascot of living streets to school. We met Strider at our park and stride location, the Carousel, and made the short walk to school together. There was a lovely atmosphere. Thank you to all the families who are supporting this project. It is such a positive step forward for our school, our health and the environment.
MAYOR’S GREEN SUMMIT
Andy Burnham held a green summit and St Mary’s C.E Eco council were asked to host a ‘listening event’ which fed into the Mayor’s summit. His aim is to make Greater Manchester one of the greenest cities in Europe and we told him all about the projects we are working on at school and our hopes for the future. You can watch the film we made about the Green Summit here.
The Eco council are proud to announce that St Mary’s C.E Primary school has been awarded the prestigious Green Flag for all our Eco work. Well done to everyone!
GREEN FLAG ASSESSMENT
On Monday 25th September we welcomed Mr David Burgess to St Mary’s. Mr Burgess is a volunteer assessor for Eco Schools. The Eco council gave Mr Burgess a tour and spoke to him about the many projects we have been working on. He was very impressed with the information the children gave and their great speaking skills. We will be hearing from Eco schools soon about our Green flag.
St Mary’s welcomes M.E.E.N Green Teach Meet
The Eco council were thrilled to welcome teachers from all over Greater Manchester to a ‘Big Green Teach Meet’ The council gave the visitors a tour of our school showing them all the great Eco work we do including looking at the Eco board, walking around the growing areas, looking at how we recycle and compost and at out orchard and forest school area. The Eco council then took part in workshops on composting and outdoor education. They were a credit to our school and the visitors made some lovely comments about our school.
‘I love your Eco board’
‘Thank you for such an informative tour of your school’
‘You explained the work you do so well’
‘Thank you for the tour, we would love to link up with you’
‘What an amazing job you are doing, I loved seeing all the plants and food you are growing’
‘What a LOVELY school, lovely children, lovely staff, lovely grounds, what a privilege to be here!’